A Phoenix First Must Burn
Sixteen stories of Black girl magic, hope and resistance have been gathered together by Patrice Caldwell into this unique collection. The tales are from bestselling and award-winning authors who explore the Black female experience through fantasy, science-fiction and magic.
Engaging stories centre around strong women and gender-nonconforming individuals, existing in worlds from the past, present and the future. Folk tales are retold and alternative realities are explored. The characters are witches, schoolgirls, sisters, rebels – highlighting the fact that heroines come in all shapes and sizes. Bravery links all the characters, though they are dealing with a variety of issues, such as betrayal, trauma, relationships and first love. Like any collection, some stories will appeal more than others, though all are of a high standard. Patrice Caldwell has done a marvellous job of editing this collection, including different writing styles across the genres. Some of the stories almost feel too short, like they are just the beginning or are extracted from a longer adventure. A Phoenix First Must Burn is a fantastic resource. A contributors’ section ends the book, which guides the reader towards what to read next.