Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon David Bowie egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Shop Now DOTD

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars22
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$16.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2012
"B is for Bigfoot",
(Bigfoot Trilogy, 3 published) &
(Bigfoot, 1 chronological)
Dresden Files: Short Stories, 15

An anthology of eighteen short stories revolving around a theme of witches and magic.

The Stories
Diana Peterfreund`s "Stray Magic" is so sweet! Peterfreund created a lovely story that really pulled my heartstrings with a seemingly abandoned dog who desperately wants his master back.

Frances Hardinge`s "Payment Due" is wicked good! Even short stories can suffer in this economy and Caroline does her best to ensure the bailiff understands how his attitude affects those upon whom he preys.

Garth Nix`s "A Handful of Ashes" was excellent! A nice turnaround in which evil is repaid while saving a world. Nix creates an entire world with amazing characters in such a short span of pages.

Holly Black`s "Little Gods" is about a teenager's search for belonging and the Beltane celebration she and her new friends attend. It's an eye-opening weekend for Ellery. This was okay. I know Black wanted to make a point, but it was too laid back for me.

Charles de Lint`s "Barrio Girls" is both typical and atypical de Lint. I haven't read all of de Lint yet so I may well be wrong. The typical is the kindness Abuelo requires of them to offset the bruja and gain revenge for Pepé. A sweet read by a master.

Tanith Lee`s "Felidis" is in the fairytale style, but with a twist. It's sweet.

Neil Gaiman`s Witch Work is actually a two-page poem about time, revenge, and hurt.

Ellen Klages`s "Education of a Witch" is scary! It was Lizzy's obsession for Maleficient in Sleeping
Beauty that prompts Lizzy along the path of magic. And it's her baby sister Rosemary's arrival and need for attention that encourages its use. Klages understands children very well and provides a chilling scenario of vengeance. New parents should read this and pay special attention to their children. Lizzy's feelings are reasonable; it's her child's viewpoint and all that she knows.

Ellen Kushner`s "Threefold World" is another excellent story! Set back in time in Finland when it was ruled by Sweden, Kushner uses the conflict of oppressor versus oppressed to create an ambitious character, Elias, who believes that his own Finnish background is nothing to be proud of. He sets off at the end of the school year to earn the money needed for the next year's tuition and it's a Finnish folktale come to life that changes his mind and his life.

Delia Sherman`s "Witch in the Wood" is another fairytale combining several different elements from the genre. The prince forced into stag form by day, the evil wizard, and the orphaned young witch who rescues the stag. It's cute.

Patricia A. McKillip`s "Which Witch" is not a typical McKillip, lacking her lyrical turns of phrase. I'd have thought more de Lint or Lackey with the witches who form a band, dress artistically, and the urban setting. It is an excellent read and I'd love to see it develop into a series.

Tim Pratt`s "Carved Forest" is safety in a cage. Carlos definitely takes a chance in this one when he takes action to rescue his sister and keep her memory alive. Scary with a sweet ending.

M. Rickert`s "Burning Castles" was very confusing with a very obscure ending. It's more like the author had an outline that was dashed off and somehow a lot of the details were forgotten. It doesn't encourage me to seek out other works by Rickert.

Isobelle Carmody`s "Stone Witch" was excellent! A quest of a test with thrown-in confusions in true fairytale style, albeit with a contemporary twist and a chance for a mutual rescue.

Jane Yolen`s "Andersen's Witch" provides a theory as to why Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairytales and incorporates its own fairytale elements.

Jim Butcher`s "B is for Bigfoot" is supposedly the third in the Bigfoot Trilogy, but reads more like it should have been the first. So, I'm confused. It's Harry Dresden's first meeting with River Shoulders, Irwin's dad, and his first meeting with Irwin where he helps him defuse an escalating situation at school.

Peter S. Beagle`s "Great-Grandmother in the Cellar" is another good tale incorporating fairytale elements with a short peek into a catastrophe that hits a small family and requires intercession from the dead.

Margo Lanagan`s "Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow" is another sweet tale incorporating fairytale elements with a grandmother wanting to grant a grandchild wishes. Lanagan includes the age-old "mother-in-law versus wife" conflict. It reads more like the start of a tale than one complete in itself.

The Cover
The cover has a glowy brown background with a black cauldron at the base pouring forth purple steam with authors' names and, just to ensure that we remember the theme of this collection of short stories, a witch's hat is parked right next to it.

The title reflects the theme as well--it's all Under My Hat.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
I buy most compilations for one author. As alwayse when I'm done reading I've had to buy at least 4-6 more books from authors I just found. It's so dangerous but so good. Buy this book at your own risk you may have to buy more by the time your done reading.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
Loved this charming collection of light, easy reading. As I was aware that this book had been compiled to be appropriate for Strahan's daughters...I did not expect "slap your face" stories filled with obscenities, sex, noir and violence. The stories are sweet, scary, spooky and thought provoking. A perfect treat for the end of a long tense day.
Plus...I'd read the back of a fertilizer bag if Peter Beagle wrote it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
I've undergone a transformation. For most of my life I thought of short stories as the second-class citizens of the reading world. Why read a short story anthology when you could pick a thick book that would keep you reading the same story for hours? I wanted epic stories, the longer the better.

Things have changed since those days. I don't have hours-long blocks of time to spend immersed in a book (unless I want to stay awake all night and then deal with a reading hangover at work the next day). Instead, I have a twenty-five minute bus commute, a fifteen minute lunch, one hour before bed. In those moments, a brief, vivid story is sometimes all that I can digest. And an anthology, created to collect related short stories or novellas, is the perfect solution. It is this change in thinking and change in reading habits that led me to list `read more short stories' as one of my goals for 2013. And I did just that by picking up Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan.

Under My Hat is one of the strongest anthologies I've ever read. Usually there are a couple of excellent entries, a few that register as fair, and one or two that are simply mediocre. The quality of this anthology was `good and/or great' across the board. The theme, of course, is magic. Specifically, magic that requires a hat: witchy magic. Strahan gave the authors some flexibility within that theme, but all of the stories have a connection to the central motif. Even within a strong anthology I had my favorites, and the mini-reviews for those stories follow below.

Payment Due by Frances Hardinge - When an unwelcome intruder takes the things that matter to a girl and her grandmother, something must be done - and it may be a bit... unnatural. I have never, to my knowledge, read Frances Hardinge before. I will remedy my ignorance posthaste, because this little story was not only about revenge and magic, it also managed funny, tragic, menacing, and heartwarming all in one go.

A Handful of Ashes by Garth Nix - A school bully awakens old magic that should have remained buried, and it's up to a few intrepid student witches to protect their lives and outwit the other side. It doesn't surprise me that a Garth Nix story should be one of my favorites of the collection. Nix's entry highlights the advantages of working hard, overcoming obstacles and paying attention to history - which are life skills too (not just magic).

Which Witch by Patricia A. McKillip - Bandmates may be facing a menace blind if a crow familiar can't communicate to and protect his chosen witch. Faceoff at show time. Though short, this story is packed with detail. Multiple character perspectives widen the scope, and while the threat is deadly, the focus is light and fun overall.

Great-Grandmother in the Cellar by Peter S. Beagle - When a witch curses his sister and threatens to keep her asleep forever, a young man makes the fateful decision to dig up his great-grandmother's bones. This story is gruesome, hilarious, (again) revenge-filled awesome. Just dark and unpredictable enough to make one shiver, while surprising the reader into laughs and an acknowledgement of the author's skill.

Crow and Caper, Caper and Crow by Margo Lanagan - Even across many miles, Pen knows it's time for her granddaughter's birth. The journey changes her, and her granddaughter will alter her even more. When I first read Lanagan last year I predicted that I would be coming back to her writing. Here's the proof that I was right. The tale of this woman's journey and choices is beautiful, haunting, and human.

In all, Under My Hat is a delicious anthology: it combines wonderful work by some of the best fantasists in the business, and brings those stories to the reader in one delightful package. It's early yet, but I predict that it'll be in the running for best of the year.

Recommended for: fans of fantasy and the short story form, anyone who imagines magic in the everyday (or would like to), and the uninitiated reader who would like to sample the wares of some of the greatest (living) writers of fantasy.

(review originally posted at: [...]
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
I bought this for Jim Butcher's Bigfoot story, which was great, but I found most of the stories entertaining. Worth it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
Loved this new anthology. Filled with magical tales of witches from many points of view. And, for a change, nothing really gruesome, which has become something all too common. Just really enjoyable reading from some very talented writers.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 3, 2012
I picked up this collection for the Jim Butcher Dresden Files story. This collection, however, surprised me-- I enjoyed every single story in it, even those that started off a little slow. I highly recommend that you give it a try!

The stories take a wide variety of viewpoints on the "witch" theme, from witchcraft academies to Wiccan festivals. Some are set very "real world" while others are clearly not. With some the point is never fully settled.

Thanks, Jim and Jonathan, for your parts in putting me on to a lot of good settings and writers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 9, 2014
I don't do this often, but I bought a physical and digital copy of this book. I had bought the paperback first and it made me rethink my "take no physical books (except for textbooks)" policy. I was so excited when I found it in the kindle store! Filled to the brim (get it? Brim?) with great shirt stories by great authors. This will not be a purchase you regret. I'm not quite sure about the age range though, b/c I read stuff like this starting around age ten. If it turns out being inappropriate for a kid, it won't be hard to find an adult that likes it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 28, 2013
With headliners like Peter Beagle, Jim Butcher, Charles De Lint, and Neil Gaiman among other stellar authors, this volume of witchy-poo stories promised to be terrific and it delivered but truthfully the most fun was finding the lesser known (to me at least) authors like Isobelle Carmody and Margo Lanagan and M. Rickert.

I read anthologies in search of new authors and this bewitching collection sent me on a lovely path of exploration. I enjoyed it and will be back to reread my favorites.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 30, 2015
This is definitely a YA book and easy enough to read for the 11 -13 year old. So I was a little concerned after the first story that it was a little too young for me - I am an adult. But the stories are truly wonderful. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy fiction with a magical bent. The Harry Dresden story is particularly fun to read. It's a quick read for an adult, but absorbing and entertaining.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy by Ellen Datlow (Paperback - July 5, 2011)

Dark and Stormy Knights
Dark and Stormy Knights by P. N. Elrod (Paperback - July 20, 2010)

Hex Appeal
Hex Appeal by P. N. Elrod (Paperback - June 5, 2012)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.