What a truly brilliant and original collection of short stories. They are so much more than fantasy! Each story is a perfect minature, beautifully written, funny, sad, warm and often moving. The excerpt comes from the title story 'Sleight of Hand' and is a perfect description of what the author does in these stories.
'Since I know how the trick's done, and you don't, I'm afraid I have you at a disadvantage.' He put one long finger to his lips and pursed them, considering, before he started again. 'Let's try it as a riddle. I am not entirely what I appear, being old as time, vast as space, and endless as the future. My nature is known to all, but typically misunderstood. And I meet everyone and everything alive at least once. Indeed, the encounter is entirely unavoidable. Who am I?'