February 13, 2008

Weird Tales

This book was a 2007 Science Fiction & Fantasy Cybils Award Nominee.

A young boy witnesses the birth of a changeling baby. A monkey king is brutally conquered by a simian foe. A schoolboy learns what it means to truly be a hero, and a young girl learns what it means to commune with a god. The diverse set of short stories in Margo Lanagan's latest collection, Red Spikes, has this in common: Lanagan's astonishing ability to create vivid but also very dark and atmospheric worlds.

Sometimes these worlds might resemble our own; sometimes we're in the head of some other creature. Sometimes the reader is left disturbed, on edge; other times, hopeful and light. But mostly the former. This is definitely a collection of dark fantasy tales, and it should appeal to adult readers just as much as to YA readers.

The variety is amazing, but I noticed that if there's one theme that runs from beginning to end, it's the idea of change--coming of age, changelings, the downfall of the proud and the uplifting of the humble. Like the truly old fairy tales, these stories do not pull punches, but they do open your eyes wide to life and its inexorability--whether you want them to or not.


Anonymous said...

I really can't WAIT to read this one. Her stories are so ...disquieting. Yet...

Anonymous said...

Disquieting, but also lovely and lingering at the same time...now I can't wait to go back and read the first two volumes!