cover image Tales of the Otherworld

Tales of the Otherworld

Kelley Armstrong, . . Bantam, $25 (387pp) ISBN 978-0-553-80788-2

Witches, sorcerers, half-demons, vampires, and werewolves clash in bestseller Armstrong's second Otherworld collection (after 2009's Men of the Otherworld ), which includes many stories first posted on her Website to fill in the gaps about characters from her novels. In “Rebirth,” Aaron, a young Englishman, discovers his vampire heritage; in the lighter “Bewitched,” half-demon witch Eve Levine braves racial stereotyping to connect with sorcerer Kristof Nast. The novella “Beginnings” reveals the backstory of Elena, the heroine of 2004's Bitten . The first tales are accessible to new readers, but some stories feel incomplete, and Armstrong's complex worlds, which include magical organizations reminiscent of mafia families, may confuse the uninitiated. Armstrong's longtime fans, however, will be delighted. All proceeds go to World Literacy of Canada. (Apr.)