From the secrets of the forest, to the magic of the sea, these nine stories tell of what happens when passion, desire, loneliness and imprisonment lead us on a search for freedom and empowerment – no matter what the cost.
A woman makes a deal with gods and goddesses in order to bring a slanderous town down to its knees, a man who has lost everything finds himself in the graveyards of Paris, turning to dark magic to ensure success, an opulent masked ball becomes the stage of spite and revenge, a teenage boy who believes he is in the wrong body calls out to mermaids to enchant him.
With strands of classic fairy and folklore weaved through, the unknown – the silent and dark – is explored. Where spirits, deities and witches lurk, but also where the beauty of life and renewal can be found.
‘A hungry, glorious, fox-slinking book. This collection of new fairytales soothes you with its charm and elegance – until you find that it has you in its grip, and its teeth are sharp.’ —Kirsty Logan
‘Museums and fairy tales both deal in the magic of Thing Worlds. But it is not easy to write a good fairy tale. You have to be able to breathe a kind of numinous significance into a place or a thing or a moment in time, to invest them with some kind of indefinable meaning that you feel like a breath on the back of your neck. And Stephanie Victoire is very good at this. She’s an economical writer, building up her effects quickly and with conviction. She knows how to get the reader to swallow a huge fiction by getting it over in the first paragraph, how to cast a spell over the reader by summoning up an atmosphere that feels strange and off-kilter, and how to tuck a lifetime of stories into the structure of one short story.’ —Museum of Marco Polo
‘When it comes to scary reads, I'm always a fan of the subtly disquieting rather than over-stated horror, and of stories that, although they involve magic, still speak of very human feelings and failures - of love, revenge, fear or desire. These stories do just that. Some are downright creepy, others more like fairy-tales with a twist, but they all echo real emotions and situations. I loved them.’ —Our Book Reviews
‘These are the kinds of stories that linger, and I’m sure I’ll return to them time and again.’ —Down the Rabbit Hole
‘Victoire seamlessly literalises the feeling of not being oneself, or of not being the self that others believe one is or should be, that often haunts people struggling with their sexuality. Her interest in liberation—physical, mental, emotional—is rooted in a belief in the power of transforming magic.’ —Elle Thinks
‘The Other World, It Whispers is one of my favourite books of the year. In just 164 pages Stephanie Victoire has cemented her reputation as an incredible author who has not only written nine short stories, but has created nine amazing and detailed worlds, all of which I wanted to spend more time in, which, for me, is exactly how a short story should be. I also just want to point out that the cover of this book is gorgeous and my favourite book cover of the year.’ —The Stuart Review