Pass through fairy tales into the magic of invisible worlds in these opulent stories by a beloved fantasy icon and author of the classic Riddlemaster trilogy. Patricia McKillip has inspired generations of dedicated readers with enchanting tales that are as romantic as they are unexpected. Her lush, mesmerizing narratives are as deliciously bittersweet as the finest chocolate and as intoxicating as the finest wine.
The bewitching wonders offered here include princesses dancing with dead suitors, a knight in love with an official of exotic lineage, and fortune’s fool stealing into the present instead of the future. You’ll discover a ravishing undine and her mortal bridegroom who is more infatuated with politics than pleasure, a time-traveling angel forbidden to intervene in Cotton Mather’s religious ravings, a wizard seduced in his youth by the Faerie Queen returning with a treasure that is rightfully hers, and an overachieving teenage mage tricked into discovering her true name very close to home.
Endlessly astonishing and impressive fantasist McKillip (The Bards of Bone Plain) travels the shadowy twilight realm between worlds and returns with the raw stuff of dreams. An angel grapples with deceit and conspiracies while recording Cotton Mather's ravings in the title piece. "Out of the Woods" muses on how those searching for magic often miss it. "The Kelpie" examines love and the primal overlap between life and art. An adolescent encounters dangerous Faerie in the chilling and seductive "Hunter's Moon," and a water spirit falls victim to her prey in "Undine." Reshaping ancient archetypes to show us hidden aspects of ourselves and the world around us, these modern myths are timely and timeless, retaining the cosmic resonance of folklore while addressing the struggles embodied in achingly realized spirits, gods, and humans who endure tragic flaws and sudden epiphanies. With a tremendous range encompassing the terror of "Jack O'Lantern" and the poignant allegory of "The Old Woman and the Storm," McKillip charts the wild unknown in all its pathos and danger.