The Rivers of London stories have spread out from their original novels into a number of formats – an ongoing graphic novel series, and short stories posted in varying places. Tales from the Folly collates a number of these short stories into a book to provide some little offshoots for the main character Peter Grant, but also some limelight to other characters that have appeared.
It’s an interesting collection as the stories cover varying time periods – for Peter from early in his career at the Folly to the period around the last novel (False Value). The Peter focused stories are actually perhaps the lightest and least important as they are more just “filler” cases and they’re also more likely to have been read as they were included with novels (if purchased at Waterstones) or on the web.
The ones I liked were the more sideways ones – there’s an interesting story from the Welsh borders where a new river god is born (from the time Peter & Bethany had fun in the local river after Foxglove Summer) and adopted; we also get a new river god born during, and from the fashion of, the hippy era in a London warehouse. These glimpses into the wider universe showing the growing influence of magic over the years I think play into the broader story – which similar to the Dresden Files – is about how the masquerade hiding practitioners is failing as magic grows in strength again.
Perhaps the most touching story features young Abigail Kamara and is set around Christmas where we find out Abigail’s brother Paul has a chronic illness that sees him in hospital a lot of time (including at this point). He clearly is aware of her gift as his present to her is a mechanical watch (magic and electronics is a bad combination) and reading between the lines it seems Abigail wants to be able to use magic to help him.
This isn’t an essential book in the series and you can skip it but for fans of The Folly there’s a lot of nice little stories in here that you can pick up and read for a bit.