There are four acts to this story. Or chapters. But, to me, they kind of read like the more traditional acts used in the telling of a story.
My mum gave me this book when I was still in high school, early teens. And I just couldn’t get into it. I liked the storyline, but, back then, I really wasn’t used to reading books which had another language. I just found it way too overwhelming and put it aside. Now I’m really wondering why. This book was amazing, engaging and impossible to put down. It was fun and interesting. Something that completely drew me in and totally enthralled me.
This is an incredibly insane version of Cinderella. Like, seriously insane. One that I absolutely adored. And couldn’t get enough of. And just seriously enjoyed… but it was dark, and made me think of Cinderella (or in this case Ashputtle) as more of a monster than a victim. Which is probably why I loved it so much. Nothing like a sick, disturbing story to make my crazy brain happy.
When I think of dark fantasy, I think of some incredibly twisty, crazy stories. Ones that have a sense of darkness that you can’t shake. Yet, this story didn’t quite have that feeling of darkness. It was a little bit more light and entertaining. With just a hint of darkness behind the storyline. I love that it’s a story which features trickery as the central battle. One that wins the day in the end.
Normally as soon as I receive the next book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity, I read it the moment it arrives on my doorstep. Cover to cover. Not even pausing to eat (I eat, but I’ve gotten very good at doing so whilst reading). This time I waited a little bit longer. I was trying to show that I had self-control or some such nonsense… what a mistake. I did manage to stretch my reading over two days instead of less than 10 hours, so that was helpful for the whole adult thing… but otherwise I feel that I exercised some great self-control when reading such a phenomenal book.
I love that I finally got to revisit the world of Lia and Cyrus. That I get to do so in a Christmas collection and when they’re obviously just finding their relationship (the other two stories I’ve read which feature them are further along in the series) just made it that much better. It also gives a little more insight into the hierarchy of the werewolves in this series. Something I surprisingly needed in my life.
This is the second feminist collection of fairy tales I’ve ever read. And I don’t know if I like this or Angela Carter’s version better. What I do know is that I love both of them and I will read them again and again. They’re fun, kind of brilliant and super dark. Much more likely in our lives than the pretty Disney-versions that I grew up with.
I have a younger sister, so I’m all for sisterly bonding. And, honestly, I get really excited whenever there is a story which features some kind of sisterly bonding – I don’t think that there’s nearly enough of these types of stories out there. Or at least, in my shelves. Having said that, not so much into the sisterly bonding that occurs in this short story. There was just something a little too twisted. And as much as I love my baby sister… this is not on the cards for ways that we would bond. Sorry Tal!
One of the things about the more traditional fairy tales that I don’t love is the fact that the women always want a husband, and that husband always ends up being the one rescuing her. Not so in this story. She gets in trouble because she’s trying to find out who it is that she’s going to marry in the future. The answer is certainly not one that she wanted… and there’s a certain level of trickery which leads to quite a tragic ending.
It’s been a little while since I picked up a Jane Yellowrock novel. It just seems to have fallen on the wayside of the series that I’m insanely digging through. I also tend to be a bit of a book slut – I’ll read one or two books from a series, and then move on to another one. I’m currently reading about 190 different series. Having said that, I did love revisiting this world and the introduction that this short story provides to Leo and his heir, Katie.