This is the second book in the Bushy Tails series. I really enjoyed Tales Of The Nun & Dragon and had high hopes for this book. The cover has the some distinctive style as N&D. Vincent Holland-Keen has done another stunning job on this cover. There really is life in the eyes of the fox. I also really like the cover wrapping around the spine as a continuous image. The Bushy tales will all look great on the shelf. The aesthetics don’t stop with the cover. Between each story there is a pretty little picture to give you pause. Although these look good in an ebook I would really recommend buying this as a physical book if you can.
Looking at the list of authors in this anthology I had an idea about which ones I would enjoy the most. As usual I was surprised. My favourite was They are the Dead by T.F.Grant. There are so many great touches in this story. Somehow it seems like the story is a lot longer than it is without seeming rushed or crammed in. The way the author uses allegory to show different aspects of the fox in different characters is quite inspired. Just about everything about this story worked for me. I also really enjoyed A Cackling Fart by Chloe Yates but for very different reasons. I did think it was a bizarre title so I did a bit of research. Apparently it was an 18th century thieves cant term for an egg that spread (pun intended). There is a base humour that suffuses this author’s work and yet somehow doesn’t have an impact on the build up of tension. It is a very sensory story and for some reason that really appealed to me.
I enjoyed all the stories in this anthology. They are very different. In one story the foxes are ridden to war by the Spriggan, in another they walk upright. In some things are obvious in others they are hinted at or revealed at the end. Every story had a different point of view or looked at a different aspect of the vulpine nature. I was pleased to see at least one anti-hunting story in this collection and it really set the scene for the other stories.
This book is a thing of beauty and that theme is continued by the imaginative writing. It is well worth a read.