Book Review: Phantazein edited by Tehani Wessely

Friday, October 24, 2014
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: Phantazein
Author: multiple (listed below)
Edited by: Tehani Wessely
Publication Date: October 3 2014

Synopsis: "You think you know all the fables that have ever been told. You think you can no longer be surprised by stories. Think again.

With origins in myth, fairytales, folklore and pure imagination, the stories and poems in these pages draw on history that never was and worlds that will never be to create their own unique tales and traditions… 

The next generation of storytellers is here.

Faith Mudge / Twelfth
Tansy Rayner Roberts / The love letters of swans
Thoraiya Dyer / Bahamut
Rabia Gale / The village of no women
Jenny Blackford / The Lady of Wild Things
Suzanne J. Willis / Rag and bone heart
Nicole Murphy / A Cold Day
Vida Cruz / How the Jungle Got Its Spirit Guardian
S.G. Larner / Kneaded
Charlotte Nash / The Ghost of Hephaestus
Cat Sparks / The Seventh Relic
Gitte Christensen / The nameless seamstress
Foz Meadows / Scales of Time (poem) reprint 
Moni / Illustrations Scales of Time
Kathleen Jennings / Cover Art"

My thoughts: This collection of short stories is amazing. I must admit that I don't tend to have the best of luck with short story collections - I often lose interest after one or two, and just stop. This was definitely the exception - each story began and I was sucked in.

I thought about giving a small review of each story, but I really would prefer to look at this collection as a whole. Each of these stories offers something new and different, and I was often reminded of the original fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm - dark themes and all. There is something dark to this collection, something that weaves everything together and leaves you coming back for more each time. I actually found myself wanting to savour this collection and so I didn't read it quite as fast as I could have, but I really wanted to pay each story the attention it deserved. The only reason I didn't give this collection full marks is because, while I loved all the stories, I found a couple of them to just be of a slightly lower standard of writing than others.

Nevertheless, I found some favourites in the following stories: The Nameless Seamstress, Scales of Time, Twelfth, Rag and Bone Heart, and The Love Letters of Swans. But really, I loved all of them individually, and as a whole.

This is a wonderful collection and I can't recommend it highly enough. In fact, I might get myself a physical copy to sit on my shelf so I can pick it up any time and flip through!

I received an e-copy of this book for review from FableCroft Publishing.

You would like this book if: You like dark fables and tales; you enjoy beautiful stories that make you think and sigh.

Rating:  9/10

If you'd like to keep up to date with what I'm reading, follow me on Goodreads here!


  1. Sounds really good! I'd love to borrow it off you some time.

  2. I can't wait to read this! And I was so in love with Kaleidescope too, which I think you will enjoy similarly. I'm not a short story reader myself, but I *loved* Kaleidescope and I think I'll love Phantazein as well from what you've said.


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