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Book Review: Creole Conjure

CREOLE CONJURE by Christina Rosso is alluring and mystical, capturing Louisiana in all its mysterious glory. Check out what Alexandria Ducksworth of IBR has to say in her review of this Maudlin House story collection.

Book Review: Creole Conjure

Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth

Alluring and mystical—Creole Conjure captures Louisiana in all of its mysterious glory

This story collection comes with a pinch of magic. Author Christina Rosso thrives in her depiction of mystical New Orleans and makes you want to explore its singular charm.

This collection of intertwining stories is set both in New Orleans and the Honey Island Swamp, modeled after the real Manchac Swamp. The areas are well known for their magic, superstitions, and folklore. There are witches, werewolves, vampires, cursed dolls, and more than you can imagine in Creole Conjure. And the everyday, non-magical folks are just as peculiar. 

As readers venture through this collection, they meet a grand case of captivating characters like creepy museum collectors and serial killers. Rosso has a way with mystical storytelling, taking you in like one of her witches and capturing you in her spell. 

I love how Rosso presents two sides to her characters. Some may be seen as horrible people but truly good at heart; others may be good but downright rotten. The swamp siren is a particular favorite for me. According to Greek mythology, sirens are notorious for bringing sailors to their doom. But if you read from the siren’s perspective on the ill-hearted men she preys upon, who is the real villain? The same applies to the serial killer wife who believes she’s doing good for ending the lives of the men who have wronged her. There are no one-sided characters in Creole Conjure.

Rosso does a great job of not portraying Voodoo as evil, too. It never was, never will be the devious practice that the media has turned it into. As readers meet magic-wielding characters like Zelima, they’ll learn magic can be good or evil depending on their intentions. It’s not the magic that’s purely good or evil; it’s the person’s heart. 

There is plenty to learn from in Creole Conjure, like never steal from a witch, be kind to people, and know that revenge isn’t always so sweet. 

I highly recommend Creole Conjure to anybody who indulges in Southern folklore, especially those from New Orleans. There’s no city like it. After reading Rosso’s book, I think I’ve got no choice but to pack my bags and return. 

Publisher: Maudlin House

Genre: Short Story Collection / Fantasy

Print Length: 214 pages

ISBN: 978-1737022220

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