Mini Review: “The Haunted Quill” edited by Kate Francia

Release Date: December 1, 2021
Publisher: Megara Publishing Inc.
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

A young girl in a mining town hears three knocks at her door on a dark night. Two Viking warriors, haunted by grief, enter a cursed forest of iron trees. A mysterious orphan girl hides in the rafters high above the stage of the Opéra le Peletier. A widowed mother and a ghost fight to save her homestead. 

The Haunted Quill contains eight short stories and original illustrations that explore the strange and uncanny corners of history. Featuring original stories and reprints from new and established writers of speculative fiction, including: Jordan Taylor, Laura Hennessey DeSena, Stephen K Pettersson, Henry Herz, LH Moore, Jane Nightshade, Colleen Ennen, and Caren Gussoff Sumption.

My Thoughts

An interesting anthology! There wasn’t a single story I couldn’t get into. Each are moody and unsettling.

The anthology would have benefitted from an introduction, even a short one. I also wish it was a little longer, maybe 10-12 stories. Personally, I prefer collections with all new stories, but the reprints here were enjoyable nonetheless. I thoroughly enjoyed Kate Francia and Mira Singer’s illustrations, both for the cover and the interior art. Really brought the whole thing home for me.

Overall, The Haunted Quill covers a nice range of historical eras and speculative genres and subgenres. The story that stuck out the most to me was Stephen K. Pettersson’s “The Song of the Iron Woods,” with LH Moore’s “With These Hands” a very close second.

Buy it at Bookshop.org (affiliate link)

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