Title: Myths Untold: Faery
Authors: Gus Li, Brandon Witt, Skye Hegyes, J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages/Word Count: 247 Pages
At a Glance: Myths Untold: Faery gets a high recommendation for lovers of fairy tales and fantasy.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril. In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him. Welcome to Faery.
Review: From the contemporary to the tragic to the classic to a fairy tale with an Alt U/Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi flair, Myths Untold: Faery is a fantastic collection of stories for lovers of the fae and the various twists on their mythology.
Author Gus Li kicks things off with the heartfelt and magical The Pwcca and the Persian Boy, a story that hooked me from page one—not only its characters but the setting as well. Li introduces readers to two boys—Glyn and Farrokh—who are homeless and living hand to mouth on the streets of modern day Cardiff. Armed with his wits and the will to do what it takes to survive, Glyn owes some credit for survival to an inexplicable lucky streak that helps him provide food for himself and Farrokh.
But when Farrokh—whose dependence on Glyn makes him feel almost as shameful as his being gay—begins disappearing for long stretches at a time, Glyn’s fear and the need to find and rescue his friend and lover leads him into a secret world and unimaginable danger, and he learns a few things about himself in the process.
This story is an exciting and imaginative blend of contemporary and fantasy, and was a great start to this collection.
Brandon Witt’s The Other Side of the Chrysalis is a story that did its level best to rip my heart out, and forced me to rethink my definition of a happy ending.
Robbed of his birthright, Quay was once a prince who, upon his rebirth, emerges as both beauty and the beast, the ugly duckling and the swan, and from the first moment he tells us that the splendor of his wings was eclipsed by the deformity of his features, we witness his pain in a visceral way—his nameless existence, his life as the least of even the very least of those who are lowborn and lower valued. And he becomes, at once, our fallen angel who is an abomination—the one who knows how to love so well but doesn’t know what it means to be loved in return.
It is the betrayal of one who sips of poisonous words and spits out an unspeakable evil that drives this story. It’s Quay’s pain that permeates The Other Side of the Chrysalis and caused me to put my Kindle down and step away from its end. The agony of this story is exquisite, the writing a powerful message of striving to find the light in a world of darkness, of a man whose loving heart and beautiful soul shows his world its deepest shame.
This is my first time reading Brandon Witt. It won’t be the last.
Changeling by Skye Hegyes delivers the most traditional of all the fairy tales in this anthology—the story of a misfit boy who has always been different, never fitting in with the other boys in his town and drawing the wrong sort of attention from the townspeople. He finally discovers why when his mother makes a confession about her son’s origins.
When the boy, Tyler, meets a puckish faery named Marsh, he not only discovers a kindred spirit and an awakening of feelings for the brownie, but he discovers that his future happily-ever-after lies on a path into the unknown. Together Tyler and Marsh find love, fight prejudice, and find an unexpected ally among them.
I liked this story for its simplicity and its adherence to the classic fairy tale motifs. It’s a much lighter tale than the others but is sweet and enchanting in its own right.
Author J. Scott Coatsworth closes out Myths Untold in a fantastic way with Through the Veil—and gave the other stories a tightly contested run for title of my favorite in the collection.
In an alternate San Francisco of the future, a dystopia that lends the story its mythical atmosphere, Colton lives a hardscrabble life as a gondolier and occasional thief. He is a man of needs and contradictions who meets his fate on Alcatraz island in the form of Tris, a stranger from the land of Gleann Sìdh who crosses the veil to Saoleile—the human world—on a mission to find his missing brother.
I loved everything about this story, from its sci-fi elements to its characters to its monsters to its fairy tale Romanticism. The writing is fast paced and the danger and action sequences played out so well that the end of every chapter did nothing more than keep me on the hook for the next and the next, until I’d finished.
Myths Untold: Faery is a varied collection of stories, each with their own unique charms, and gets a high recommendation for lovers of fairy tales and fantasy.
You can buy Myths Untold: Faery here: