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Sycorax's Daughters Kindle Edition
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My favorite story in this book was "Letty" by Regina N. Bradley, a frame story with a horrifying slave narrative, supernatural elements, and about as much truth as fiction can handle. Other standouts for me were "The Monster" by Crystal Connor and "Kim" by Nicole D. Sconiers, but there are a number of really wonderful stories here. Lots of magic, monsters, and mayhem. Highly recommended.
Her daughters—the 33 women of color who contributed these stories—have rich voices that refuse to whisper. Their words lay on the page with strong marks—bold lines that break boundaries.
Their stories are dark and Gothic. Stitched in moments of fear, the authors of Sycorax's Daughters come together to weave stories of magic, bravery and love... but these are no tender romances.
The tales in Sycorax's Daughters tap the essence of humanity. They grasp the bitter and ugly by its heels and draw it into the light. They look, unafraid, into demon eyes and smile. The power is in the tale. They catch each shadow, distill it into ink and leave the monsters imprisoned on the page.
I've looked forward to reading Sycorax's Daughters for almost a year, but once I cracked the spine and started delving into these pages I found myself slowing down to chew slowly. Sycorax's Daughters is a literary feast to be devoured and savored—a meal of words that will satisfy long after the cover has closed.
These are words that, unlike voiceless Sycorax, will not remain silent. They have rung out boldly and will continue to echo for generations.
Sycorax is the mother of Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest, but she's never seen in the play. Despite this erasure, Sycorax's presence permeates the story: the powerful witch who was banished while pregnant; through whom Caliban claims the island belongs to him; whose memory is used by Prospero to keep Ariel in line. These male characters speak for her in The Tempest, but in this anthology, Sycorax is given a voice.
But this anthology is more than interpretations of the legacy of a silenced African woman - it's deeply informed by a history of real life horrors. From the forward by Walidah Imarisha:
"for Black people and other people of color, the history of slavery, genocide, white supremacy, and colonialism is the only true horror story, and it is one we continue to live every day..."
Regina N Bradley's story 'Letty' is the best written and most chilling of the stories that visibly stem from this influence, but Sycorax's Daughters contains other poems and stories to give you the creeps. Cherene Sherrard's 'Scales' is a more satisfying examination of a little mermaid myth than Disney could provide, and Nicole D. Sconiers' 'Kim' has a robust energy that makes it a favourite. 'Summer Skin' by Zin E. Rocklyn is suitably flesh-crawling, and the unusal cadances of Kiini Ibura Salaam's 'The Malady of Need' linger. Tenea D. Johnson's 'Foundling' takes a science fiction approach and shows a less supernatural kind of horror.
As always, some stories work better than others for me, and every reader will have their own favourites. But every story is an insight, and it's given me a new list of writers to look out for.
Most recent customer reviews
"If there is any connection between the wide-ranging tales told here in prose and poetry, it is that all the authors have found the same freedom to express...Read more