Tuesday, February 7, 2012
From the gentle tones of a storyteller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with...or to fear.
Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.
I am a huge fan of everything Melissa Marr has done. I think, regardless of premise, I will read it and love it. She is a fantastic story-teller, and her use of folklore is amazing. Faery Tales & Nightmaresis an anthology, so for this review, I will spend a bit of time on each story. I won't say much about each story, especially the Wicked Lovely world shorts, so as to avoid spoilers.
"Where Nightmares Walk" is an interesting opening. It's very short, but the visuals are amazing. It is followed by "Winter's Kiss" a tale of a girl and a polar bear. Nesha was a princess who's breath was like winter. She could create snow on a hot summer day. Until she journeyed with a polar bear. "Winter's Kiss" was my favorite in this anthology. Next came "Transition" which was previously published in Teeth, a vampire anthology, and "Love Struck" a selchie story from Love is Hell. These four stories show just how amazing Melissa's use of folklore is in that they are so diverse.
"Stopping Time" and "Old Habits" are two Wicked Lovely world shorts, both of which has been previously available as ebook only. Definitely don't read these until after Ink Exchange. They wouldn't be quite as amazing without knowledge from the series. "Stopping Time" is a fun, sexy short following up on Leslie and Niall. "Old Habits" tells the story of Irial... and his inability to break some of his old habits. The thing I loved about this one was Irial's interaction with High Queen, Sorcha.
"The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King" was an amazing addition to this collection. Melissa wrote this years ago, and it eventually evolved into Wicked Lovely. I knew it had been a short story first, so I've been wanting to read this for years. I was surprised and excited to find out it'd be here. This short was my second favorite of the anthology. It's so unlike Wicked Lovely, yet if you've read the novel, you can pick out which pieces trickled over.
"The Art of Waiting" was creepy, but "Flesh for Comfort" surpassed the creep factor. Both were interesting shorts, not set in a world Melissa has written before. These are two of the shortest works in this anthology, but also two of the most interesting.
The last three stories are also Wicked Lovely world. "Cotton Candy Skies" is a post Radiant Shadows story, revolving around Rabbit and his life in Faerie. "Unexpected Family" is a post Darkest Mercy story, starring Seth. For the first time in the series, we get to meet his parents. "Merely Mortal" is another post Darkest Mercy story. It was previously published in Enthralled, an anthology Melissa co-edited with Kelley Armstrong. And it tells the story of where Keenan and Donia are after the series end. These last three stories were my least favorite in this collection, but still amazing. Don't forget to read the Wicked Lovely series before these, or you'll be spoiled big time.
I highly recommend the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder, as they are both amazing. And, of course, pick this one up once you finish Darkest Mercy. Melissa Marr has a new novel called Carnival of Souls coming this fall from Little, Brown. And if you're a fan of her works, be sure to check out the Wicked Lovely fansite and Rath and Ruins.