Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery

Titan. Oct. 2019. 384p. ed. by Christopher Golden & Rachel Autumn Deering. ISBN 9781789090345. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781789090352. FANTASY
Are you a good witch or a bad witch? The answer lies in the heart and minds of the witches themselves, whether lauded or condemned. Here, 18 stories by women writers present the shades of gray within witchcraft. In Kat Howard’s “An Invitation to a Burning,” witches and fire cannot help but be paired. Angela Slatter’s “Widow’s Walk” shows that a house of older spinsters with strange habits can be exactly what they seem. See another snippet of dark witch Eve Levine’s life on the run with her daughter Savannah in Kelley Armstrong’s “Black Magic Momma: An Otherworld Story.” Witness how unsuccessful witchcraft can still give the same results for ten-year old Frances in Amber Benson’s “This Skin.” Finally, Theodora Goss reimagines Snow White’s path after marriage in “How To Become a Witch Queen.”
VERDICT Wickedness and white magic, edgy prose, and celebrated authors make this a magical volume that twists and shapes the witch archetype into fascinating, dark tales.

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