Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

Toil & Trouble

Amazon | Goodreads

Short Stories

4/5 Spells

I received an ARC from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

If witchcraft is the voice of women rising free and powerful (to change the world, make it ours on our feet instead of on our knees) then I wish to be a witch more than anything. (Why They Watch Us Burn by Elizabeth May)

What is it about?

This is an anthology that includes stories about all sorts of witches. Each one has something unique about them. Some witches can read bones, others can find water, still others can heal or poison. Some witches come from generations of witches and others are just discovering that they have power inside them. Each one is learning just how strong she is, with or without her power.

Was it good?

I don’t normally read short stories. I think I’m afraid of getting confused or not being able to fall in love with something so short. (My husband is tall, in case you are wondering.)


The Details

  1. 3/5 – Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia – Astrology vs Astronomy
  2. 5/5 – Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer – Midwife is witness in witch trial. I did not want this one to end. It’s probably my favorite.
  3. 4/5 – The Heart in Her Hands by Tess Sharpe – Healer witch vs. Fate
  4. 4/5 – Death in the SawTooths by Lindsay Smith – Witch who can read bones to release people’s soul, but not everyone thinks her magic is good.
  5. 3/5 – The Truth about Queenie by Brandy Colbert – mostly a teenage love story with a touch of witchery
  6. 3/5 – The Moonapple Menagerie by Shreta Thakrar – Witches put on a play
  7. 2/5 – The Legend of Stone Mary by Robin Talley – Descendant of a witch who cursed the city wonders if she is a witch, too. This one made me kind of dizzy to read, with the way the flashbacks/history was explained. 
  8. 5/5 – The One Who Stayed by Nova Ren Suma – Girls who have been hurt find comfort and friendship in their coven of witches. This one was so beautifully written. Maybe this one is my favorite? 
  9. 4/5 – Divine are the Stars by Zoraida Cordova – Grandma is turning into a tree.
  10. 3/5 – Daughters of Baba Yaga by Brenna Yovanoff – Teenage witch vs. bullies in high school.
  11. 5/5 – The Well Witch by Kate Hart – These three strangers are NOT welcome in her oasis.
  12. 4/5 – Beware of Girls with Crooked Mouths by Jessica Spotswood – You can’t live with your sisters, you can’t live without them.
  13. 4/5 – Love Spell by Anna-Marie McLemore – Witchy romance between a witch and a priest in training.
  14. 5/5 – The Gherin Girls by Emery Lord Nova – 2 sisters pull together to protect the third from an abusive ex boyfriend. This was really well told and I love the different affinities these sisters had, especially the big sister whose power was cooking the right food/drink to help soothe. 
  15. 4/5 – Why they watch us Burn  by Elizabeth May – What happens to a girl who tells the truth about being taken advantage of? They call her a witch and they make her burn. (Unless she’s young and strong, and then they make her go chop wood.)

Which witch is your favorite?

There were some pretty great witches in this anthology, but my favorite witch is still Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld series. How about you?



3 thoughts on “Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

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