Review: Missing Monarchs

Missing monarchs cover

Missing Monarchs by Fox Spirits

This is an anthology of short stories from the Fox Pockets collection, with a wide variety of genres centered around the theme “Missing Monarchs”. The collection overall is really fun; there’s a brilliant mix of noir, supernatural, fantasy, folklore and plenty of murders, all wrapped up in some nice writing and brilliantly executed concepts.

The anthology starts with Headless in Bury, a fun hardboiled detective investigation crossed with Viking mythology that has a nice twist at the end. Later on in the anthology, Tits Up In Wonderland also has a gritty noir feel with a brilliantly twisted version of Lewis Carroll’s world that’s fun, dirty, and wonderfully nasty.

Some stories deal with the supernatural; In Absentia is a chilling story of witchcraft and mystery, and Lou Morgan’s Oliver Cromwell’s Head is a tale of supernatural collectors who get rather more than they bargained for with their latest purchase. The Blooding is otherworldly and fantastic, with a nice dose of treachery and double-crossing, and The Collector is a tale of supernatural mystery. Matriarch is a sci-fi action; smoothly written despite the focus on the fight. There’s a folklore theme too; The Lost Queen is a bittersweet and poignant tale about a lost city and found dreams, Monarch of The Glen intertwines real life and mythology, and the brilliant Paths In The Forest is dark and compelling, with a chilling twist.

I enjoyed the entire collection, and found it hard to pick one favourite! The Runaway King is a sweet and charming story about a king who walks in the footsteps of his ancestors, and is a nice easy read. Jo Thomas’ chatty style is engaging as always in The Lost Kingdom, which has a heartbreaking ending within some amazing world-building and characters that you want to know more about. But I think my favourite is the unsettling Checkmate; clever, chilling and creepy, with a shivers-down-your-spine twist.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.

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