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Posted June 30, 2014
Elizabeth Hand has been described as "one of the most poetic writers working in speculative fiction and horror today," and, based on her work in Saffron and Brimstone, that is a well-deserved compliment. "Poetic" is exactly the word I would use for Hand's writing. With the exception of "Wonderwall," which simply did not resonate with me at all, the stories in this collection are a delicious combination of the sublime (the butterfly imagery of "Cleopatra Brimstone") and the surreal (the changing realities of "The Least Trumps"). The book concludes with the four mesmerizing "story variations" which comprise "The Last Domain," Hand's wide-ranging and emotionally haunting riff on Greek mythology, from Odysseus to Narcissus. I highly recommend Saffron and Brimstone, particularly to short story fans and those who like their horror subtle, not gory.
I received a free copy of Saffron and Brimstone through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review