“Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews “Grimm Mistresses” by Mercedes M. Yardley, Allison M. Dickson, S.R. Cambridge, C.W. LaSart & Stacey Turner. 238 pages published by Angelic Knight Press (an imprint of Ragnarok Publications)
Overall Score: 5/5
“Her hand had dropped from his face. Her fingers fluttered on the ground, useless.
Stories that have been frightening children and parents for over two-hundred years. Fables meant to keep children and possibly adults, on the straight and narrow & forever conscious of their actions and choices. Tales bastardized and sanitized for the masses by mega entertainment corporations. Angelic Knight Press (by way of Ragnarok Pubs) is looking to put the fear of Grimm back into your inner youth.
Five authors have put together a contemporary spin on classic Brothers Grimm eternal nightmares. Yarns handed down from parent to youth for generations. Five tales you’ve known all of your life, weather or not you know the true origins, given some new blood, a new bite. And the result is pretty fantastic.
*”Little Dead Red” by Mercedes M. Yardley – A mother begins to pick up the shattered pieces and instead picks up a hunger for revenge, after the loss of her daughter.
*”Nectar” by Allison M. Dickson – A couple of borderline friends get more than what they planned for during a blind double date. Their dates are sweet, a little too sweet…
*”The Leopard’s Pelt” by S.R. Cambridge – A World War 2 Naval seaman stranded on a deserted island makes a bargain with an animal spirit to save his life. The wager, seven years of selfless, charitable living against his eternal soul.
*”Hazing Cinderella” by C.W. LaSart – A spoiled princess of a daughter and her two sycophant friends find the tables turned when they partake in a little harsh bullying of the pampered rich girls new stepsister.
*”The Night Air” by Stacey Turner – A mother and artist stumbles upon an ancient curse shortly after moving with her family to a small mid-eastern town that unknowingly has roots tied to her ancestors.
What is darker than the Brothers Grimm? The Grimm Mistresses.
“It was possible that some portion of her remains might be found next spring, stumbled upon by an unlucky hunter or a frisky couple looking for a secret spot to explore one another’s secret spots. But Katie wasn’t worried.”
Let me start by saying that this is not a horror collection, not entirely. There is some definite horror influence and some jaw dropping gory scenes but overall this is a dark fantasy, dark fable kind of read. And with that being said, wow. “Grimm Mistresses” is a pretty wonderful read.
At the risk of paying a disservice to the other four authors involved in this book, let me say that I was drawn in to this by the allure of a new story by Mercedes M. Yardley, with her self-proclaimed “darkest thing she’s every written”. And damn, does “Grimm Mistresses” erupt from page one with one of the bleakest and heaviest stories I’ve ever read. “Little Dead Red” by Yardley, packs a wallop of sorrow and heartache. It will stir up and prey on your emotions. This piece covers the price of admission on it’s own.
But wait, the Mistresses are not done with you. Four more tales follow, a great introduction to authors I’ve never read before this (and would gladly read again).
The Mistresses next two offerings are decidedly lighter in tone than “Little Dead Red” but that’s ok, because you’ll need the palate cleansing. Dickson’s “Nectar” & Cambridge’s “The Leopard’s Pelt” are fun reads and refuse to stand in the shadow of “Little Dead Red”. “Nectar” has some great imagery and a fantastic idea on how males will shape the future and I really dug the message and WWII setting of “The Leopard’s Pelt”.
“Grimm Mistresses” heads back into the shadows with the final two pieces. LaSart’s “Hazing Cinderella” and Turner’s “The Night Air” close this collection nicely with a couple of tales that appeal more to me as a reader. I tend to gravitate toward stories of the more sinister and menacing nature and these two called out to my inner genre fan. “Hazing Cinderella” has some fantastically gruesome scenes while “The Night Air” pulls on the heartstrings of being a parent.
All in all, “Grimm Mistresses” does the history of the Brothers Grimm justice and provides an absorbing read from page one. Highly recommended.
“Christ is my life. Death is my prize.”
Zakk is a big dumb animal!