I am really excited about the blog tour today! It gives me GREAT pleasure to be kicking it off!!! I will be reviewing Foxfire, Wolfskin and other stories of Shapeshifting Women by Sharon Blackie. Magic, supernatural, and feminism… what more could you want?
Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shapeshifting women of our native folklore.
Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness and wilderness within.
Beautifully illustrated by Helen Nicholson, Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women is Blackie’s first collection of short stories.
I was incredibly impressed with this entire collection. These stories are fantastic, bringing to life your imagination, whist at the same time empowering female characters and women writers.
I hold short stories in very high regard. My favourite short story teller on feminist tales is Angela Carter… and I think she would have loved these stories by Blackie!!!
The characters were easy to connect with. This really impressed me as sometimes, short stories are so plot focused, I don’t click with the characters, but not this collection. These stories are incredibly character orientated and I ended up caring about them a lot.
I enjoyed the origin of these tales. Each story is creatively imagined by Blackie. Using the basis of folk and fairy-tales, Blackie writes with a force to be reckoned with, enticing the reader with such imagery and beautiful prose, I struggled to put this book down.
There is so much passion put into these stories that I could feel it leaping off the page. They are all so beautiful and I adored reading them. My favourite stories included “Wolfskin”, “The Madness of Mis”, and “No Country for Old Women”. “Wolfskin” sets the tone for the rest of the stories. Right from the start, you know Blackie’s writing is something special. The stories feel like they are re-imagined and projected in a way that is spellbinding and breath-taking. I loved all of them but these were my favourites. Each story is unique, yet they are all connected through Blackie’s style of writing and flow wonderfully.
I also want to say, I LOVED the illustrations, they are gorgeous!
If you want to read something a little different, but want to be hooked from the start, this collection is for you. If you enjoy the darker side of fairy-tales and want to be stunned by the magical side of history, you will love this book!
How to get your hands on a copy
Thank you to Anne Carter for my spot on the tour and to Anne and September publishing for my gorgeous copy! And of course, thank you to the author, Sharon Blackie!
Praise for Sharon Blackie!
“A deeply evocative and haunting collection… Part rally cry, part warning, part manifesto and all parts enchanting, Sharon Blackie’s Foxfire, Wolfskin is a deeply evocative and haunting collection. I want to press this powerful book into the hands of everyone I know and say listen.” — Holly Ringland, author of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
“Sharon Blackie has wrought a new-old magic for our times: glorious, beautiful, passionate myths. They show who we could have been, and they give us a glimpse of a world-that-could-be.” — Manda Scott, author of A Treachery of Spies and Boudica
About the author
Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, mythologist and psychologist, and an internationally recognised teacher of the mythic imagination. Her bestselling book, If Women Rose Rooted, won a 2016 Nautilus award, and laid out a haunting heroine’s journey for every woman who finds power, inspiration and solace in the natural world. She has an international following through her online communities, and the courses and workshops she offers through ‘The Hedge School’. Her first novel, The Long Delirious Blue, was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘hugely potent’. She lives in Connemara, Ireland.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour below! Thanks for having me!
Happy reading! Lx
Images and ‘about the author’ courtesy of Anne Carter