A toyshop owner builds a set of magic clockwork dolls that delight a factory town. A three-inch tall samurai faces a giant iron ogre with only a sewing needle and a coin. A scientist seeks an antidote to his formula gone wrong, with the help of his partner’s beautiful daughter.
This collection features seven short stories that are retellings of fairy tales from Germany, France, Italy, and Japan.
The Mech Oni and the Three-Inch Tinkerer by Leslie and David T. Allen is my favorite of the bunch–I have a weakness for Japanese fairy tales and they capture the essence of the original tale with a smooth steampunk twist.
The gears are grinding. Hammers are banging. The stories are wonderful.
Desperate for adventure, Leisl abandons the cathedral for a mysterious traveling carnival. She finds a sense of belonging among the tarot readers, jugglers, acrobats, and an ill-tempered flame-breathing goose. Although she embraces her new life, Leisl becomes uneasy—there is more to the reclusive proprietor than meets the eye.
The amount of thoughtful detail and description put into this story is exceptional. Every scene teases the senses, and placed me among the nomadic carnies and alongside Leisl as I read.
Leisl is a fantastic character and I'm a sucker for independent, free thinking female characters.