Review: “Witch, Beast, Saint: An Erotic Fairy Tale” by C. S. E. Cooney

3 of 5 stars.

The title of this tale could not be clearer. There are three characters. The tone of the telling is perfectly appropriate for a fairy tale. And the three characters suddenly have graphic sex with each other in various combinations of two throughout the tale–a true love triangle. My only quibble is in calling the wizard, a saint and the miniscule plot.

A witch finds a monster in the woods and nurses him back to health. She recognizes that he is one of the many beasts that were men turned feral by another witch who’s easily slighted. After he is healthy, the witch and beast start a heavy love affair in her gingerbread cottage. [She also performs works of witchery for locals to pay the bills.]

A wizard comes by who is on the selfless mission to transform the men-come-beasts back into men with the power of his kiss. He then takes them into his arms and teaches them how to speak and be human again. He converts the witch’s beast and leaves with him much to the witch’s disdain.

Weeks later, the beast-come-man has returned and begs to be made the witch’s beast again. They have sex and she then converts him back and they have more sex.

The wizard returns in his longing for the beast-come-man with tales of all the ways the man had sexually ravaged and used him. The wizard was also turned on by the stories the man told of his sex life with the witch. So, the witch and wizard finally get it on. Basically, this tale would serve as a good outline for an opera.

“Witch, Beast, Saint: An Erotic Fairy Tale” appears in The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2015 edited by Rich Norton and published by Prime Books. It first appeared in Strange Horizons, July 21, 2014.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


2 responses to “Review: “Witch, Beast, Saint: An Erotic Fairy Tale” by C. S. E. Cooney

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