Starting a book with such a title one would expect slightly gothic, Grimm-esque stories of fairies and elves making mischief and sneaking about the woods. While this is what you get from Dame Darcy’s tales, there is also a lot more to them.
Beginning with the tale of Persimmion you are at once dragged into the slightly mind-boggling world of genetics engineers come witches who moonlight as alchemists. The stories are thrilling and heart stopping in all the right places. They are the perfect fairy tales for adults.
Darcy’s line drawings are a perfect addition to the tales. They jump out from the page and enhance the tales without taking over. Each time I was confronted with one I found myself admiring their simplicity and artistry. Not many people can convincingly depict a Goattick (yes, exactly what you think it is) yet the drawings are enough to make you wince in disgust.
The stories are a wonderful mix of both tragic and heart warming, and all have a moral, some more obvious that others. I found them the perfect length for bus rides, though some I thought could have been slightly longer and still as enjoyable.
In all they were a charming collection which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys bite sizes, slightly scary literature. Perfect for a bus ride home or scary halloween read, these tales are great for the older readers.