Elf Love by Josie Brown Rose Mambert and Bill Racicot

(8.4/10)

As a staple part of the fantasy genre, whether it’s in folk tales, films or fantastical literature, elves have never failed to captivate their audience. From the dark elves of RA Salvatore’s infamous Drizzt series to Dobby the house elf and the elegant elves of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, few people have been able to resist their charms. And so the editors at Pink Narcissus bring us ‘Elf Love: An anthology’, a book dedicated to elves in all their forms.

At just under three hundred pages, it’s a relatively small ‘anthology’ - but you should never let looks deceive you (remember that when looking at the cover). Comprising of twenty new tales written by various authors, Elf Love is a surprising mixture of urban fantasy and classical fantasy with speckles of noir (and a comic strip) in between.

What really makes this publication stand out however is the individuality with which it is presented. Short summaries of the authors’ professions and the inspirations behind their pieces preclude their tales, creating an aura of intimacy that pervades the entire collection.

What’s more, in amongst the editors and book publishers you’ll find a high school student, a medical editor, an engineering student and a girl who simply ‘fell in love with an Elf’. And if any of the writers don’t have a particular love for elves, they at least have something quite remarkable to say about them.

Particular highlights include Xenium by Michael Takeda, Tidings of Comfort and Joy by Josie Brown, The Mischief Makers by Joe Mogel and both David Vernaglia’s contributions, which all tackle the theme of elf ‘love’ from varying angles and viewpoints.

It’s a fabulous collection that will touch any fantasy lover, and, although it’s unlikely any reader will enjoy every one of the twenty offerings (one or two stories feel slightly misplaced or repetitive), if you want to see elves in a whole new light, then this anthology is an absolute must have.

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