The Book of Witches: An Anthology

Harper Voyager. Aug. 2023. 512p. ed. by Jonathan Strahan. ISBN 9780063113220. $40. FANTASY
From fairy tales to fantasy, witches are at the core of some of our most beloved stories. From the hot air balloon–traveling witch in P. Djèlí Clark’s “What I Remember of Oresha Moon Dragon Devshrata” to the spurned transgender witch of C.L. Clark’s “What Dreams May Come,” the 29 stories and poems in this collection match, and sometimes upset, readers’ perceptions of what a witch may be. “Nameless Here for Evermore” by Fonda Lee draws inspiration from Poe’s “The Raven.” Hell is a factory staffed by those who sold their souls, overseen by a witch, in Emily Y. Teng’s “The Cost of Doing Business.” From shadowy woods to a rare-book room to fast-paced distribution centers, the witches at the center of each story reveal that beyond good or bad, what makes a witch is magic.
VERDICT Strahan (The Book of Dragons) has compiled a delightful collection of original stories about an iconic fantasy archetype.
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