Clamour and Mischief by Narrelle M. Harris (Editor), Alex Marchant, Dannye Chase, Eugen Bacon, Gabiann Marin, Geneve Flynn, George Ivanoff , G.V. Pearce, Jack Fennell, Jason Franks, Katya de Becerra, Lee Murray, Raymond Gates, RD White, R.J.K. Lee, Tamara M Bailey

‘The corvids gather. Crows and ravens, jackdaws and jays.’

What a marvellous anthology this is! Sixteen stories inspired by corvids. Dare I confess my ignorance?  I find it difficult to differentiate crows from ravens? I thought I was seeing crows on my regular morning walks out of Adaminaby and nicknamed a particular tree ‘the Murder Tree’ because I saw quite a few crows hanging out there together. While I now think they are ravens, I am not changing the name of the tree.  What mischief they are plotting, as they survey the paddocks around them? They are clearly intelligent birds: just look at the Ravens at the Tower of London, preventing the downfall of the monarchy since at least the 17th century.

Back to the anthology. While I enjoyed every story, four really captured my attention:

Kūpara and Tekoteko by Lee Murray, Branwen and The Three Ravens by Dannye Chase, The Girl and The Crow by RD White and Murder of Crows by George Ivanoff.

While some stories are light and others are dark, each is entire. Each corvid was brought to life and literally fly off the page. Pity (or in some cases admire) their companions. Heed the advice on the back of the book: ‘Take them as a jest, a guide, or a warning – but don’t, whatever you do, ignore them!’

Jennifer Cameron-Smith