Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 1. The Dun Letter by Christopher Rowe - Rated 4/5
Tansie, abandoned by her mother and left to live with her poorly (and poor) grandmother, one day opens a letter addressed to her mother that might change her life forever.
I found this story fairly good, and written well. I liked the ending and the way Tansie won't let anyone tell her what she can or can't do.2. Home is the Haunter by Garth Nix - Rated 3/5
This is about a knight travelling with his companion - a self-willed puppet that can do magic. They come to a convent and seeks refuge here from a creature called the Hag of Shadows.
This story was ok, it seemed like it was a little too long, and dragged on a bit in places. I didn't find it particularly interesting, though I did like the Puppet Mr. Fitz.3. Grigori's Solution by Isobelle Carmody - Rated 2/5
A mathematical sum of unmaking is discovered and threatens to erase the entire universe.
Although an interesting concept, I did not really enjoy this story. It wasn't bad, just not very exciting. Even though the world is based on mathematical formulas, I just didn't buy the fact that the solution of a maths problem would unravel the world.4. Dream London Hospital by Tony Ballantyne - Rated 2/5
A strange man (?) goes into the Dream London Hospital looking for a woman (?).
This seemed completely random to me, I have no idea what the point of the story was. It was well written, but that's pretty much it.5. Safe House by K.J. Parker - Rated 4/5
A sorcerer from the Studium is out on a mission looking for a untrained natural magic user that the Studium wants to recruit.
I really enjoyed this story, it was funny with a nice twist at the end. One of my favorites in this collection!6. Hey, Presto! by Ellen Klages - Rated 3/5
Polly comes from a long line of magicians, but she has always wanted to lead a more normal life. One summer she is staying with her dad, but when his assistant quits Polly has to step in.
It was a good story, about the relationship between father and daughter and how that starts developing when they 'have to' spend the summer together practicing the magic trick.7. The Changeling by James Bradley - Rated 2/5
Hannah lives in a house in the forest with her baby. Her husband has died, and now baby Connor starts acting strange. Hannah starts wondering if he is a changeling.
This story was well written, but very dark. I felt really sorry for Hannah that is basically all alone in the world with a tiny baby to look after. And I really didn't like the ending.8. Migration by Karin Tidbeck - Rated 3/5
Edith lives in a tall building, but she doesn't know how she or all the other people got there. Their whole lives are in the building, they never go outside. One day she wakes up and everybody has disappeared.
I found this story to be both interesting and confusing. I still don't have any idea what really happened, but it was well written and I enjoyed reading it.9. On Skybolt Mountain by Justina Robson - Rated 4/5
The witch Lettice tries to live a quiet life, but when it is discovered that she can do magic she has to make a choice - achieve and impossible magical task or hang.
I liked this story, it was well written and with a great twist at the end that made me increase my rating.10. Where Our Edges Lie by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - Rated 4/5
This story is about twins that have been really close to each other since they were born. But one day something happens that will make them slowly grow apart.
I enjoyed reading about how the bond between the twins were changing, and was curious to see how it would end. Not going to spoil it for you, but I found it to be bittersweet which I liked. In real life the choices that we make aren't always just 'good' or 'bad', there is a lot in between.11. Devil's Bridge by Frances Hardinge - Rated 4/5
Petra is a Bridgekin, which means she can make bridges to anywhere, but it comes with a price. One day she reluctantly agrees to make a bridge for a stranger, but will she come to regret it?
I really enjoyed reading this, it is quite short but this somehow fits perfectly with the story. It is really well written and one of my favorites in the collection.12. The Nursery Corner by Kaaron Warven - Rated 2.5/5
An old woman looks back on her childhood and growing up in the 'old peoples home' that her mother works in. One day a magician comes to perform and makes a "Nursery Corner" with a rocking chair that calms you down when you sit in it. But does it come with a price?
I enjoyed reading this, and was curious to find out more about what happened when people sat in the chair. I found the ending to be really good.13. Aberration by Genevieve Valentine - Rated 1.5/5
A woman? ghost? travels through space and time to find where she belongs.
I have no idea what this story was about. I just felt confused while I was reading it.14. Ice in the Bedroom by Robert Shearman - Rated 2/5
After his wife commits suicide Simon gets depressed and starts having dreams/hallucinations about a different version of Hell, where there is ice instead of fire.
This story didn't really do much for me to be honest, other than make me feel sorry for poor Simon.My view of the book in general
All in all an average collection. Like most of these anthologies there are some great stories and some that aren't really that interesting.
In some of the stories I can't really see where the magic comes in, considering the name of the book: Fearsome Magics.
So the feeling I'm left with is that it doesn't feel like I've wasted my time reading this, but it hasn't blown my mind either...