Emporium of Superstition

An Old Wives' Tale Anthology

Fiction - Anthology
588 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Contributing Authors:
C. Vonzale Lewis
Jessica Cranberry
Marlena Frank
Elle Beaumont
Candace Robinson
Leslie Rush
Kristin Jacques
Megan Dailey
Katya de Becerra
D. M. Siciliano
Theresa Braun
Christis Christie

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Emporium of Superstition: An Old Wives' Tale Anthology is an anthology collection of fascinating short stories in the suspense, mythology, folklore, fantasy, and adventure subgenres. There are twelve superb authors featured in this anthology, including C. Vonzale Lewis, Elle Beaumont, Candace Robinson, Jessica Cranberry, and Marlena Frank, to name but a few. In this enthralling collection, we explore the darkest tales from “the old wives”, for example, the dangerous shadow creatures that we are warned about as children and the powerful gods that watch over our every move. What results is a fascinating anthology that gels together beautifully in the sweet spot between cautionary tales, horror, and fantasy.

For fans of the likes of Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and Darren Shan, there’s an enjoyably macabre beauty to the works presented in this fine collection. I particularly enjoyed the fact that they weren’t just short stories done in one punch but mini-novella constructions that allowed you to get sucked in with different chapters and scenes moving the story forward to its (often gruesome) conclusions. A particular favorite of mine was the multi-layered chilling narrative of One Last Breath by author Elle Beaumont, which had the gory scenery of human remains juxtaposed with wit and a pithy gothic spirit which I really enjoyed.

Every author and every story in the collection is well worth a read, edited, and presented to the highest possible quality, and there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy in the pages of this unique grimoire of tales. Overall, I would highly recommend Emporium of Superstition: An Old Wives' Tale Anthology for all dark fantasy and folklore fans seeking several new wonderful authors to discover.

Anelynde Smit

Emporium of Superstition: An Old Wives' Tale Anthology, by Candice Robinson, C. Vonzale Lewis, and Kristen Jaques et al, is an excellent collection of fantastic stories. The story starts with a young girl discovering a book that her grandmother had left. Candice Robinson wrote about a man whose wife is dying and the only way to save her is to bargain with a demon who lives in the mirror realm. A very interesting twist on the seven deadly sins. C. Vonzale Lewis wrote a beautiful story about vengeance and the balance between good and evil. When a mother loses her child, she is driven to call on the forces of vengeance in the form of a raven. It is a harrowing tale of retribution. Kristen Jaques wrote about a woman in her thirties who had begun sprouting hair and how the old woman she lives with turns her into some sort of Big Foot for profit. These and the other stories are told with great elegance.

Emporium of Superstition by Candice Robinson, C. Vonzale Lewis, and Kristen Jaques et al was a fun read. The first three stories were my favorites. I loved the balance between good and evil and even the humor in the last story. To manufacture your own Big Foot was a blast. I didn’t know if I should cringe or smile. I found these stories to be thrilling and sometimes gut-wrenching. When the mother lost her baby, I could feel the pain. It was so realistic and the overall stories were very relatable. Even when there were demons and Papa Sin and Mother Root, you still knew where you stood with them. It makes for an escapist read. You get lost in the stories as you drown in the emporium of superstition. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something different and who loves folklore, superstition, and stories with a twist.

Asher Syed

Emporium of Superstition: An Old Wives' Tale Anthology is a dark fantasy horror written in individual short stories by no less than twelve acclaimed authors in the genre, each resting on the premise of the same theme. Beaumont, Robinson, Vonzale Lewis, Christie, de Becerra, Dailey, Frank, Jacques, Braun, Cranberry, Rush, and D.M. Siciliano lend their own voices and imagination in weaving short stories that harness the power of superstition and folklore. They are original wives' tales as promised, in the style of incantations that could easily be passed down through generations. They range over a variety of plotlines, such as the supernatural vengeance of a mother who has lost her “miracle baby” to a horrific act of violence in C. Vonzale Lewis' An Ax for the Storm, to a doppelgänger that feeds off the perfection of another in Marlena Frank's Perfection.

Going into Emporium of Superstition, I only had read the work of one of its authors and the quality of writing she had put out previously was enough to trust that the rest of the anthology would be just as good. I was not disappointed. There really is something here for everybody, but I have a feeling most will impress even the pickiest of readers who love a good, dark thriller. My favorite was Oh Cruel Darkness by Christis Christie, a story where a dark source enters a woman's life through her dreams, and then works to break her entirely until the hell of his realm and the hell on Earth for her are indistinguishable. I really love being transported to the darker recesses of fantasy and horror, but sometimes am unable to commit to the length of a full-length novel, or series for that matter, to indulge. Emporium is perfect for this, giving up bite-sized morsels of dark deliciousness that have the rich taste of excellent literature with only 1/12th the calories. Very highly recommended.