cover image Equus


Edited by Rhonda Parrish. World Weaver, $13.95 trade paper (325p) ISBN 978-0-9987022-0-9

Parrish’s fifth Magical Menageries anthology (after Sirens) collects 19 competent but unmemorable speculative works about horses. One is a poem—Jane Yolen’s short, formal, and spare “A Glory of Unicorns”—and J.J. Roth’s series of somewhat trite aphorisms, “A Mother Unicorn’s Advice to Her Daughter,” is a prose poem; the rest are stories. The worldbuilding of K.T. Ivanrest’s “Lightless,” in which star horses provide light for a ruling caste who literally glow in an otherwise dark world, is unusual and pretty. Tamsin Showbrook’s “A Complete Mare” explores the implications of its heroine’s descent from the four-headed and eight-legged Sleipnir of Norse mythology. Laura VanArendonk Baugh’s “Rue the Day” employs a tired rape-and-revenge plot that recalls 1980s fantasy novels, but otherwise Parrish carefully avoids the clichés of the telepathic animal companion genre’s heyday. These stories are pleasant enough, but not liable to leave a lasting impression. (July)