A Good Variety and Eclectic Mix

Cassandra C. Stirling
2 min readJan 19

The stories selected for The Urban Fantasy Anthology is a good selection, although some are too gritty

Image created in Canva by the author

This book features short stories in the mythic fiction, paranormal romance, and noir fantasy subgenres for urban fantasy. Each subgenre has an introduction to the subgenre and how it came to be. The stories are interesting, if a bit dark, but feature well-knwon authors, such as Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Kelley Armstrong, Carrie Vaughn, Patricka Briggs, and Holly Black, among others.

This is the second anthology I’ve read and I’m not sure why I don’t read more of them. I enjoyed most of the stories in this anthology, although I found some of the noir fantasy to be too dark for me. I only skipped a few of them, even when some of them creeped me out.

What I liked & liked less

I read and enjoyed all of the stories in the Mythic Fiction section. I did it interesting that the Neil Gaiman story felt more of a week in his life than a mythical story, which was a bit disappointing.

The Paranormal Romance section was less happy ever after than I expected. In fact, many of them ended quite dark for that subgenre. I’d expected much more dark sexy men and got zombies, haunted houses in the guise of something darker, etc. I’m glad I read these variations of paranormal romance because it gives me a broader view of the subgenre overall.

The Noir Fantasy section, as already mentioned, had several pieces I just couldn’t read. For me, they were too dark and too gruesome. I’d rather not read those stories if I have a choice (which I always do with books I’m reading).

To Sum Up (Too Late!)

If you like a variety of dark urban fantasy stories and want to know the history behind some of the subgenres, then this anthology is a great read. If you’re looking for other authors to read, this is also a great book. I enjoyed the stories and the history lesson enough for me to rate this 4 stars.

About the Editor

Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of his other books (A Fine and Private Place and I See By My Outfit) are considered modern classics.

Cassandra C. Stirling

Writer, editor, writing coach, and videogamer. I write about writing, books, and occasionally videogames.