Ravens & Roses – A Women’s Gothic Anthology

Did you know that Quill & Crow came out with a new anthology in June? I got an ARC from the publisher and I started the book with a lot of enthusiasm. I finished Ravens & Roses a week ago, and here’s my honest review.

Ravens & Roses is a unique collection of Gothic stories penned by a diverse group of women authors. Pulling inspiration from some of the greatest Gothic works of our time, these writers have created eleven poignantly beautiful tales of love, tragedy, and the woman’s experience. 

Featuring stories written by Kristin Cleaveland, Judith Crow, Carla Eliot, A.L. Garcia, Tara Jazdzewski, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Liz M. Kamp, Catherine McCarthy, Olivia Claire Louise Newman, Alexa Rose, and Helen Whistberry. Also featuring poetry by The Dark Poet Society of Quill & Crow Publishing House. 

The idea of reading a women’s anthology intrigued me. I’m always up for supporting other women, and the ones involved in this project did an amazing job. What I love about the cover is not only it is beautiful, but it is also very evocative. You look at it and you just know what kind of short stories you’ll find inside: dark and melancholic.

The stories are a hymn to the Gothic genre. What makes them even better is that they are accompanied by charming poems, as powerful as they are vivid, complementing and enhancing their mood. With both writers and poetesses being talented, the end result is amazing. The stories are all diverse and entertaining, and yet they fit so well with each other so well that this anthology is way more than a series of short stories written by women. This is a single piece of art made by different parts that are perfect for each other. It works very well as a whole.

I also appreciated how polished this book is. It reads beautifully, its flow is very nice. The style is compelling for the most part, and… have I already mentioned how good some stories are? My absolute favorite is The Fruits of Wartime, a tale of deception, madness and defeat. I was so impressed when I read it!

Another special mention goes to The Wig Maker. Revenge has never been so accomplishing to read. Seriously, the ending is just perfect.

Last but not least, Death Cry of The Magpie. What a masterpiece. Scary, moving, horrifying, it’s an emotional rollercoaster and I loved every bit of it.

While these three alone would be enough for me to buy a copy of Ravens & Roses, all the short stories are great in their own way and deserve to be read and admired for their ability to bring out an emotional response from the reader. Great job!

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