A collection of magical short stories by an author best known for her humorous Enchanted Forest Chronicles, in which spunky young heroines turn the knight-in-shining-armor--damsel-in-distress paradigm on its head. Though mostly unrelated to the novels, stories such as ""The Princess, the Cat, and the Unicorn"" and ""The Sixty-two Curses of Caliph Arenschadd"" carry on the unconventional princess theme. The last story in particular, ""Utensile Strength,"" involves familiar characters from Wrede's series and features a rousing ""bake-off"" for knights, with the recipe for the winning entry included. Other pieces dig deeper into the eerie world of magic and the imagination. ""Stronger than Time"" is a wonderfully spooky Sleeping Beauty story, and ""Cruel Sisters"" imagines the complex psychological relationships behind the lyrics of an old song, in which a magic harp sings of one sister's drowning another. ""Roses by Moonlight"" examines human nature and, along with ""The Lorelei,"" starts off with a contemporary setting that intersects with the ancient world of magic. A thoughtful author's note answers the perennial question ""Where do you get your ideas?"" and doses out this varied and satisfying collection.