Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

I’m not normally into witch stories, but I couldn’t resist that title. This is a great collection for a lot of reasons. First of all, each story is well written and different, like very different. They share the common thread of having witches for protagonists but that is about it. Some have love interests, others don’t. Some get the guy or girl, others don’t. Some witches are cursed while others are blessed to have their powers.
Each story was engaging for different reasons and it worked to showcase that witches can be almost anything you want them to be. I say almost because the ability to wield magic seems to make it impossible to be weak. One may not choose to use power, but that doesn’t make them weak either. The witches aren’t all powerful or deadly either though. They’re also not really alone. I’d never been one to buy into the “wolf pack” thing that is relatively popular in the main stream sometimes but these witches have me convinced that a coven would be awesome.
This is a great collection for anyone into supernatural stories, especially with women or girls as protagonists. It’s not so much girl power as resilience, which I think is more important. Power is great but it tends to wax and wane as people reach for it. Resilience is part of what keeps us reach for the stars when we fall back down. It seems neither magic nor the coven dynamic would let a witch stay down when she falls or stops reaching. I have to admit that I have a much better appreciation for witches and witch stories after this. Though if you appreciate this sort of thing and poetry, I’d also recommend checking out the witch doesn’t burn in this one by amanda lovelace.
I’m not going to pick a favorite story because several stick with me for different reasons. I just loved the variety of relationships and endings and that they all had an element that was at worst bittersweet. Check it on Goodreads here!

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