Published: 2016 (Meeks Brown Press)
International writers craft harrowing tales of families torn apart by entities unknown, lovers cursed by fairies, siblings fighting monsters, and more. No type of love is safe from these tragedies. Gay, straight, romantic, familial, friendly, no matter what your shape or color, Crows on Heartstrings has something for you.
The contributors to Crows on Heartstrings take an anti-discriminatory viewpoint and stretch it across genres. Fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, period and contemporary pieces make up the content in Crows on Heartstrings' comics, poems, and short stories
These aren't just romances, they're epic tales of doom.
My opinion: I won a copy and Aubrey Meeks herself sent me a hardcover edition that was even signed by her!
When I first heard about this anthology, I knew I needed to have it. Even though I didn't like all of the stories the same way, I enjoyed reading most of it and looking at those stunning illustrations. Those really make it a special collection of stories. But I have to say that the characters weren't as diverse as they could have been!
Roses Grow for Mammet Men: I didn't really like this. It didn't have an actual plot until about the last quarter and there were mistakes in it that disturbed the reading flow. I had troubles understanding the point of view of the first person narrator and I still don't get all of it. The characters weren't that likeable and I thought the relationship between Kvel and Mercurie seemed abusive, from both sides. Therfore I'm glad that it ended how it ended. And what's with all the Icelandic? Besides me there are about 300.000 people who understand that. Not a good start for an anthology and I really hope it will get better.
Skin Link: I liked most of the story, but it became a bit too technical and serious towards the end. I guess catfishing is still a thing in the future. Unfortunately it became somewhat homophobic towards the end and even though we don't know what's going to happen, I have to assume that's it.
A Bullet for Death's Rifle: This short story comes closest to what I expected from this anthology. It reminded my of the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo and Ascheherz by Nina Blazon. The flashbacks blended perfectly into the text and the writing style has something special. Although I suspected how it would end, I really liked it.
Carnival Brier: See, this is how a short story should be like. I loved the writing style, because it fit the story perfectly. A tragic end (yes, I know, that's the way of this anthology), but it makes sense. I hope to read more like this!
Which Witch?: I was so looking forward to this, because Panna N. is an amazing artist. I love the colours, the drawing style and how there aren't any words needed. But of course it was way too short!
Witch Child: That's a kind of witch I've never heard of before, but I liked it. There isn't much plot though and the end felt drawn out.
Angels Outrank Saints: At first I thought: What the hell am I reading? I mean, stories about the mafia can be pretty awesome, but these guys were just aweful. The story was quite slow until it came to its climax and I have to admit I really liked this twist.
A Winter's Tale: This one was boring and I can't really say why. Certainly it would have been better if it weren't clear from the beginning how it would end.
Elise: It reminded me of the movie "Midnight in Paris" (the one with Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams) and the short story is almost as lovely, but unfortunately more boring.
Raised in Captivity: Wow, that was... disturbing. Trigger warning for: kidnapping, rape, and plenty of different forms of physical and mental abuse. This story is very different from the rest, I'd put it into the crime genre or rather psycho thrillers. Never ever do I want to read anything like this again. It only makes me cringe.
The Ninth Daughter: In what way is that a lovestory? Maybe it's one of sisterly love, so I guess that's okay. I really enjoyed reading this mystery story and the writing style was very creative. All that jumping back and forth, without being confusing. Well done!
Eraser: I was already a fan of Audrey San Juan's art before, but this was too monotone and sometimes drawn too messy. And then suddenly it was over. Weird story.
The Hung Lovers: Hm. This poem didn't make me feel anything.
The Crow Princess: A fairy tale, first filled with stereo types of the genre (royals, a witch, a curse, true love's kiss etc.), but in the end it had a twist. I absolutely didn't like Alya, the spoiled brat, first, but she underwent some character developement.
Heal Me: Uhm. What was that? It started off pretty cool, I loved the idea, but the end... just very weird and confusing. I mean, what happened? And more importantly: why did it happen?
The Autumn Prince: I really enjoyed this one and I would have liked more of this. The end was neither happy nor completely unhappy and that makes it very realistic, even though it's fantasy. The perfect, heartwarming end for this anthology.
My rating: 3/5 Buttons