The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen
Tachyon Publications, 2017; 288 pp
Reviewed by Juliana Amir


In the cold, wintry months, short story collections call to me—preferably something magical that goes well with a mug of hot coffee.

Jane Yolen’s charming stories sprawl to cover fairytales and legends, everything from Lewis Carroll’s Alice to Merlin. But whereas some stories pulled me into an inviting world, others simply didn’t. The endings in more than one lacked the twinge of sorrow that could have saved the story from silliness, or the poetic heart that is capable of making the journey resonate.

That said, stories like “Andersen’s Witch” breathe new mystery into something seemingly understood. Here, the fairytale magic of Hans Christian Andersen’s writing spills into his own life. There’s the perfect hint of darkness, strong imagery, and it’s a delightful escape from time. The Emerald Circus is a whimsical collection, mixed in quality, but built to nourish the inner child.