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Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy Hardcover – 19 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (19 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765332264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765332264
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.9 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,515,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Literate, imaginative, thoughtful, evocative of the time. All in all pretty classy stuff. But you have to come to it with a feeling for the period.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
If you like magical realism, rather than straight-on fantastical fantasy or steampunk... 24 Mar 2013
By Ann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Before I started reading the stories in this book, after reading only the preface and introduction, I blithely blew this anthology off as "Steampunk, with a side of Fae". It most definitely is not. Each story was engrossing; spellbinding (as promised on the tin) and a number of them were quite dark. Theodora Goss's "Estella Saves the Village" was unabashed Great Expectations fanfic, while Cat Valente's "We Without Us Were Shadows" is intriguing Real-Person Fiction of the troubled Bronte family. Veronica Schanoes' "Phosporus" added a fantastical twist to a thought-provoking historical event (and noted that behind every clockwork-wielding, hot-air-balloon-sailing, tea-drinking Steampunk hero or heroine, there's very likely an overworked and underpaid Downstairs staff.) Kaaron Warren's "The Unwanted Women of Surrey" held up a mirror to a twenty-first century that bears some disturbing resemblance to the nineteenth. And Elizabeth Bear's "The Governess" - all I can say is, wow. I didn't expect that.

These stories aren't all gloom, though, by any means! Elizabeth Wein's "For the Briar Rose" was a lovely ode to the pre-Raphaelites and the women who both inspired and tidied up after them, and the title story, by Delia Sherman, was a hoot - this is a Queen Victoria I've never imagined!

If you like magical realism, rather than straight-on fantastical fantasy or steampunk, then you will probably enjoy this!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Steampunk short stories. 19 May 2013
By Dyanek2000 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was looking for something different, more in the steampunk genre, but didn't want to tie into a novel. This was recommended to me, and I've enjoyed the stories. Some of the concepts are very novel, all of the stories are well-written. I recommend it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fantasy set in the Victorian era, NOT steampunk 23 May 2013
By Laurie A. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I made the mistake of thinking this was a steampunk anthology; it's not. It's Gaslamp Fantasy; fantasy stories set in the Victorian era with magic included. Here you will no find brass goggles or airship pirates. But it was a happy mistake, because I enjoyed this book very much.

Victoria reigned for a very long time, so there is variety of events, inventions, real people, and movements to choose from when writing in the era. A couple of the stories are actually about Victoria; the title story is, if you know about the relationship between Victoria and Prince Albert, heartbreaking as well as a warning to be careful what you wish for when working magic. I loved `For Briar Rose' simply because it involved Edward Burne-Jones and William and Jane Morris; the pre-Raphaelite artistic movement is simply my favorite ever. In other stories, the Bronte family, Frankenstein, Scrooge and the Crachit family show up. There is true horror- one story features one of the women who worked in the match factories who developed the terrible `Phossy jaw' where the phosphate from the matches eats away the jaw bones. And `The Fairy Enterprise' wherein an amoral industrial decides to take advantage of gullible society and ends up getting what he deserves made is a dark story, but made me laugh.

It's a very solid anthology; while there were, of course, a couple of stories I didn't like, they are all good and well written and I'm glad I read them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
What a treasure! 25 May 2013
By Amira S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm in a bit of a magical Victoriana kick and this anthology completely satisfied my appetite. While I didn't care for all the stories in it, I enjoyed most, especially once I found some written by authors I have grown to like very much.

I love Leanna Renee Hieber's writing so I went straight to "Charged." As usual, the writing is just exquisite and the story is amazing. She is such a gifted storyteller!

Some more stories I want to highlight as the best of the bunch are: Catherynne Valente's "We Without Us Were Shadows", Delia Sherman's "Queen Victoria's Book of Spells", Elizabeth Bear's "The Governess" and "La Reome D'Enfer."

I was engrossed for days reading this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining 10 May 2013
By J. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This one's a keeper. It has some very engaging stories, especially the title story. It's basically fantasy, not as steampunkish as one might t assume. Very good!
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