A girl who is the only one moving about her castle as the others remain frozen, another who can turn into a swan at choice, a husband who cuts pieces off of people that he would like to keep; these are just a few of the short stories contained within Redder Than Blood.
“‘You must pretend it was all a dream you had, while you slept.’ And in a voice Roisa never heard, Carabeau added, ‘And soon, to you, that is all it will be.'”
This short story collection is reminiscent of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, however the stories have become so twisted that sometimes it takes a while to find out which short story is based on which old classic (though, at the end of the book there is a table letting us know which stories were inspired by which). As opposed to telling childlike tales where nothing bad ever happens, the majority of Tanith Lee’s stories do not have happy endings. Instead she focuses on sometimes-morbid aspects that make her stories memorable, while using writing styles and verbiage that make it feel like one has just picked up an old, dusty volume from the 18th century, but without the same dryness.
Short stories can be more difficult to write, being as there is less time for character and plot development. Tanith Lee writes hers in a fashion that rival full-length novels, and proves herself as a master of short stories.