Saffron and Brimstone by Elizabeth Hand
Description from Goodreads
Widely praised and widely read, Elizabeth Hand is regarded as one of America’s leading literary fantasists. This new collection (an expansion of the limited-release “Bibliomancy, ” which won the World Fantasy Award in 2005) showcases a wildly inventive author at the height of her powers. Included in this collection are “The Least Trumps,” in which a lonely women reaches out to the world through symbols, tattooing, and the Tarot, and “Pavane for a Prince of the Air,” where neo-pagan rituals bring a recently departed soul to something very different than eternal rest.
Written in the author’s characteristic poetic prose and rich with the details of traumatic lives that are luminously transformed, “Saffron and Brimstone” is a worthy addition to an outstanding career.
* Elizabeth Hand’s work has been selected as a “Washington Post” Notable Book and a “New York Times” Notable Book, and she has been awarded a Nebula Award and two World Fantasy Awards.
I gave this book four stars out of five
I very much enjoyed this book. I liked the format a lot. It consisted of eight separate short stories, of varying lengths. It provided great variety, with each story being different from the others and covering an assortment of genres from supernatural to dystopian themes.
I thought that each of the stories were very well written, and the breadth of topics dealt with was impressive.
My favourite story was Cleopatra Brimstone, which was one of the longer stories. I found this to be remarkably clever and inventive story with a lot of surprises.
The stories all contained interesting and real characters, despite the limited length. It was easy to connect with and invest in the characters portrayed. I think that this is important in a short story, since the relationship that we have with the characters in a story is so very important, but is often one of those things neglected in short stories.
The plot and storyline of all of the stories were very creative and all of them were highly character based.
I think that this book provides a very good example of how to write captivating short stories. The stories all felt finished and fully formed. Even though I often wanted more, I was not left feeling that any of the stories were incomplete.
I would recommend this book to any fan of the short story, and of Elizabeth Hand’s work. This was a fascinating collection of stories that I enjoyed greatly.
This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.