C. S. E. Cooney has produced a distinctive world full of pirates, animated stuffed animals, and world changing magic. Readers who enjoy stories from the New Weird genre will find plenty of surreal, unexplained fantasy in this tale. Readers who like their weird mixed evenly with charm will enjoy “Though She Be But Little” even more as Cooney mixes in wry pirate jokes, and off-beat details, with her more bizarre, haunting creations.
The sky in Emma Anne’s world went silver one day, and suddenly everything changed. Overnight, Emma Anne went from being ‘Mrs. Emma A. Santiago,Navy widow, age sixty-five’ to ‘eight years old in her jimjams and Velcro sneakers. One belt, one tin can on string, two stuffed toys the richer. Sans house, sans car, sans monthly Bunco night with her girlfriends of forty years, sans everything.’ “Though She Be But Little” has a keen eye for subtler horrors as well as presenting a truly terrifying monster in ‘the Loping Man’ who is coming for Emma Anne.
“Though She Be But Little” is ultimately a story about transformations, good and bad, and quietly about female friendship. The ending, which presents a fantastic scene of monstrous women coming together, was my favourite part.