Short Story - Spinning Tails: Animals and Cornish Spyrys (Fae)


Steve Taylor-Bryant gets caught by the Spriggans as he reviews this short story on Fox Spirit from R.A. Kennedy...

Contrary to popular opinion in my household I really do like fairy tales, mythology and folklore, I'm just not a huge shout about it fan. I grew up in Germany and, whilst many of the tales were very Scandinavian in origin, I really did love what I learned, the Lorelei Siren of the Rhine being a particular favourite. My problem with fairy tales as a grown up is that the styles they are now pushed into the market with just aren't to my tastes. We seem to have drifted away from the camp fire telling of stories and gone heavy with the fantasy, my least favourite genre of the word form, so to grab my attention now you have to do something different, especially if you are including folklore I know nothing about. A quick glance at the FoxSpirit website gave me exactly what I wanted.

Spinning Tails: Animals and Cornish Spyrys (Fae) by R. A. Kennedy was superb. I know Cornwall as a holiday destination and knew it had a rich history and culture of story telling I just didn't know many of the stories. A lesson was given in this short story but not as a work of fantasy or an academic lecture, Kennedy instead chose a 1920's noir detective feel and, whilst I didn't understand all of the traits of the characters, I felt connected enough to be left wanting more which is the highest compliment I can pay any writer.

A Cornish detective investigating lost stories and folklore at the behest of a Spriggan whilst being aided by a Goblin all told like a Sin City narration? Brilliant! I got a great adventure tale told across a week that included lots of Cornish mythology whilst not baffling me with heavy reasoning. As an introduction to all things Cornwall it also worked exceedingly well. Lots of wonderful characters that have left me wanting to do my research into what seems a glorious culture. There was enough of a background to everything I read that meant even a novice like myself could enjoy, the writing itself was solid, serious but with the right level of humour inserted, and quite honestly I was sad when I came to the end and can only hope Kennedy becomes a more regular member of the team over at Fox Spirit and revisits this style of writing in a longer form.

Image - Wikipedia.

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