cover image The Collected Enchantments

The Collected Enchantments

Theodora Goss. Mythic Delirium, $45.95 (484p) ISBN 978-1-73264-407-6

This vibrant collection brings together World Fantasy Award winner Goss’s exquisite interpretations of and variations on familiar folk and fairy tales. The 48 poems and 25 stories span the length of Goss’s career, from her first published story (“The Rose in Twelve Petals,” an impressionistic riff on “Sleeping Beauty,” from 2002) to 17 pieces original to this volume. All approach well-known stories from unexpected angles and with deep empathy for the characters, delving into engaging questions like what motivates antagonists (“The Stepsister’s Tale”), what happens after the fairy tale is over (“Rumpelstiltskin”; “Conversations with the Sea Witch”), and how things might have gone differently (“The Gold-Spinner”; “Girl, Wolf, Woods”). The abundance of pieces sometimes has the effect of a musical fugue: common motifs, places, and characters echo through the works, with each reappearance adding something fresh. However, the sheer breadth can also be overwhelming; that plus the high price point mean the collection will appeal most to readers already enchanted by Goss. (Feb.)