The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People, by Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling

ecath's review

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Includes my short story, "Island Lake."

kikiandarrowsfishshelf's review

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Full Review at Booklikes

Not all the stories in this collection are stand-outs, and not all, thankfully, have to do with brides. Datlow and Windling, however, should get a huge round of applause and much credit for bringing back the female beast and male looker instead of just staying to the whole typical Beauty and the Beast format.

Stand out stories include:

“Puma’s Daughter” by Tanith Lee.

lizshayne's review

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I have a sticky relationship with short story anthologies, because I find them difficult to review. There were the stories I loved and the authors I loved and the ones I just reacted to with an "ehh".
Part of the reason is because, sooner or later, I get bored with the variations on a theme style of storytelling inherent in themed anthologies, and just want to read something that isn't another perspective, but is actually new.

That being said, I've also learned that if I stick to anthologies about things I'm really interested in (like magical animals in fairy tales, for example), I do a much better job of getting through them.

It didn't hurt that I found almost all the stories in here to be really good. They were powerful and compelling retellings or creations that I felt got towards many of the ideas behind the beast in fairy tales. And they were good! They were characters you could identify with even in five pages and the people were people, not archetypes despite being in short fairy tale stories.

And, of course, the best of all this is that I now have some new writers to get into.