Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe Review

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelnor

Publisher: Gollancz

The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand. Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year's morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

This is an anthology which combines Urban Fantasy and Christmas specifically werewolves and features many of my favourite authors including Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance and Carrie Vaughn. This is one of the strongest anthologies I’ve read - for some reason werewolves and Christmas seem a strong match creating many iconic images. One story that will stay with you is the idea of a werewolf leading Santa’s sleigh in Kat Richardson’s The Werewolf Before Christmas- it just brought a smile to my face!

Another idea that will stay with is a self-help group for Shifters – SA by J.A. Konrath. This story is packed full of ideas that will linger with you – transforming into a coral, the idea of the Salvation Army as a real army, what a shifter has to live with after changing back to human. It’s imaginative and fun. I’m not going to go through every short story but the only one that really disappointed me is Gift Wrap by Charlaine Harris. It’s a quick catch up with Sookie during the holiday season, and while I completely believe that authors know their characters best, Sookie disappointed me with her actions.

Overall, this was fun read – mixing up classic urban fantasy and werewolf tropes with festive greetings. There are even a couple of new authors who’s other work I will be checking out – I certainly hope Dana Cameron has written more books about her Fangborn world!

Recommended for fans of Rob Thurman and Kelley Armstrong. 8 out of 10


  1. I'm delighted that you enjoyed W&M, and though I know it's not cool for an co-editor to admit she hunts for reviews of her stuff... Well, I guess I'm not cool.

    But the real reason I'm commenting is to say, "Yes, Dana is doing more with the Fangborn." She's written several more short stories and...drum roll please...her first Fangborn novel--SEVEN KINDS OF HELL--will be released in March. Charlaine and I are so proud of her!

  2. Thanks for a heads up on this anthology Mel, put it on my want to read someday list.

  3. Oooo this sounds so good Mel! And some of my favorite authors have contributed to this anthology, I can't believe I haven't read it yet. Clearly it's the perfect season for it, so I need to change that asap:)

  4. I read it but I think it was a bit so and so

  5. I had fun with this one too. I was being grinchy and got the book to see if it would get me in the holiday mood. It was fun and dark and twisty at times so it did the job. :D Glad you enjoyed it too!

  6. oh I didn't know this one, it must be cute to have some stories like that, mainly now.

  7. These are all authors I want to read, but haven't got to yet. Glad to see you enjoyed this holiday read. :) Thank you.