Updated: Oct 16, 2021
Girls of Might and Magic is an anthology by various authors with young adult sci-fi and fantasy stories featuring diverse characters, and it was a refreshing taste of new authors. Read my full review below.
Find your might. Discover your magic.
A disabled teen tracks down an elusive sea beast. A young, Indian detective finds a magical artifact. A Black teen who can see the dead solves a murder mystery. An Ethiopian girl discovers magical secrets when she is kidnapped by her teacher. A teen survivor of a deadly plague realizes she and her robot companion are not alone.
Across realms, worlds, and dimensions we bring you sixteen fantasy and/or science fiction tales that explore the tribulations of growing up. In Girls of Might and Magic, we aim to put characters of color, characters with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ characters front and center in stories about strength and resilience. Full of diverse characters and #ownvoices authors, the protagonists in these coming-of-age YA adventures will not only discover powerful magic but discover themselves along the way. Don't miss this magical collection of stories about witches, fae, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, jinn, and more!
Amazon Link: Girls of Might and Magic
Author: E. M. Lacey, K. R. S. McEntire, Alice Ivinya, Sudha Kuruganti, C. C. Solomon, Meghan Rhine, Kat Zaccard, Nicole Givens Kurtz, LaLa Leo, Amanda Ross, D. L. Howard, C. I. Raiyne, Courtney Dean, Kendra Merritt, Tamika Brown, Ashley Ford
Genre: YA Fantasy and Sci-fi
Rating: 4/5 stars
I love to read anthologies because it's a great way to get a sampling of many different kinds of stories and maybe find a new favorite author. I also love the goals of this anthology to promote more diversity in publishing. It's worth checking out for that fact alone, but I tried to consider the writing under its own merits.
This was an interesting collection of stories by authors that were all new to me, so I liked to get a taste. All the stories were refreshing and different from most other things that I've read recently. For example, I've never seen jinn in an urban fantasy setting, and the take on werewolves was unique.
There were also numerous stories that featured Black Girl Magic. Not just Black girls who gained magic in a fantasy world (although that happens, too), but Black girls who found pride and strength in their identities. Since the authors are writing with their #OwnVoices, these felt very authentic. There were a few stories with LGBTQ+ characters and other types of diversity, but Black Girl Magic was definitely the star of this anthology.
Most if not all the stories were a prequel for a longer series, and that's where the collection fell a little short for me. Some of the stories are complete, but others felt like they were just set up or too brief and didn't even give space to get to know the characters. Also, because they seemed rough and lacked editing, I'm not sure if they all made me want to read more. I will try out a few of these authors' other stories. Many seemed like they were just starting out and need more experience to craft a compelling world.
But the stories that I didn't like might be the perfect cup of tea for someone else. Anthologies are better when they have a wide variety because then you're more likely to find something that appeals to you. If they're all the same, then I might stop reading if the first few stories failed to hold my interest.
This article was written by Kristen S. Walker.
Kristen S. Walker is a YA fantasy author and blogger, also known as a book hoarder. Check out more of her work by clicking on any of the covers below.