Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron” as Want to Read:
Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron

(Innkeeper's World #1.5)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,571 ratings  ·  270 reviews
A stellar cast of acclaimed fantasy writers weave spellbinding tales that bring the world of witches to life. Boasting over 70 awards between them, including a Newbery Medal, five Hugo Awards and a Carnegie Medal, authors including Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix and Holly Black delve into the realms of magic to explore all things witchy... From familiars that talk, to covens that ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 4th 2012 by Hot Key Books (first published August 28th 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Under My Hat, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Under My Hat

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,571 ratings  ·  270 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of PNR Fantasy Short Stories; Witches; YA/NA Fantasy Fiction
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"3.5 stars" Overall
Stray Magic by Diana Peterfreund - Stray Magic is a really cute story about a stray dog that is brought into an animal shelter. Mary Louise aka Malou, the girl who works there, was told by her friend that it is a Golden Retriever, but what she sees is a ragged, ancient-looking dog, who can mysteriously communicate with her psychically. The dog tells Malou that she's lost her master, and must find him within three days or she will die, because he has
So, one of these stories begins "Liesl, that grinch, stole my G string."


It turned out to be about musicians. It would have been much more original, if less appropriate for the audience, if it had been about magical strippers.
Althea Ann
*** “Stray Magic”, Diana Peterfreund
A sentimental and cute story with a message - about a kindly animal shelter worker, and the magical dog that comes into her care.

*** “Payment Due”, Frances Hardinge
After an uncaring agent repossesses her grandmother's belongings, a young witch decides to take revenge into her own hands. A sense of street justice and a vein of real creepiness runs through this.

*** “A Handful of Ashes”, Garth Nix
A tale of a plot to overthrow the administration of a witches' col
I received a free copy of this when I went to the DWJ convention, and liked it enough that I'm hoping I'll be able to cart it home with me, despite limited luggage allowances. Just the sort of short stories I enjoy, and very readable indeed. Well recommended.

(view spoiler)
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I discovered this book via the Forever Young Adult blog, and it sounded too good to pass up. Of course, in order to get it in time to read before Halloween, I had to bite the bullet and actually buy the digital version (which is rare for me).

I'm really glad I took the gamble. These short stories are woven together nicely. They are all very different kinds of tales coming from a variety of authors, but each had the central theme of witches in them, so I was able to go from one story to the next w
In general these stories were interesting, but the quality definitely varies. The editor said that he put this anthology together for his daughters, but I honestly don't think that all the contributions were suitable for young readers, whether female or male. The first tale by Diana Peterfreund, in which a lost and increasingly frantic familiar tracks down her owner was very engaging, and reflects the author's real-life concern for animals. And Jim Butcher's offering from the Dresden Files serie ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Standout stories: Tanith Lee's Felidis, Charles de Lint's Barrio Girls, Ellen Kushner's Threefold World, and most surprisingly for me, Jim Butcher's B is for Bigfoot.

Honourable mention: Garth Nix's A Handful of Ashes, for turning me around even when I saw it was set in a made-up world and groaned.

Worst story: Holly Black's Little Gods. I got about three pages into her book White Cat and had the exact same reaction there as I did here - this is a story for American teenagers and no-one else.

Not i
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
Really excellent collection of stories with witches at their center. Once again, the Jim Butcher contribution was worth the price of the book. The rest of the stories were pretty awesome too. There were several with characters that I'd read whole books about. This is marketed for YAs, but it's very adult friendly. ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bigfoot hiring a professional wizard!! Well that in interesting and the book is quite good and funny too. If you like Harry but dont want to get into the mess he is getting in considering regular Dresden Files books, this is a light read. You would enjoy.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inventive, captivating, interesting..every story has it's own magic (pun intended :) ). Really glad I stumbled upon this book. Some stories I still think about. ...more
Liz* Fashionably Late
“B Is for Bigfoot” - Jim Butcher
Harry Lawrence
A nice short story in the Dresden Files universe, though much more child-friendly than usual.
I've been loving this kind of anthology since first I found Wizards, I mean when diversity of good fantasy books are scarce here, anthologies were a good source petite four to taste of a new writers (well, not neccesary new, but new to me). I found Garth Nix this way before, now such a big fans. In this book, I found Tim Pratt and Isobelle Carmody. Both wrote my fav stories in this.

The Carved Forrest by Pratt tell a story about keeping the love ones save, even if that mean to confined them in ca
Under My Hat is a collection of short stories focused around witches. The stories are pretty varied and cover historical to contemporary and traditional to urban fantasy. The protagonists covered a variety of ages but I felt there was a distinct lack of PoC, and I don't think I spotted a single queer character in any of the stories.

I was a little surprised that the stories I had expected to enjoy the most (the most well-known authors or authors I had previously read) weren't the ones which parti
Dr Rashmit Mishra
only read the B , Is For Big Foot Storyline , which is also a part of the Dresden Files series .

Honestly I am not a fan of short stories , in that I generally don't like reading short stories , because the pay off doesn't feel very satisfying in the end .

This one was no different either , featuring Harry taking a case for a Bigfoot and dealt with something I personally have had also dealt with - Bullying . It was a very nice story , however the cause for dissapointment came in the form of t
Witches are probably my favorite fantasy trope. I adored Harry Potter, devoured most of Diana W. Jones's opus, and gave chance to books with magic in it (some were great, others... not so much).

This was an enjoyable ride. Some of the stories were more engaging ( Education of a Witch by Ellen Klages, for example) than the others (I can't seem to find anything by Butcher interesting).

All in all, I eant something properly witchy to read now. Suggestions?
Kathy Davie
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, fantasy
An anthology of eighteen short stories revolving around a theme of witches and magic.

"B is for Bigfoot", (Bigfoot Trilogy, 3 published); (Bigfoot, 1 chronological), & Dresden Files: Short Stories, 15
"Great-Grandmother in the Cellar" (Innkeeper's World, 1.5)

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 wi
Joshua Freeman
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Great collection of short stories. Some a little difficult to grasp, possibly due to being short works based on larger series, but overall some very fun, memorable tales.
Kelly Commaille (Velvet Library)
Some of my favourite authors writing about witches seemed like a recipe for perfection, but too many of the stories in the collection left me feeling decidedly meh.
Stacey (prettybooks)
I used to be one of those people who avoided short stories. And 'proper fantasy', for that matter. So why, you may ask, did I pick up this collection? Well, Halloween is one of my favourite holidays and I feel like we just don't celebrate it properly here. Sure, you'll find a lot of Halloween-related goodies in shops, but I'm not quite sure what people actually do with them once they buy them. I've never been trick-or-treating (it's probably a bit late now, eh?), not that we're accustomed to tha ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchy
Giving this a four.... some of these stories were good some were a a load of meh!
Its rare that I find such a strong collection of stories, but I breezed through this one in a day. The selections were well made mixing in stories set in the modern age to more fantastical times.
Since this is an anthology, I left reviews on what was the most memorable to me but I had many points in the stories I wanted to reference so I left it all under the spoiler tag.

(view spoiler)
Riju Ganguly
May 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
When an anthology takes almost a month to finish, and that too with eventually a “let’s just get over it” feeling, you can be assured that reading it didn’t exactly fill me with the fuzzy warmth that one associates with a pleasing read.

This collection, dealing with mostly witches, and one wizard, was uneven and generally drab, but let me go about it in a methodical (nut-picking?) manner: -

(*) Introduction (by Jonathan Strahan): Looking Under the Hat
1. “Stray Magic” by Diana Peterfreund: Overlong
Amy Lignor
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

For anyone who is a lover of the world of witchcraft, and admires those little darlings who wear the black, pointed hats and have that feline as their familiar - these are the tales for you! A ton of beloved novelists from the fantasy realm have come together, each offering their own story about the witch-‘y’ women we have come to love.

As we all know, just like the dove is the symbol for peace and the red, white and blue is all about America, the witch has her own symbols. But what is most inter
Kendra Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I'm cheating a bit here. I didn't read the whole book. I only got my hands on this book for the Jim Butcher short story, B is for Bigfoot. So my review was solely based on JB's story and it alone.

Interestingly, I had previously read a short story about Bigfoot and his son Irwin in another anthology (the name escapes me at the moment). So I wasn't entirely unfamiliar with Bigfoot. What I found surprising was that this story was about the first time that Dresden met Bigfoot!! So did I read t
A good collection, full of variety regarding how the authors twisted the theme Witches, one of the best twisted stories was Tanith Lee's "Felidis" and Jim Butcher's Harry Dresten story "B is for Bigfoot" but both Isobelle Carmody's "The stone witch" and Peter S. Beagle's "Great-grandmother in the celler" must be named too.

Jane Yolen took a H. C. Andersen tale and changed it which I liked.
Then there are of course one author who like Tanith Lee never disappoints me are Gareth Nix which in a "A han
May 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Introduction - Jonathan Strahan 3/5
Stray Magic - Diana Peterfreund 5/5
Payment Due - Frances Hardinge 3/5
A Handful of Ashes - Garth Nix 3.5/5
Little Gods - Holly Black 4/5
Barrio Girls - Charles de Lint 2.5/5
Felidis - Tanith Lee 3.5/5
Witch Work - Neil Gaiman 4/5
The Education of a Witch - Ellen Klages 4/5
The Threefold World - Ellen Kushner 4.5/5
The Witch in the Wood - Delia Sherman 5/5
Which Witch - Patricia A McKillip 1/5
The Carved Forest - Tim Pratt 3/5
Burning Castles - M Rickert 2/5
The Stone Witch
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guest-reviews

Under My Hat is a collection of short stories all featuring WITCHES!!!! Most are set in the present day making them very realistic!!!! Each story is unique, picking out different themes revolving around witches and even delving into the history of witches.

There are so many great stories in this one collection, although my personal favourite was A Handful of Ashes.

A highly recommended witch themed read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Vignette (The Dresden Files, #5.5)
  • Blood Lite III: Aftertaste (Blood Lite, #3)
  • Restoration of Faith (The Dresden Files, #0.1)
  • My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
  • Many Bloody Returns
  • Strange Brew
  • My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
  • Blood Lite (Hellchaser, #0.5)
  • Naked City
  • Backup (The Dresden Files, #10.4)
  • Mean Streets
  • Love Hurts (The Dresden Files, #11.5)
  • Christmas Eve
  • Hex Appeal
  • Shadowed Souls
  • Mike (The Dresden Files #9.5)
  • Working for Bigfoot (The Dresden Files, #15.5)
  • Dark and Stormy Knights
See similar books…

Other books in the series

Innkeeper's World (2 books)
  • The Innkeeper's Song
  • Giant Bones

Related Articles

  Melissa Albert burst onto the YA scene (and catapulted into readers' hearts) with her 2018 debut The Hazel Wood. This darkly fantastical...
36 likes · 0 comments
“Here's the thing. I hate kids. Always have.
I mean, I know the job of the race, biologically speaking, is to achieve immortality through reproduction, but the idea of getting impregnated and blowing up like a balloon as I serve as a carrier and service unit for this other person who will eventually burst out of me in the most terrifying way imaginable, then carry on using me one way or another for the rest of my life, is right up there with throwing myself off the top of a twenty-story building. If I have a biological clock, it is digital and does not tick.”
“Whenever you've got a choice, do good, kiddo. It isn't always fun or easy, but in the long run it makes your life better.” 18 likes
More quotes…