I wrote and rewrote this review before sitting down to do this post. I wanted to list all the authors and a word about all twenty of the stories but realised that it was not feasible. Each story in this collection is relatively short, and if I mentioned something about each, this review might actually turn out to be bigger than required for the volume.
As the title suggests, each story focuses on a villain or a kind of villain. The writers and the locations, and the characters are all pretty diverse. Even the plot lines varied from historical fiction mode to actual fantasy. There were a few I liked better than others, but I enjoyed almost all of them. There were hard choices made by people who do not walk the paths created by the majority of the population.
The writing was consistently good throughout the anthology, something that very rarely happens. They were also consistently heavy and dark (except for the story of the cat of the supervillain). The introductions to the collection, as well as the variety, made it an entertaining read. Some of the tales are part of a bigger series by the authors, I had no prior knowledge of any of them. I had it on my virtual shelf for quite a while before I sat down with it. Once I did- it took me a short while to work my way through it.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley, the review is entirely based on my own reading experience of this book.
- The Ferret in the queen’s purse by Kenny Soward
- All Mine by Mercedes Lackey & Dennis Lee
- Hunger in the Bones by Anton Strout
- All the Bridges Burnt by Clay Sanger
- Cat Secret Weapon by Walidah Imarisha
- The Bloodletter’s Prayer by Cullen Bunn
- The Second Siege of Telea by Anna Smith Spark
- Assassin or Thief by Cat Rambo
- The Weight of Shades and Shadows by Shanna Germain
- The Daughter of Sorrow by Maurice Broaddus
- The Hand of Virtue by Linda Robertson
- The Lives and Times of Johnny the fox by Sabrina Vourvoulias
- Old Sol Rises Up by Toiya Kristen Finley
- Wine,Knife,Sword by Lian Hearn