Hag’s Breath by S.P. Oldham is a captivating collection of tales that revolve around witches and witchcraft. The keystone tale tells of sister witches, three of course, Sussurata, Sibilanta, and Silhouetta. Each has her own specialty and style. They are beautifully drawn right down to their magnificent couture. Unfortunately, as it sometimes happens with sisters, they do not quite get along. Their animosity must be dealt with in a great reckoning. In addition to the three sisters, there is Elinar who runs with a pack of wolves, Cecily who does not know herself, Constance who should be a witch, and Agatha who has issues with witchy guests.
The plot for each story is unique, complex, perfectly paced, and articulated with grace and style. Oldham’s prose is smooth and penned with a lilting cadence. The conclusions are satisfying and often surprising.
ll the characters are distinctive and matchless. They glow with a unique light, some evil, and some heroic. The plots are a divine mix of greed, guile, pride, jealousy, horror, honor, bravery, and more.
The settings are diverse and clear enough for readers to visualize, yet vague enough so that readers can imaging the tales happening in the woods behind their house.
This unique collection will elicit questions from readers. Perhaps the most telling would be: What exactly is a witch, and how does one know if he or she is a member of this mysterious race?
For those who enjoy brief bouts of reading, a compilation of short stories is the perfect solution.
Readers who enjoy Hag’s Breath should read Wakeful Children, also by S.P. Oldham. It is a collection of short horror tales.