Jane Yolen’s awe-inspiring THE EMERALD CIRCUS amazes and thrills

Excitement builds for Jane Yolen’s soon-to-be-released THE EMERALD CIRCUS.


On the B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG, Jim Killen cites the collection among The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of November 2017.

The ideal introduction to Yolen’s adult fiction, this collection of stories features classic figures from fairy tales, literature, and history engaging in unexpected, subversive, or fanciful adventures. A new Wendy in Neverland rises up and fights for labor rights against the oppressive Lost Boys. Dorothy returns from Oz a changed woman, wise and sophisticated in the ways of more than one world. Emily Dickinson meets an alien, the Arthurian legends are chopped and screwed into something unexpected, and the relationship between a real world queen and her prime minister is given a spark of magic. Fans of Yolen will be thrilled, and newcomers will be amazed.

YA LIT RAMBLINGS enjoys the book.

Oh Boy!  I did love this book, in spite of the fact that only one of the stories, The Bird, is new. I just can’t get enough of Jane Yolen. https://tachyonpublications.com/product/the-emerald-circus/Her stories are unique, from her quirky retelling of children’s stories and myths, to imagining the inner workings of famous people. This collection spans decades, from 1985 to the present. The novella, Lost Girls, a feminists’ Peter Pan, is one of my favorites, as is Sister Emily’s Lightship.  But the very best is the final chapter which contains the story notes and poems. If you have never read Jane Yolen, this is a great place to start. And if you have read a great deal of her writing, the story notes and poems will make you happy.

THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE includes the volume in Five new book releases your in-laws will love.

Fun yet uniquely twisted, Jane Yolen’s latest book is a collection of ‘reworked’ tales (involving fairytale characters, famous writers, medieval stories and other familiar childhood literature) that are sure to appeal to adults with a dark, witty sense of humour and who appreciate a touch of the fantastical.


Photo: Jason Stemple

IMAGINE A BOOK SF praises the work.

Jane Yolen always has an interesting twist to her stories. In this collection you will be surprised, shocked, intrigued, and awed both by new tales and by new perspectives on old, well-loved tales.

Each story evokes its own unique space and time, and opens the imagination a wee bit more.

Don’t skip the story notes and poems at the end of the book. The poems are well worth the time, and the insights into how each story came to be are a brief look into the mind of a writer.

I give it 5 stars.

LOCUS (NOVEMBER 2017, ISSUE 682) delievers a pair of reviews for THE EMERALD CIRCUS.

by Gary K. Wolfe:

One of Jane Yolen’s
abiding concerns in the hundreds of books she’s written or edited
has been the ways in which stories and lives shape each other, so
it’s not too surprising that her new collection THE EMERALD CIRCUS
begins and ends with actual historical figures, Hans Christian
Andersen and Emily Dickinson. In between, we also briefly meet Edgar
Allan Poe, Queen Victoria, Benjamin Disraeli, Alice Liddell as an old
lady, and even Geoffrey of Monmouth. On the fictional side of the
ledger, there are tales and characters drawn from Arthurian legends,
J.M. Barrie, John Keats, L. Frank Baum, and
O. Henry.


The toads are much
more impressive in ‘‘A Knot of Toads’’ (‘‘knot’’
turns out to be the collective noun), one of several tales that take
advantage of Yolen’s part-time residency in Scotland. A professor
returns to the Scottish village where her long-alienated father has
just died, and learns of the suspicious circumstances of his
death – he was apparently terrified – and of his obsessive
research into the history of witches in the
area. Yolen says the story was partly inspired by M.R. James, and the
remote, brooding 1930s setting achieves much of the effect of a
classic ghost story; it’s the most elegantly

by Faren Miller:

For many of the
tales in THE EMERALD CIRCUS, Jane Yolen revisits and revises other
people’s imaginary worlds: Peter Pan’s Neverland in ‘‘Lost
Girls’’ (an impudently feminist response), Oz through the Tin
Woodman’s eyes in ‘‘Blown Away’’, Robin Hood and his Forest
in ‘‘Our Lady of the Greenwood’’, separate takes on the girl
who discovered Wonderland in ‘‘Tough Alice’’ and ‘‘Rabbit
Hole’’. Other stories transform the stuff of poems (Keats in the
brief ‘‘Belle Bloody Merciless Dame’’) or drop in on a poet
(Emily Dickinson herself in ‘‘Sister Emily’s Lightship’’).

As Holly Black says
in her introduction, ‘‘Jane gets all the details right’’
while ‘‘the depth and breadth of her
knowledge shine’’: that busy magpie mind. These stories also seem
to break down the distinctions between
writer, character and reader. We’re all in this together!

For more info on THE EMERALD CIRCUS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover design by Elizabeth Story