M—'s Reviews > Witches & Warlocks: Tales of Black Magic, Old & New

Witches & Warlocks by Marvin Kaye
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's review
Jul 31, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed, short-stories, z-do-not-delete

Kaye's Witches and Warlocks anthology, featuring a story by Asimov, is not Asimov's Young Witches and Warlocks anthology. Shame on me for confusing them when I visited the library intending to find the latter and brought the former home instead.

Kaye's anthology is markedly lurid. After finding that the first few stories were focused around the topics of sex and hellfire, I skipped around and only read the stories by the authors I was interested in. By and large, I could have lived without reading them, but there were a few I felt worth the effort of tracking down.

Wells' "The Magic Shop" couldn't hold my interest. Bradbury's "The Traveler" was an excellent October Country tale, and I'm surprised that it wasn't included in the October Country collection. Pinkwater's "Wizard Crystal" was only mildly exciting; I prefer his humorous works. Lee's "Perfidious Amber" was a bit of mystery story and not one of her best. Baum's "The Tiger's Eye" was perhaps even better that Bradbury's story and one that I'm glad I read, and not just for this quote:

"Not willingly," admitted the tiger. "But here is the alternative; either you transform yourself into an eye for our child, or I and my dear wife will tear you into shreds." (Guild America Books, no ISBN, pp. 212-213)

Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is so frequently anthologized that there was little pleasure in finding it here. Asimov's "The Up-to-Date Sorcerer" was not at all to my taste. Lovecraft's "Witches' Hollow" (completed by August Derleth) was pretty bland. Stevenson's "The Song of the Morrow" started of promisingly but ended rather flat. The Appendices contained some interesting information, however.
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