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The Collected Enchantments by Theodora Goss

The Collected Enchantments by Theodora Goss

Theodora's newest book, The Collected Enchantments, is a book of collected short stories and poems, many of which have appeared in other collections, magazines, and anthologies, such as Snow White Learns Witchcraft, In the Forest of Forgetting, and Songs for Ophelia. There's something to be said for re-publishing work in new arrangements, though. Many of the poems and stories have similar themes, and are set next to each other in the book. During my read-through, I also noticed many stories with the same characters or locations, which I don't think I'd caught before.


With each new poem or story you begin, you can be assured that you'll be taken into Faerie, at least for a moment. Perhaps there will only be a glimpse, or maybe you'll jump in with both feet.


Although I'd read many of these stories before, it felt like I was reading many for the first time. Part of that may have been that it had been a few years since I'd first encountered them, but I also think we view stories differently when we read them at different points in our lives. Something I read when I was twelve will likely affect me in a completely different way if I read it when I'm forty-five.


A few stories in particular stuck out to me this time. I've always loved the stories involving Miss Emily Gray, but my favorite this time might have been "The Other Thea," about a young woman who has to reclaim her shadow now that she's an adult (without giving away too many details, it was removed when she was a child).


I was also particularly fond of "A Country Called Winter" this time around, which is a really fun Snow Queen retelling.


"How to Become a Witch-Queen" is hands down my favorite Snow White continuation. (Fair warning for those who care about such things: it's written in second person. This has never bothered me, though, especially when it's done well, as this one is).


I've also always really liked "Blanchefleur." It always seems intimidating at first because it's so long, but it's a really fun story.


But my favorite story overall for this read through might have been "Red as Blood and White as Bone." It's not really a retelling of any existing fairy tale, but has all the elements of a fairy tale. For fear of spoiling the story, I'll only say that it's about a young girl working in a castle who helps a stranger.


Another thing I really enjoyed about this collection was all the stories that connected with each other. The Emily Gray stories are one such example, as are those involving Rose and Emma. Theodora also created Sylvania, an imaginary European country, and it appears in many stories, with some characters, cities, and rivers being mentioned in more than one tale. I really hope she'll continue writing them (and Miss Gray stories). Perhaps then she can have a future collection featuring only Sylvania stories, or only Miss Gray stories (though some overlap with the Rose and Emma stories occurs in "Lessons With Miss Gray").


I've raved about Theodora's poetry elsewhere, so I'll only say here that while I don't read a lot of poetry, I've always enjoyed hers and highly recommend it, especially if you like fairy tale poetry.


Some of Theodora's other books include Snow White Learns Witchcraft, In the Forest of Forgetting, Songs for Ophelia, The Thorn and the Blossom, and the Athena Club trilogy. My Affiliate Link: Bookshop.org

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