Title: Rags and Riches
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
In: Troll’s-Eye View (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Villains
Format: Short story
Publisher: Firebird Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: The water looks so call and fresh.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman retells the old fable of the Goosegirl… from the villains point of view.
I remember the story of the goose girl from my recent reading of Grimm fairy tales. But, it took me a little while to connect that storyline with Hoffman’s Rags and Riches. I just thought that this was a story that halfway explains the cruelty of a maid. It wasn’t until the end that I recognised her punishment and the actual storyline.
This was one of those villain stories that makes you understand why the bad guy starts down the path that she does. But, it reaches a certain point where she crosses a line and you loose all sympathy. I also loved the way in which Hoffman is able to explain how she pronounces her own punishment. I too have never understood how the villains in many of the early, early fairy tales don’t realise that it is their own crime being repeated back. Finally, Rags and Riches manages to help explain this. In a way that wasn’t tedious, frivolous or irritating. But a way that actually made sense.
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