I love it when books teach me something I didn't know about myself. For example, I had no idea that I loved spooky short stories with a definite historical slant but then I read Judi Daykin's Wayland Babes and now I know. Based on the terrible tale of the Babes in the Wood, Wayland Babes takes us to Norfolk's Wayland Woods and all the terrible things that have happened over the years following sightings of the ghostly siblings.
If I had to define Wayland Babes in two words, it would be 'delightful' and 'thrilling'. I looked forward to every moment when I could pick up the book again and I really enjoyed travelling through time from the English Civil War through the Blitz to the current era.
There are five short stories in the collection, each linked to a sighting of the Wayland Babes. Each tale was spooky and scary and I loved that none were predictable. I was incredibly inspired by the historical aspects of the stories, learning more about the English Civil War and Victorian sensibilities than ever before. What I enjoyed most is the local setting - Norfolk is not far from where I live and I can't wait to visit again. I might just avoid visiting during winter or in the dark or during times of national crisis and I'll definitely avoid the Wayland Woods!
I loved Wayland Babes and give an emphatic five out of five stars. I consider it high praise to say that I thought I wasn't a short story fan before and now I am. I also thought I wasn't interested in reading fiction set during the English Civil War but I was clearly wrong there too. Wayland Babes was written during the Great British Winter Lockdowns of 2020 / 2021 and I hope that author Judi Daykin enjoyed as much of an escape in writing the stories as I did reading them. Highly recommend to lovers of spooky, historic ghost stories!
Wayland Babes is available on Amazon (note: this link is an affiliate link; I will receive a small commission if you purchase using these links at no extra cost to you).
I received an electronic copy of this novel for the purposes of this review. I will always provide an honest review, whether books are provided to me or purchased by me.
Wayland Babes Blog Tour
I'm taking part in the Wayland Babes blog tour. Definitely visit the other blogs on the tour for more reviews and other snippets.