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Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  3,904 ratings  ·  1,098 reviews
A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey.
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Harlequin Teen
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Kate I received an ARC of this collection from NetGalley at the end of February-- I didn't read the Tristina Wright story, knowing that it wouldn't be incl…moreI received an ARC of this collection from NetGalley at the end of February-- I didn't read the Tristina Wright story, knowing that it wouldn't be included in the final collection. My review will not include Wright's story, so that future readers can read a review that is most representative of the final product. Hope that helps!(less)

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ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

Friends, when I first heard about this anthology staring witches, I almost sold my soul for it. Instead I sent a begging request to Harlequin, but I would have tried any amount of magic to get my hands on this. And with good reason, because this was nothing short of amazing.

I know this doesn’t come out until late August, a day after my birthday to be exact, but something about this ARC just compelled me to read it this early. And I
Elle (ellexamines)
On all levels except physical, I am a lady witch attempting to find genuine love and human connection in a world desperately attempting to tear that apart

This anthology was actually one of the most across-the-board good I’ve ever read. Of these fifteen stories, not a single one got lower than three, and only two got that rating; nine received a four. This means I found four new favorite stories, not as many, as I’d hoped for a collection with so many authors I love. But with all these ratings, I
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
She didn’t understand she’d done it. We all had, and we were only getting started. She didn’t realize that all her roaring, living, breathing anger could create so much light.

Nothing about this collection disappointed me in the slightest; in fact, I can confidently say that this is the SINGLE best anthology I have ever read in my life. I have never loved a collection of short stories so much, and I cannot begin to describe how much the witches in these stories meant to me. I’ve rambled enou
Amalia Gkavea
‘’Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.’’

If we substitute the word ‘’witch’’ with the word ‘’woman’’, we will be able to understand the reasons and motives behind the terrible witch-hunts that left another bloody mark in History. The complexity of women’s psyche, the direct, unbreakable contact, and bonding with Nature, the innate strength to survive, the resilience, the passion, the intelligence. Witches or not, men have always gazed upon women as a possession. If she cannot be ‘’ob
Nov 19, 2017 marked it as to-read
hi in case you didn't know, this has gay witches and it's confirmed by Tess Sharpe. have a nice life waiting for this to come out, you're welcome. ...more
may ➹
Toil and Trouble was a pleasant surprise for me with its enchanting tales of witches, magic, and female empowerment, all written gorgeously. So many of these stories hit me hard, and they were all are so powerful and showed just exactly how magical witches—women—are.

My calculated average rating for the anthology is 3.31 stars, which was much lower than I thought it would be, but I’m giving it an overall rating of 4 stars because my enjoyment level of the anthology as a whole was pretty high, and
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was okay, but Emery Lord’s story was the only real stand out for me. Definitely not my favorite YA anthology.


STARSONG by Tehlor Kay Mejia: 3/5 stars
AFTERBIRTH by Andrea Cremer: 3/5 stars
THE HEART IN HER HANDS by Tess Sharpe: 3/5 stars
DEATH IN THE SAWTOOTHS by Lindsay Smith: 4/5 stars
THE TRUTH ABOUT QUEENIE by Brandy Colbert: 3/5 stars
THE MOONAPPLE MENAGERIE by Shveta Thakrar: 3/5 stars
THE LEGEND OF STONE MARY by Robin Talley: 3/5 stars
THE ONE WHO STAYED by Nova Ren Suns: 3/5 stars
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mathematical average rating (of 13 out of 15 stories): 3.76/5 stars, two not-rated DNFs/didn't read.

I read this anthology back in summer and I finally sat down to edit the notes I made on my phone after each story. I have to say this was one of my most anticipated releases of this year and while I can’t really say that I’m disappointed, I also wish I’d enjoyed more stories. I didn’t downright hate any, but a lot of them were just average for me.

With that said, I did have some favorites:

Why T
Julie Zantopoulos
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
** ARC provided to me by Harlequin Teen for an honest review. **

I'm going to share my thoughts on each story as I read so please excuse the massive amounts of updates and times this shows on your feed. This book doesn't come out until late August but I've been in such a witchy mood that I had to read it ASAP. Right off the bat, guys, these stories are all so diverse and there's a bunch that are own voices. (yay!) Here are my thoughts.

1. Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia - 4 stars
This is a great sto
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
I’d like to start by saying the diversity in this anthology was great. I appreciated the amount of representation but, unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to make the content of the stories great for me. I was not impressed with this anthology at all and I disliked most of the stories. I think the mythology of witches is hard to cover in a short story and where these stories started and ended felt awkward to me.

1. STARSONG by Tehlor Kay Mejia — ✮
In my opinion, this was a weak story to start the ant
Sonja ✧・゚。★・゚☾
Nov 19, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sapphic, queer
gay witches?? fuck yes.

RTC in a few hours!!

Edit: Ignore that I'm an idiot thinking I can do a comprehensive review on 15 stories right now so I will say RTC soon!!
Helen Power
The title says it all.  This is a collection of 15 short stories about magic and witchcraft, but it’s a lot more than that.  Each of the stories uses fantasy elements as a metaphor for real life experiences and social issues.  I was attracted to this anthology because it was touted as being a diverse anthology, and it does not disappoint.

There are some recurring themes that are worth mentioning, but I’ll avoid any spoilers in this discussion.  This book definitely has literary merit.  Some of th
Nov 19, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbtqia-plus, f-f

oh m ygod, i can die happy now
Amy Risner
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-arcs, 2018-books
ARC provided by Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review

First of all, let me just say how much I appreciated this collection of short stories. The authors are so diverse and I absolutely loved the amalgamation of cultures represented here. There is so much rep for LGBTQIAP+, POC, religions, social classes — just, everything! And while I tended to enjoy the spookier stories, I came to realize that this anthology isn’t just about scary-witchy-things, rather it’s about highlighting powerful
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of the best anthologies I have ever read. The editors are to be commended because each story "stood on its own two feet." I just adored that all of our witch characters were diverse women, coming from very different cultures, different periods of time, women who were good friends, daughters, lovers, women exploring their sexuality and or sexual identity. Future readers, prepare yourself for 15 witchy tales. As is my custom, I will be breaking each tale down with their own star ra ...more
Faith Simon
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is probably without a doubt my most favourite anthology that I've ever read to date. It conjured up so many emotions during my reading experience, grief, happiness, inspiration. These stories made me feel things, which is certainly always a plus when rating a novel. Also, this book was pretty gay, which I always appreciate. I'm not even joking, the majority of this book, gay. Not to mention witches are amazing,
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Between the theme of this anthology and the authors who wrote stories, I was all in.

I really enjoyed this collection. All of the stories were so varied and the voices were fantastically diverse and different. I especially loved the stories from Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotswood, and Anna-Marie McLemore.

**Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing the arc free of charge**
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love spooky stories about witches, but they can get a bit trope-y at times. Variations on the same theme. Black cats. Warts. Spells. Incantations. It gets a bit repetitive. Toil & Trouble is a story anthology about witches that gives a new spin to the classic tales. These stories are diverse, creative, and entertaining, with a dash of spooky witchiness.

From love spells that go wrong to witch hunts, these 15 stories celebrate all things Witch....with a empowering, feminist overtone.

Each story
D Dyer
4.5 stars
I absolutely loved this collection which introduced me to quite a few new authors, featured some darker subject matter, most dealt with in a fashion that was delicate enough not to be too bracing, and also offered lots of awesome queer characters and some lighter, fluffier fair. The collection starts off light and fluffy and ends on a somewhat dystopian, though not hopeless, note. The beginning and ending stories and some of the collections more historically set pieces proved to be some
Danika at The Lesbrary
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is exactly what I wanted from it! So many different takes on witches and witchcraft. Lots of queer witches! (No trans main characters, but there is at least one trans side character and one minor character.) A diverse collection, and I enjoyed every story. A perfect October read for fans of feminism and witches (whether you're looking for fairytale-ish witches or modern witches). ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think of witches, and understand that there are too many people in this world who would rather see a woman burn than wield power.

4.5 stars.

Toil and Trouble is a collection of stories about witches—tales of girls with powerful secrets, who are always on the fringes of society, whose lives are full of mystery and danger and beauty. And I am not exaggerating even a little bit when I say it’s one of the best anthologies I have ever read in my life.

There are so many different kinds of stories t
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Yes, I’m starting another anthology because I have no chill... and my boss handed it to me and I couldn’t refuse.

Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia
4 stars
A magical story of a bruja recovering from addiction and meeting someone online. Super cute, super well written, and I wish there was more!

Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer
5 stars
I really liked the format of this one; first person POV interspersed with dialogue from a trial. I thought this was super interesting and eerie and totally cool. I really liked i
Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit
This anthology is filled with stories and a cast of characters that carry so much weight and so much power. In average, my ratings ended up a whopping 4.4 but I am not entirely sorry to give this whole book a 5 star rating. It was brilliant! The top four stories that I stan completely are Death in the Sawtooths, The One Who Stayed, The Gherin Girls, and Why They Watch Us Burn.

Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia: 4.5 🌟
The starsong is louder now, swelling in a way that says something's coming. Someth
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Starsong - 4 stars

A thoughtful story with beautiful writing, which felt like it could be the first chapter of a full length novel.

Afterbirth - 4 stars

People will see what they want to see.

The Heart in Our Hands - 4.25 stars

I loved the power in this one.

Death in the Sawtooths - 3.5 stars

This one was okay, but I found it a bit boring.

The Truth About Queenie - 2.75 stars

The messages in this one were important, but the witchy aspect wasn't done well.

The Moonapple Menageri
andrea caro
Yep, I loved this. RTC.
Tyler J Gray
1- Starsong by Tehlor Kay Meja- 5 stars
2- Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer- 5 stars
3- The Heart in Her hands by Tess Sharpe- 5 stars
4- Death in the Sawtooths by Lindsay Smith- 5 stars
5- The Truth About Queenie by Brandy Culbert- 1.5 stars
6- The Moonapple Menageries by Shveta Thakrav- 2 stars
7- The Legend of Stone Mary by Robin Talley- 1.75 stars
8- The One Who Stayed by Nova Ren Suma- 4.25 stars
9- Divine Are the Stars by Zoraida Cordova- 3 stars
10- Daughters of Baba yaga by Brenna Yovanoff- 3.5 stars
N.N. Light
There’s been a lot of misconception when it comes to witches. I strongly believe anything that empowers young women to explore their powers and then use these powers to create change is viewed as a threat and therefore must be stopped. I feel just the opposite and I applaud women who are blessed with wicca power.

Toil and Trouble is a collection of fifteen stories exploring the mythology of witchcraft, the spectrum of good, bad and a little bit of both magic and how there’s a little bit of witch
Robin Bonne
I was excited starting this witchy anthology. Like with all collections, some of the stories were stronger than others. Four of them particularly stood out to me as being phenomenal: The Heart in her Hands by Tess Sharpe, The Legend of Stone Mary by Robin Talley, The One Who Stayed by Nova Ren Suma, and Why They Watch Us Burn by Elizabeth May. These stories are worth picking up a copy of this book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook!
Overall i enjoyed this collection. My favorite stories are: Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer, The Legend of Stone Mary by Robin Talley, The One Who Stayed by Nova Ren Suma.
all the stories were at least a 3 Star. i didn't hate any of them and i would more by any of these authors any day.
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I do not read my goodreads mail, but if you'd like to contact me the best way to reach me is tess(at)

Born in a mountain cabin to a punk rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs and a growing cabal of slightly feral cats.

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“She’d tell her daughters someday: ‘If you don’t feel safe enough to yell back, you’re not safe enough. My babies, that is not love.” 16 likes
“Every woman is never enough; she's always too much. We angered someone, somewhere, for our too muchness.
If to be too much is to be a witch, then I am a witch, and we are all witches. I told this to the other girls, and I heard them all whisper back yes, because to be a witch means our too muchness serves a purpose: it gives us power.”
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