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Instead of Three Wishes

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,000 ratings  ·  132 reviews
A leprechaun is sighted in small–town New Hampshire. A city boy becomes a hero in prehistoric Sweden. An elf prince tries to reward a girl who wishes he'd just leave her alone. In these and other delightful stories, magical adventure appears in the most unexpected places!

Instead of Three Wishes is a captivating collection of witty and sparkling fantasy stories from the New
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Greenwillow Books (first published August 18th 1995)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,000 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Feb 14, 2015 rated it liked it
finally got my mitts on this one, thanks to faith (you are my rock faith) and the event of my birthday.

it was good. not incredible, but good. an overwhelming sense of potential pervades the book, a potential which came to fruition in the thief but especially in the queen of attolia. a few of the stories were nearly in the very good range, especially the one from which the title was taken and the baker king. what i thought most interesting was that each story had, in itself, the potential to beco
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-story, fiction
I loved these stories.

I think they were each engaging and made me want to find out what happened, and had originality.
Katie  Hanna
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Somehow I never recorded that I read this??? Anywho. It's awesome. "Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits" easily wins the award for the best "magical realism" short story I've ever read.

(Don't read the one about the snake and the mirror, though. It's nasty.)
Allison Ruvidich
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it
A Plague of Leprechaun: 2 stars. Not a bad concept, but much, much too short for the reader to have any emotional reaction to the events beyond polite interest.

Leroy Roachbane: 2 stars. Virtually the same as the first. Clever concept, half-hearted execution.

The Factory: 2.5 stars, tentatively. Morally incorrect, but fascinating and kind of sweet at the same time.

Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits: 3 stars. The story was fun and creative, but since the reader was hearing it second-hand, the int
Jan 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Picked this up because I'm a big fan of Turner's Attolia trilogy, and I was curious what her short form was like. I remembered only later that I hadn't particularly liked "The Baby in the Night Deposit Box," a story she published in a different anthology, but it's a good thing I recalled it after I made my clumsy, over-tall way into the children's section of the library to nab this. I did frown at the jacket description of "commonplace magic in everyday worlds" (surely others sympathize with my ...more
Jul 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
A perfectly charming set of stories. I am positive I read it before (when? when?), so my enjoyment was a bit dimmed - expecting to be surprised by twists & endings, I kept thinking 'oh - right'. Entirely my fault, because I expect these to hold up to repeated reading.
Turner is such a good writer. This is her first published work, & it's less intricate, less polished than her books, but she still creates entire worlds & full characters with just a few lines. (If I'm reading the dedica
This is a collection of charming little stories. Nothing here is as good as her novels, but they're well told and offer some fresh perspectives on old tropes. I particularly liked the title story, in which an elf prince tries to reward a girl for helping him but can't come up with anything she really wants, and the last story, "The Baker King", about a kingdom which has misplaced their prince.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mg, mg-sff, short-stories
I LOVE Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, so I had to pick this up.

I haven’t read many short stories aimed for a middle grade audience, but this collection seems to fit the generic expectations. Most of the stories have contemporary settings with fairytale brushings (and, refreshingly, no princess fairytale romance retellings here). Turner shows a good understanding of fantasy tropes, particularly in the titular story. “Instead of Three Wishes” is about an elf prince who must figure ou
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Cute, fluffy stories, although I vastly prefer the Attolia books. My favorites were the sweet dystopian ghost story, the Attolia-esque Baker King one, and the one about the girl who refuses her 3-wish reward and the frustrated elf who has to figure out what to give her instead. Also, I found "The Nightmare" a little disturbing, but not in the way it was intended to be, I think.
*Trigger warning for suicide in "Factory"

While I did enjoy reading all of the stories, my favorites were definitely "Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits" and "Factory". I loved how "Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits" had a story inside the story, it made for an interesting read, I also felt like I was going on an adventure and I loved that. "Factory" was on the more darker side and definitely more morbid, it was actually kind of sad.
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA fans
I had read the title story in some collection, so I was a little worried that I'd already read this whole book and just forgotten to record it, but no, the others were all new, and all good. I definitely enjoyed Instead of Three Wishes again, about a young woman who finds traditional fairytale rewards vaguely embarassing in that teenaged way, and I really liked Leroy Roachbane and The Nightmare too, both of which are about little boys being boys but with very different takes. The Baker King was ...more
Kristin Hoffpauer
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's only one way I can describe these stories. Absolutely delightful!
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Overall Rating: 3/5
Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series is, without a doubt, one of the best things I’ve ever read. By the middle of book three, The King of Attolia, I had already decided to add her to my list of favorite authors on goodreads.

However, the best thing about those books is, by far, the characters. Turner has a knack for great, multi-dimensional characters the way Brandon Sanderson has a knack for cool magic systems, or the way Patrick Rothfuss has a knack for pretty words
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a small collection of short stories written by one of my favorite authors, Megan Whalen Turner. I believe it predates her The Thief series, and the writing reflects that. The stories all have some magical element to them, and would be appropriate for the young audience for which they’re intended. The writing is simple and easy - an easy read for most. While each story is charming, none of them really impressed me. I enjoyed this one, but the stories and characters probably won’t stick wi ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've known about this collection for so long, why did it take me so long to read it? A charming set of stories, told with Turner's typical dry humor and clever twists. My favorites were the title story, "Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits" and "The Baker King." I'm not sure how I feel about "Factory," there's a suicide and I'm pretty sensitive about how suicide is handled in fiction. All in all enjoyable, though not nearly enough to keep me occupied while I wait impatiently for Return of the T ...more
Seven stories of magical beings and happenings. First published in 1995, so maybe that's why it's less than wonderful, though pretty good.
stories are: A Plague of Leprechauns – Leroy Roachbane – Factory – Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits – Instead of Three Wishes – The Nightmare – The Baker King.
I liked the Nightmare's way of dealing with bullies. You get what you ask for, even if it's not what you think you're asking for.
Amy K.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This charming collection of stories, in the best traditions of fairy tales, teaches more about humanity than about the supernatural. Sometimes gentle, sometimes brutal, the lessons the protagonists learn are ones we'd all do well to remember, and if that means we shiver as the wind blows through the night-shrouded trees, well, all the better.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tales of Magic and Mischief.
Words and writers of words.
Some writers are full of technique.
Megan is a story-teller.
You get drawn in with each story.
I really enjoy the short story format.
Get in get out. Just a slice of life [not the whole life].
Kyrsten Newlon
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enchanting stories! I love Megan Whalen Turner's storytelling voice and how it sweeps you along on a magical adventure every time you open one of her books. Another collection of short stories to amaze!
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
The elf story is the strongest one, but the others were a bit uneven, a little predictable, and didn't hang together as a collection all that well. Not necessarily satisfying if you've been re-reading The Queen's Thief books recently and just wanted more of that (HYPOTHETICALLY).
Doria Waldner
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Baker King and Instead of Three Wishes were the BEST! You can see Megan Whalen Turner's writing coming out fine and clear, and the Baker King has the same political elements that Queen's Thief has...they are awesome!
This was a very cute book, by my favorite contemporary author.

Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute little spins on traditional fairy tales/fantasy!
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
Ok - some of these short stories are a solid 5 ⭐ and some of them are a 3 ⭐ - overall I really enjoyed it as a nice break from some intense novel reading ☺ ...more
Billy B
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
HAD to read it, since I have read all the Thief books.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Short, but fun. Enjoyed all of the stories and wished there were more.
Cara (Wilde Book Garden)
3.5 stars
Ruth Anna
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Quirky short fairy tales - very fun!
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun book of short stories!

My favorite story was "Instead of Three Wishes". Second favorites were "Aunt Charlotte and the NGA Portraits" and "The Baker King."
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Megan Whalen Turner is the author of short stories and novels for children, teenagers and adults. She has won the LA Times Book Award for Young Adult LIterature, a Boston Globe/ Horn Book Honor and a Newbery Honor. She won the Mythopoeic Award and was shortlisted twice for the Andre Norton Award.
“...That he'd seen...two people, a young man and a woman, sitting on invisible furniture with their feet up, reading books and eating chocolates.” 16 likes
“I woke with a terrible headache and wobbled around 'till I fell out the window."
"You what?"
"Fell out the window. That one over there." She [Edwina] gestured to the curtain behind her. "I broke my back. My spine is all wobbly now, but it doesn't hurt.”
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