Book Quibbles: Toil and Trouble – 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.

I preordered this book a while ago, I don’t even remember why. I just saw “witchcraft” and knew it was an anthology series so that pretty much hooked me. The main characters (well most of them) are in their mid to late teens, some older, but I think anyone can find at least one of the stories and connect to them.

But how did the book do overall?

Nothing More Powerful 

The stories range from different time periods to races, sexuality, and magic. No two story’s magic is the same and I enjoyed reading how one differed from the other. One of my favorite tales, “The Heart in Her Hands,” is about young witches who are tattooed with the first line of dialogue their soul mate will speak to them. It’s about fate and those choosing to fight it. Another involves the elements and another may involve little to no magic but willpower.

Each of the witches is powerful in their own right.

Why They Watch Us Burn

An overall message of the book is that women are powerful and when given the right tools (like magic) they can burn down towns, curse those who do them wrong and fight whatever may be coming for them.

“Why They Watch Us Burn” is the last tale in the book and it fits perfectly, to sum up, everything you already read. The main character is in first person and its as if you’re the one going through the trial and torture in a camp where supposed witches are taken and burned. This is one of my favorite stories and says that when women are seen as strong or intelligent or as if they could take over the world, the men will burn them.

Hit Or Miss

I can’t say ALL the stories got my attention, but that’s the thing with anthology books, the story will either do it for you or not. To be honest, there was one tale I didn’t finish reading, but it had more to do with the mythology just not having the time or space to be explained well enough.

Others may not have a lot of magic and some don’t end happily (they are witches) but I have to say, for the most part, I enjoyed this book.


There is a heavy “women are powerful and could take over the world” message throughout the book so if that’s not something you resonate with, then this book may not be for you. It reminded me a lot of “the witch doesn’t burn in this one,” especially the last tale.

But as someone who not only agrees with that message but loves witches and the different ways they are told here through fifteen different writers, I highly recommend this book.








5 thoughts on “Book Quibbles: Toil and Trouble – 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft

  1. Lizzie Bee says:

    Oh my gosh this book sounds right up my street! I am absolutely fascinated by all things witchcraft but I feel like it does get a bad rep, especially in the film industry! Thanks so much for sharing this book. I love how they have so many different stories, too! (And oh my gosh that idea of having the first line of dialogue that your soul mate says to you tattooed sounds like an amazing concept).

    Liked by 1 person

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