Wonders of the Invisible World
By: Patricia A. McKillip
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Stylistically rooted in fairy tale and mythology, imperceptible landscapes are explored in these opulent stories from a beloved fantasy icon. There are princesses dancing with dead suitors, a knight in love with an official of exotic lineage, and fortune’s fool stealing into the present instead of the future. In one mesmerizing tale, a time-traveling angel is forbidden to intervene in Cotton Mather’s religious ravings, while another narrative finds a wizard seduced in his youth by the Faerie Queen and returning the treasure that is rightfully hers. Bewitching, bittersweet, and deeply intoxicating, this collection draws elements from the fables of history and re-creates them in startlingly magical ways.
I have been eyeing this Patricia A. McKillip book for so long, lol. There was something about the title, the book cover, that just really drew my attention. It’s also really cool because this book is actually a collection of some of her short stories; I really enjoy her books (see author tag) so it was interesting to check out what her short stories are like.
Wonders of the Invisible World is an eclectic mix of short stories from Patricia A. McKillip. They’re actually a little different from her usual novels and their settings; some of course are still set in those wonderful, ethereal settings, but other stories are set in our world with a touch of magic, and a few are more sci-fi than fantasy. The stories still contain that mystery and wonder that is distinctly McKillip’s, the wondrous wonders, even–as with any other short story collection I’ve read–of course there are some that are more interesting than others. Stories that stood out for me include “Wonders of the Invisible World,” “Out of the Woods” (probably my favourite from the lot), “Knight of the Well”, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” (pretty spooky and reminds me of a lot of her other books) and “The Doorkeeper of Khaat.” The collection concludes with a speech that McKillip gave at WisCon in 2004 about where she draws her inspiration from.
Overall, this collection of short stories was an interesting read. It’s an opportunity to read and further explore McKillip’s imagination in different genres. Readers of her works and of the fantasy/sci-fi genre will want to check out this title.