Magic, Mischief & Mayhem: A collection of magical works Paperback – May 12, 2014
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Like Kelly Link's wonderful YA anthology "Pretty Monsters," Arly's collection for young adults is anchored by a beautifully immersive narrative about wolves, prejudice, and the power of story.
The wolf story "Lightfoot" is definitely the standout here, but Arly's "Common Magic" also attracted my attention. Accustomed to using perfect crystals to direct his magic, the apprentice mage in "Common Magic" encounters a lowly hedge witch and is forced to question his elite university ideology. The class issues in this story are handled particularly well.
"Dragon tale" is the most humorous of the tales, allowing for some entertaining role reversals, and both "A Gift of Sky" and "Dream Walker" show teens growing into their powers (and their identities).
I mentioned mermaids, and "The Jezic Box" has them. I found myself thinking about this story for a long time after reading it. I've never encountered a mermaid like Caleo before, and I loved the way she and her human friend must work together to reverse-engineer a dangerous spell. The magic is intriguing and vividly conveyed. But I also found myself wishing that this particular story had been longer--it felt almost as if it were meant to be a longer work, one I'd very much like to read.
The only negative I found was that each of these stories ended, and there are a limited number of them. Not to say that I didn't get my money's worth. There is a lot here for the price. But I would love to see more from this author.
I would say 'In the Shadow of Altai' was my favorite. It's a story about Sarangerel and Galchinua, love, talents and gifts. I especially liked how the characters cared for each other and learned from each other. Galchinua makes a decision based what he intuited about a change in Sarangerel, who did not try to persuade him with talk or discussion. It was an awesome adventure to imagine the ribbon of starlight painted within this story.
In summary, the stories unfold with Magic, Mischief and Mayhem - a fantastic, magical read!