13414149Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells is historical fantasy set in a version of the nineteenth century where magic and supernatural forces have no bounds. This book is a collection of the intriguing genre of steampunk and will please anyone who loves Victorian fiction as well as anybody who wishes to explore the magic that can be found in a world without modern technology. The ways these modern authors bring together the nineteenth century and meld it with the magic of the unknowns of fantasy is amazing and intriguing. This collection includes eighteen different stories with each author presenting their own unique views and talents and making this a must have for any lover of the genre.

When I first began reading, I thought this book might be mostly witches and wizards or even possibly the Victorian Era mixed with the world of faeries, but not quite. Each author brings their own talents and preferences and gives each story its own unique flavor. We have a mix of upper and lower classes, a mix of supernatural beings, witchcraft, and general magic. We even get a sense of the magic that was simply the times changing and new technologies being invented and introduced. I was wholly engrossed with each story and wished the book would never end.

I have always loved Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow’s various collections of short stories, and Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells did not disappoint. Having read The Green Man, The Coyote Road, and The Faery Reel, I was looking forward to this new collection and was more than satisfied. Both immensely talented authors, they are a force to be reckoned with when they join forces. Windling writes a fantastic introduction for the reader to understand the general idea and history behind the genre and I love that each author also gives a brief history behind why they chose the subject. I think I love every single thing about this book. Windling and Datlow have such an amazing network of authors to work with and I am ecstatic to have added this new collection to my bookshelves.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tor Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.