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Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron edited by Jonathan Strahan

Jonathan Strahan's Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron Anthology Cover

My Rating: 3-1/2 of 5 Stars

Anyone who’s visited this blog more than a few times probably knows that I’m very fond of good anthologies.  A well-written short story (which is rarer than you might think) is a treat to me, especially when I can enjoy one between reading bigger books.   In fact,  I enjoy collections of short stories enough to have devoted an entire bookshelf to various anthologies over the years.  The stories in this collection are all related to witches of one sort or another, as you might guess from the title and the cover.  As anthologies go, it’s not a bad collection.  Not the best I’ve ever read, but definitely not bad.  

I’m sure none of you who stop by often will be surprised to know my favorite story of the collection was by Jim Butcher.  Not only am I a big Harry Dresden fan, but I have really enjoyed  his Bigfoot series of short stories that have appeared in a couple of other anthologies.  I like this character and his scion son (half human, half Bigfoot) so much that I’m hoping to see them pop up in one of the next Dresden Files books.  “B Is For Bigfoot” made me smile, which is always a cause for high marks in my book.  (Not to be confused with putting actual marks in my books, you understand, high or otherwise.  But now I’m just being silly again.)

I also really enjoyed Patricia A. McKillip’s “Which Witch,” a fun, urban fantasy type tale about a young witch, just learning how to communicate with her crow familiar, Cawley.  And “The Stone Witch,” by Isobelle Carmody had an interesting take on how one might suddenly become a witch and acquire a most unusual familiar in the process.  I liked Carmody’s writing style a lot.

None of the stories were poorly done, though some caught my fancy more than others.  This is a pretty solid entry into Urban Fantasy anthologies, and if you have an interest in witches new and old, and sometimes a bit off the wall, you would probably enjoy reading Under My Hat.

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron

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6 thoughts on “Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron edited by Jonathan Strahan

  1. Looks interesting.


  2. I enjoyed some of the stories quite a bit, Felix. You want me to bring it along next time I visit? (SOMEDAY, I promise to get over your way again. Sure hasn’t happened this summer, though. *disappointed sniff, here*)


  3. It has a Patricia a. Mckillip story???? 😀
    My radar has just been activated. Definitely a book to investigate….


    • Yes, and it was one I really enjoyed, in a light-hearted, off-beat way. I’ve never read her, though I’ve seen her name mentioned by reviewers here and there. I’m planning to check out her books very soon. Do you recommend anything in particular as a starting place?


  4. I really enjoy Patricia A. Mckillip’s writing. My favorite book of the author’s is probably “Winter Rose” which has, for me, a kind of dark fairy tale. setting.
    I also enjoyed “Ombria in Shadow” and “Solstice wood”. This last one is kind of a contemporary follow up to “winter rose”.


    • Thanks for the titles, Susana. I’m adding them to my To Read list right now. Oh, how am I EVER going to finish all the books I long to read? And some of the ones I’ve read years ago, and want to RE-read? And then all the classics that I’ve been planning to get around to? ACK!!! So man books, so little time! The dilemma of all avid readers. And don’t even factor in finding time to write my OWN! Urk.


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