Author: Tanith Lee
In: Red as Blood (Tanith Lee)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings
Dates read: 29th October 2019
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: He hesitated a moment.
And in “Thorns” you’ll find the haunting answer to the question, “What if awakening the Sleeping Beauty turns out to be the mistake of a lifetime – of several lifetimes, in fact?”
At the beginning of this short story retelling, I thought that it was going to be super dark and twisted. Something that I wouldn’t quite be able to get out of my head. And would certainly make me look at Sleeping Beauty in a whole new light. And in some ways, it really was. It was dark, sad and incredibly bittersweet. But it was nowhere near as twisty as I was expecting it to be.
Actually, this story was mostly what I would call melancholy. It wasn’t actually sad. It wasn’t something that made me question my fairy tales from childhood in a new and really uncomfortable way (I’ve been reading a lot of stories like that lately). But it was quite melancholy, and made you sit there with that feeling in your chest when you’d turned the last page. Not quite sad, not quite happy… just there.
This is the first ever retelling of Sleeping Beauty that I’ve approached which addresses the 100-year gap. After all, a woman might be woken by the prince… but what happens when the entire castle has now lost everything that they had? Their entire world died out long ago and things do change quite drastically in a 100-year time period… so what do you do then?