The Root of the Matter by Gregory Frost

Image result for snow white, blood red book cover

Title: The Root of the Matter
Author: Gregory Frost
In: Snow White, Blood Red (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales,
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Signet
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: The Others had seen it coming much sooner.

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Mother Gothel and Rapunzel tell their stories in this slightly horrific and intense retelling of Rapunzel. Not for the young… or the faint of heart.


As with many of the retellings in Snow White, Blood Red, The Root of the Matter was filled with a sexuality that is almost missing from the traditional fairy tales. I say almost because it does kind of linger in the originals, but it’s possible to ignore and read in total innocence. You can’t read The Root of the Matter in total innocence. You can’t read it in any semblance of innocence for that matter.

Rapunzel has always been a fairy tale that I’ve enjoyed. And when I finally discovered the full version as an adult (the one with the blinding and wondering the desert), it made me love it all the more. There is just something about this story. And the fact that there is an eventual happy ending, even though there is a lot of suffering simply endears it to me all the more. After all, I tend to find that the happiest and sweetest of endings come from the sufferings. Can’t see the light without the dark and all of that nonsense. So it was really nice that although this was a very adult version of Rapunzel, it still had that happy ending. The living forever after together after both had faced their trials.

This is definitely a short story and retelling that is going to linger. It is almost the original, but with a much more adult spin on it that both disturbs and works beautifully.

 <- I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood ReviewThe Princess in the Tower Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Book Review

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