Apr 24, 2012

Salute Your Shorts: Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr–The non Wicked Lovely edition.

Salute Your Shorts feature image from Bunbury in the Stacks
Salute Your Shorts is a weekly (ish) feature here at Bunbury in the Stacks highlighting and reviewing short stories and novellas. Everyone is welcome to join at any time, just grab the pic above and shoot me a link in the comments so that I can include your post in a roundup.

book cover of Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa MarrTitle: Faery Tales and Nightmares [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Melissa Marr [Website|Twitter]
Standing: Stand alone anthology, BUT half the stories are in the Wicked Lovely universe (I’ll discuss those stories in a later post).
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Published: February 21st, 2012 by HarperCollins
Format:  Hardcover; 418 pages 
Borrowed from my local library.
Challenge: YA/MG Fantasy Challenge

Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments dark and light by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from beneath the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.

From the gentle tones of a storyteller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with...or to fear.

Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.

Welcome to the non-Wicked Lovely edition of Salute Your Shorts: Faery Tales and Nightmares!  I’ve decided to split my review of this anthology into two posts so that those of you who haven’t read Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series can know what this book has in store for you, without forcing you to skip the spoilers!  This works out quite well for everyone since of the twelve stories included, six have nothing to do with Wicked Lovely.  That means you can enjoy half this book!  Here’s what we have to offer:

Where Nightmares Walk

This very short story works as somewhat of an introduction into the book, and lets you realize right off the bat that it will indeed be as much about nightmares as about faery tales.  It’s a chilling intro that will make you fear the night.

Winter’s Kiss

This short story evokes the image of a traditional fairy tale, but one you haven’t heard before.  It tells the tale of a princess who has the curse of icy breath, and the snow bear that would see it as a gift.  Winter’s Kiss is charming, beautiful, and a reminder of perspective.


Eliana has been getting weird and uncontrollable headaches.  She loses time—she can’t remember hours of her life.  She’s stopped talking to doctors, they just think she’s crazy, and she’s begun to self medicate with drugs of another sort.  When she ends up in the graveyard with the boy she’s currently seeing, she can’t get her mind off someone something else, and she can’t help feeling as if the statue is watching her.

Transition is a chilling vampire story about the circle of life (or death…or undeath<—see what I did there?) in which Melissa Marr puts her own tale into a fairly traditional (and thus sexy and gory) lore.  This type of story right here is the reason people love vamps, and not the sparkly kind.

Love Struck

Every once in a while, I feel like I get as much out of a short story as I do out of a full-length book.  This is one of those times.  Love Struck was a beautiful love story and fairy tale, about selchies.  Selchies!  I’ve been enamored with Selchies since The Secret of Roan Inish, and have been craving more.  I mean…who wants mermaids when selchies are about, really?  At least you don’t have to question the logistics of their anatomy quite so much… 

Alana is chosen to be the mate of Murrin, who intends to court her, but instead he accidently traps her as has been done for generations.  She holds his Other Skin, is compelled to hide it, and she cannot return it unless he finds it himself.  Alana doesn’t want to break her own rules, she doesn’t want a relationship, and certainly not one with some guy she barely knows.  She’s convinced that it’s the selchie magic drawing her to Murrin, and is deeply torn between wanting to be with him and wanting freedom for both of them.  Love Struck was a beautifully rendered tale, and I adored it.  It was the non-Wicked Lovely story in this collection that I was looking forward to most, and it did not disappoint!

The Art of Waiting

This title made me think of the poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.  It’s the story of a small hamlet of a town, that is incased in snow and ice each winter that melts to beauty in the spring.  A man and his daughter come to the town, and the townspeople wait to see if they, like so many others, will leave.

This short is perfect for anyone who lives in a quaint little town and loves it.  It’s hard for people to understand this mentality, but those who live there wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Flesh for Comfort

A disturbing tale about what we are willing to go through for beauty.  A poor girl in a mountain town knows she will never get out.  She is not rich enough, or attractive enough.  But when a mysterious creature offers to make her beautiful, she is tempted, knowing if she were attractive enough she could trade flesh for comfort and escape.

These six stories range in length from about 3 to 60 pages, and are all very worth reading!  I particularly enjoyed Love Struck, and the most disturbing award goes to Flesh for Comfort.  Enjoy!


  1. I'v e been meaning to read the Wicked Lovely series for quite some time, and especially since this anthology showed up. It sounds a bit like The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, and I loved the mood in that book.
    (Btw, I see that you're reading Code Name Verity. I really hope you're enjoying it and I can't wait to read your review.)

    1. I really enjoyed Wicked Lovely, I've actually been surprised that more people haven't read it. I hope that you enjoy it if you do check it out! There's a short story in this anthology that was what Melissa Marr first wrote and kind of inspired her to write the series.

      I AM reading Code Name Verity and it is getting SO GOOD. I've been going really slowly with it, but will hopefully review it be the end of the week. =)

  2. I agree with your analysis I really liked Love Struck and Flesh for Comfort WAS creepy! I really liked these stories and they made me want to read more Melissa Marr :]

    1. You should! I hope when/if you read Wicked Lovely that you really like it. I'm super excited for Carnival of Souls coming out later this year, and she has another adult book in the pipes for 2013 I think?

  3. The breakdown of all the stories is great, Heidi--thanks for your review! I'm a little mixed on the Wicked Lovely series, so I appreciate knowing that this book has none-WL stories as well.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. It does, and they're great in my opinion! Most of them are really short, only Transitions and Love Struck are over about 15 pages.

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