Owl Light by Vonnie Winslow Crist is a fantastic speculative fiction/fantasy collection of 23 poems and short stories of faeries, selkies,dwarves, ghosts, and other mysterious creatures that make your heart beat just a little bit faster and makes you keep on turning the pages to find out what comes next –if you dare. Owl Light is Vonnie’s second collection of short stories, her first one being the amazing book, The Greener Forest.
The short stories and poems in Owl Light range the gamut of favorite characters of readers of fantasy literature, and includes some that might be somewhat new to some readers, such as the mermaid-like selkies from Crist’s tale, “Selkie.” There are short stories and poems for every taste, and all of them involve an air of mystery and magic, the elements that are what attracts fans of speculative fiction and fantasy.
Since owls are the raptors of the night, and have often been associated both with wisdom as well as being the subjects of short stories and novels, they have a broad appeal. It’s only fitting that they are the creatures of the night that this latest short story collection by Vonnie Winslow Crist is named after.
Besides being the subject of the first poem in Owl Light, titled “Owl Light,” a clockwork owl also figures strongly in the first short story of the collection, “The Clockwork Owl.” It’s a tale of a time-traveler who goes back to the past to enlist the services of a clock maker to make a clockwork owl which doubles as a smoke detector, to ensure the safety of some of his relatives from being burned alive in a fire set by a person bent on murdering them.
Then, after the short story “Pawprints of the Margay,” about Alazne, Diviner of the Kemen, her apprentice, Damita, and the pawprints of the strange creature called the Margay, which foretold of white, dome-headed visitors arriving in a mighty sky-ship, there’s another owl-related poem that follows, called “Owl Pellets.” You never know what you’ll find if you search through regurgitated owl pellets….
As for the rest of the poems and short stories you will read in Owl Light by Vonnie Winslow Crist, suffice it to say that they are each gems of imaginative story-telling, finely wrought and honed using Crist’s incredible talents and skills as an author. For instance, a gravedigger unearths a vengeful trow in one of the stories, and in another, a dwarf strikes a bargain with faeries to save the woman he loves. In yet another, a sideshow attraction who wishes to be normal experiences…rather unexpected results.
As a quote from the back of Owl Light says:
“These stories and more dare the reader to step into Owl Light, where early stars flicker, owls wake from slumber, and shadows appear where shadows ought not be. But be warned, Owl Light dims to darkness, dreams change to nightmares, and dawn is more distant than you know.”
Owl Light by Vonnie Winslow Crist is a spellbinding collection of poems and short stories that you’re sure to love, if you’re a fan of great fantasy literature. Crist has also written “Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales,” a children’s book selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by PCRM. Besides this book, Vonnie is a Pushcart Nominee and winner of 2 Honorable Mentions in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contests. She is also the recipient of a MSAC Writing Award. Both The Greener Forest and The Enchanted Skean were voted among the Top Ten books for Young Adults in the P&E Reader’s Poll. The Enchanted Skean is a Finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award.
Written by: Douglas Cobb