Expertly navigating between the real and the fantastical, A. S. Byatt offers a magnificent new collection that transports the reader to a world where opposites -- passion and loneliness, betrayal and loyalty, fire and ice -- clash and converge.A beautiful ice maiden risks her life when she falls in love with a desert prince, whose passionate touches scorch her delicate skin. A woman flees the scene of her husband's heart attack, leaving her entire past behind her. Striving to master color and line, a painter discovers the resolution to his artistic problems when a beautiful and magical water snake appears in his pool. And a wealthy English woman gradually loses her identity while wandering through a shopping mall. Elegantly crafted and suffused with boundless wisdom, these bewitching tales are a testament to a writer at the height of her powers.