A Feast of Sorrows—Angela Slatter’s first U.S. collection—features twelve of the World Fantasy and British Fantasy Award-winning Australian author’s finest, darkest fairy tales, and adds two new novellas to her marvelous cauldron of fiction. Stories peopled by women and girls—fearless, frightened, brave, bold, frail, and fantastical—who take the paths less traveled by, accept (and offer) poisoned apples, and embrace transformation in all its forms. Reminiscent of Angela Carter at her best, Slatter’s work is both timeless and fresh: fascinating new reflections from the enchanted mirrors of fairy tales and folklore.
Publisher: Prime Books
A Feast of Sorrows by Angela Slatter
You know how most times, folks tell you not to judge a book by its cover, and it’s usually meant to encourage you to give things a try? Well, think of this as the opposite. The cover for A Feast of Sorrows by Angela Slatter is amazing. It is so creepy and inviting and wonderful looking; it seemed perfect for autumn. But, the stories within leave me wanting. They don’t drive me towards any strong feelings. They aren’t bad, they are good. They simply are.
I appreciate that all of the protagonists (not always the heroes) are women and that they need to be quick witted and strong in multiple ways. I loved that one of the characters that pops up in multiple short stories is a lesbian (though am horribly disappointed that she’s also shown to be equally as deviant as a pedophile mentioned in a latter story). So, why three stars? Because there were some real gems that had potential. I loved The Coffin-maker’s Daughter until we realize what sort of collection she holds (from a different story). I love the concept of there being a School for Poison Girls. Bluebeard’s Daughter was absolutely fantastic! But the rest, either seemed too identical to stories heard before (especially the Rumpelstiltskin ‘retelling’) or just didn’t seem to matter.
There is no doubt that she is a good author, A Feast of Sorrows by Angela Slatter simply did not capture my attention the way I wish it had. The way the cover made me wish to be whisked away by these short stories. If you’re looking for another collection of short stories and retellings that really left me with a great impression, perhaps try Sorrows and Wishes by Cindy Lynn Speer.
Quotes & Excerpts
[…] but memory is a traitor to good sense.
“No. Better we take our chances among the whores and thieves. They’re more honest, more loyal.”