Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Beltane Ten Tales of Witchcraft" Book Review

The book Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft is a short story anthology edited by Rayne Hall.  Since I have read and reviewed other Rayne Hall collections I knew I would not be let down.

Beltane gives us then different stories by ten different authors.  The stories in this collection include:  "An Accidental Witch" by Liv Rancourt,  "Alba" by Karen Heard,  "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" by Jonathan Broughton,  "The Cat Maiden" by Mertianna Georgia,  "The May Lady Vanishes" by Pamela Turner,  "The Hanging Witch of Painter Mountain" by Lawrence Baker,  "Thirteen Steps" by Debbie Christiana,  "Four Bony Hands" by Rayne Hall
"Mishmash Magick" by Carole Ann Moleti, and "Love Magick" by Debra Dunbar

The Ten Tales of Witchcraft in this collection vary from peaceful practitioners of Wicca, to the less savory evil witch, without ever quite going as far as the green be-warted "I'll get you my pretty" witch stereotype.  Although the title of the book is Beltane, and a couple of the stories do take place during the holiday, it is not a running theme through all ten tales.

My favorite tale of the ten was "Love Magick", which many other amazon reviewers are echoing.  Bravo to Debra Dunbar who brings us Blossom, who only wants what every teenaged girl wants.  She wants to have friends and not be the outsider, not be the WEIRD girl.  She wants it so bad she would even do magick in order to tempt the boy she loves most to date another girl.  The climax is very teen drama movie-ish.  Think "She's all that" or "Mean Girls."

"The Cat Maiden" runs a close second.  It teaches a good moral on not being a bully, and that true love will come to everyone in the end.

And coming across "Four Bony Hands" was a pleasant surprise.  I had read that one once before in another Rayne Hall collection, Thirty Scary Tales  which also has an extra tale or two of witches if you want more.

At the end of this e-book you are given a special treat too.  Many of the authors who penned tales for this anthology have their work in other anthologies, or have novels of their own.  At the end of this book you get to read samples from many of their other works.  Desert at the end of a literary meal.


A copy of this review is also being shared on


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