Tuesday 16 October 2018

Old Magic in a New World - David Vining - A Collection of Short Stories

Old Magic in a New World
A Collection of Short Stories
David Vining
ISBN 9781980891956


This was the second collection of short stories by David Vining that I have read. It is a collection of 5 stories with some interesting variations on the practice of magic. The stories in this volume are:

From Cork to Montgomery 
Sooner or Later 
A Witch's Counter 
Lessons Our Parents Taught Us

With any collection of short stories there is always a favorite, and by necessity a least favorite. In this collection my favorite was ‘Lessons Our Parents Taught Us’ I appreciated the backstory of Winston Gardner’s recollections of what his parents taught him, even as he treks across the country to get away from his parents and his six brothers and sisters. The unique ending of this story took me completely by surprise. And the magic in this story presents in a very different way than the others. The story ‘A Witch's Counter’ was my least favorite. Even though it gives a plausible explanation for the beginning of the trials in Salem. 

Each of the stories to some extent focuses around the theme of magic. But it is the theme of magic in the new world. Three of the stories also have an element of family interactions. Some that support and some that play key aspects of the plot. 

The description of this collection is:

“Magic and spells populate the world of history. 

See what happens when people gain the power to make others sneeze at will! When a man can make himself disappear from sight with a song! See what really started the witch trials at Salem, Massachusetts!”

But the story that has stuck with me most is: ‘From Cork to Montgomery’, It has come back to mind a number of times since reading it. The story is about a family leaving Ireland to not be renters and seeking their own parcel of land in America. But the further the family travels the lest the matriarch’s magic works. The daughter understands what is happening and how to counter it but the old woman can not give up her old ways. 

This was a very intriguing collection of stories. After reading David’s novel and a different collection of stories I had purchased all 5 of his current collections of short stories. David is a young author, but his works show a maturity and skill I have not seen in many with far more years than his. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and look forward to the next I will read. 

Books by David Vining:
A Quest Through Winter Sleep
The Battle of Lake Erie: One Young American's Adventure in the War of 1812
Crystal Embers

The Sharp Kid

Collections of Short Stories:
Shoes for Two Soldier Sons
Old Magic in a New World
A Light in the Darkness
A Boy and His Satellit


Author profile and interview with David Vining.

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