Bedknobs & Beanstalks: Anthology of Gay Erotic Fairy Tales - E.M. Lynley I realize to my chagrin that I never reviewed this collection. Bad, bad reader. So here goes - Anthologies are tricky to review since it's impossible to like all of the stories equally. There are a couple of stories here I would have given 3'2 and a couple would receive 5's if they were standalone, so I've taken the average for the whole.

EM doesn't have an entry herself in this set but she does a fabulous job as editor, a harder prospect than one might imagine. Themed anthologies can be deadly boring, with too many of the stories sounding the same. EM has managed to find a perfect balance of mood, style and theme. Each story is a reworking of a different folk/fairytale (with one for which I couldn't come up with a predecessor at all.)

There are a couple that didn't quite measure up but perhaps that's not fair, since the writing in many of them is exceptional. Sort of like breaking the curve on the Physics exam.

Two are hilarious - Jack and the Peenstalk, a retelling of, well, you know, with some biting social commentary and a magic cock ring. Come on now, how can you not read a story with a magic cock ring? Then there's Kilt Kilpatrick's retelling of Hansel and Gretel, Handsome and Grateful. As usual, Kilt has his fingers all in the pie of pop culture, with references to John Waters and Andy Warhol. Please, before anyone gets huffy, Kilt's characters are young but definitely adult. And before anyone can jump to the other ugly conclusion - incest would be difficult since both brother and sister are gay. (A warning to my staunch M/M reader friends - there are girlie bits in this one - easily skimmed if you can't stand the thought so you don't miss the rest of this uproarious story.)

Couple of my other favorites - the hauntingly beautiful Swan Made, the lovely reworking of folklore in feudal Japan in Kintaro, and the well-crafted, heart wrenching last story The Merman's Tale.

All in all, a fun collection for any fan of M/M fantasy or any aficionado of folk and fairytales.