Saints and Curses by Alexis Lantgen

Published by Lunarian Press

Synopsis:

A Collection of Fantasy Short Stories. The short stories in Saints + Curses explore fantasy and magic from a wide variety of perspectives and settings. The stories range in tone from lighthearted modern fantasy in stories like Elven Carols, to the dark and ominous stories like Erlkonig, and in time from the late antiquity to the modern day. Explore worlds of light and dark, where magical whimsy and grim tidings alike are painted across the tapestry of human experience. Indulge in tales of the fantastical where enchantments are bought and sold at the local corner store, your morning latte gives you special abilities, and you might just adopt a murderous, vampiric cat. Your child might be stolen away in the night and replaced with an ancient, evil creature of the fae, waves of plague-ridden vermin consume everything, and only a saint could hope to turn the tide. Magic, like all forms of power and like human nature, has two sides, light and dark. Whether we find (or become) a saint or a curse depends on our circumstances. And, of course, our choices. These stories and more await you, if you dare to turn the page…



This is a beautiful collection of paranormal horror short stories with an emphasis on complex and well written characters.

There’s a variety in the length of the stories, with a few very short stories of a paragraph in length at the end, which showcase the author’s talent as a writer.

 The opening story is about a young woman who has been turned into a bird by her abusive ex-boyfriend, she learns that she can transform back to her original form with the right motivation but it takes her a while to find herself again after her traumatic relationship. This story spoke volumes for me and may be my favourite of the collection.

Though not all the stories follow this theme, my favourites included the story of the woman whose abusive husband is victimised by a stray cat who follows her home one night and the story of a witch who helps women by braiding protective spells into their hair. I found these stories extra satisfying and beautiful to read.

The constant throughout the stories in this collection is interesting female characters, which isn’t something I realised was missing in my life until this book. The author manages to pack a lot of humanity and character study into such short stories, while leaving you entirely satisfied.

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