Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Review | Candle And Pins by Jacqueline West

Candle And Pins is a dark fantasy poetry collection by Jacqueline West.


The poems of “Candle and Pins” are inspired by familiar—and some unfamiliar—superstitions, ranging from love charms to burial practices, parsley seeds to the evil eye. Like superstitions themselves, these poems explore the terrain where magic and everyday life intertwine, and where beauty, horror, fear, and belief combine in ways both new and ageless.


In the last moment, I turned my eyes away – grandfather was cutting. Grandmother prayed.

I was really excited to be offered a review copy of Candle and Pins. Not only am I trying to read a lot of poetry this year, Jacqueline West is an author I already had on my wishlist. She’s an MG/YA children’s book author so reading an adult dark fantasy/horror poetry collection by her was something I absolutely wanted to do. Imaginative horror poetry is a trifecta I am not going to pass up.

Preceding every poem in Candle and Pins is a superstition related to that particular poem. For example, the superstition that goes along with the poem titled Mother-Die is if children pick these red and white flowers, their mother's death is near.

The poems in Candle and Pins breathed life into each superstition which, in turn, added an extra dimension to the entire collection.

My favorite poem of the collection was a poem called Ash Tree. The superstition it was based on states a young ash tree is severed, and an injured child is passed through the split part of the tree. Afterward, the ash is carefully bound, and as the sapling grows together, the child is healed. It reminded me of the old fairy tales that I used to love reading, and it was just a beautifully written poem.

If you love dark poetry, Candle and Pins is a lovely collection to check out. I will definitely be reading more of Jacqueline West in the future.

7/10: Recommended Read

Review copy provided by author

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11 comments:

  1. I don't read poetry, but this sounds like something I'd enjoy. And that story about the ash tree sounds familiar, I think I've read something based on that myth😊

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    1. Oh, neat. I would love to read something based on that.

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  2. I don't read a lot of poetry but this does sound like a cool collection. Maybe if more poetry was like this one, I'd read more of it!

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    1. I will be seeking out more poetry like this so I will let you know!

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  3. This does sound beautifully dark but poetry's not for me. I've tried and tried and it never sticks.

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  4. Glad you enjoyed this. Poetry and me - we don't get on for some reason, although occasionally I let the odd poem slip through. I'm just a neanderthal.
    Lynn :D

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  5. Superstitions and horror in poem form sounds pretty good to me. It does sound wonderfully dark.

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    1. I think superstitions and poetry really go well together. You know I prefer everything to be darker. :)

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  6. This sounds really interesting! I would like to read more poetry, so I might check this out soon! It sounds wonderfully dark!

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