Foxfire, Wolfskin by Sharon Blackie

Publisher: September

Pages: 230

Published : October 2019


Charged with drama and beauty, this memorable collection by a master storyteller weaves a magical world of possibility and power from female myths of physical renewal, creation and change. It is an extraordinary immersion into the bodies and voices, mindscapes and landscapes, of the shape-shifting women of our native folklore. We meet the Water Horse of the Isle of Lewis, the huldra, the Scandinavian supernatural forest-dweller, and Baba Yaga of Slavic folklore (but will she help you or kill you?) Here too is the Snow Queen; the wild bird-woman of the Sliabh Mis Mountains; Blodeuedd, the Welsh ‘flower-faced’ woman.

Drawing on myth and fairy tales found across Europe – from Croatia to Sweden, Ireland to Russia – Sharon Blackie brings to life women’s remarkable ability to transform themselves in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances. These stories are about coming to terms with our animal natures, exploring the ways in which we might renegotiate our fractured relationship with the natural world, and uncovering the wildness – and wilderness – within.

My thoughts

Sometimes I come across a book where the language is so beautiful and clever that I am in literary ecstasy; this is one of those books. I wanted to bask in the pages, languish in the language, bow down to its depths, imagination and poetry. Sharon Blackie, how I wish I could write like you!

Foxfire Wolfskin is a collection of folktales and old stories from across Europe – Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Germany, Croatia, Norway and Central Europe – which have been reinterpreted and revamped. At the back of the book you will find notes explaining the origins of each of the stories. I loved having access to this, and often read the notes before the story. Each section is accompanied by a beautiful print.

I absolutely adored these clever reinterpretations of folklore and myth. Each story was fully developed with memorable and rounded characters, some I loved more than others, but the range really showed off Blackie’s scope and talent. I will definitely be searching out her back catalogue.

These stories sing with a deep and passionate love for desolate and secluded countrysides, and are all about the power of women.

What a book! I am absolutely in love with Sharon Blackie’s writing.

Thank you to Anne Cater for a place on this Random Things Tour, and for my copy of the book; it is one I know I will return to time and again.

About the Author:

Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, mythologist and psychologist, and an internationally recognised teacher of the mythic imagination. Her bestselling book, If Women Rose Rooted, won a 2016 Nautilus award, and laid out a haunting heroine’s journey for every woman who finds power, inspiration and solace in the natural world.  She has an international following through her online communities, and the courses and workshops she offers through ‘The Hedge School’.  Her first novel, The Long Delirious Blue, was described by the Independent on Sunday as ‘hugely potent’. She lives in Connemara, Ireland.

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