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.
I always like a good gun runner story. One that takes place in the land of the dead – well, it wasn’t entirely what I expected, but it was definitely enjoyable. The fact that the female in this was seriously tough and starts out the story by shooting a man… well, that is going to draw me in immediately.
Most Christmas stories I tend to read are quite happy. I’ve NEVER read one that starts with a werewolf eating Rudolph. That was a shock. It was hilarious, and I scared my dog by spitting out a bit of my tea as I held in the laughter (yes, I have a twisted sense of humour, so sue me). But it was also incredibly unique. As I said, I’ve never had the pleasure of reading a story which begins with Rudolph being eaten by a werewolf. And not just a werewolf, but a werewolf stuck in a crazy kind of half-form that he can’t seem to get out of. Little wonder that that image made me spit out my tea.
So I’ve never heard of the practice of wearing a sprig of hazel on All Hallows Eve. Although, I don’t really know all that much about All Hallows Eve (or Halloween) since it is not within my normal experiences. Regardless, I liked this kind of origins story to such a practice. It took a practice that seems cute and folksy… and then turns it into a horrifying mess that makes you cringe. A lot.
As with all of Jeaniene Frost’s stories so far, I absolutely adored this story. She has a way of writing that combines strong women with difficult situations and a heavy dose of romantic lust that always leaves me with a huge smile on my face. There is just something about this writing that is a poignant reminder of why Frost is one of my favourite writers.
From the title of this story, I was completely expecting a story of a husband and wife which do something horrible to each other. Because, you know… it was in a collection of horrifying Halloween stories. It’s still completely horrifying. Still a creepy Halloween story… but not about a husband and wife. Not really about anything that I expected from the title. Which, of course, made me love it even more… since you know, the joys of a collection of Halloween horror tales.
At the beginning of this story, I thought it would be quite a sweet, easy little read. It begins talking about the fact that you never forget your first. Which, of course, we don’t. What I didn’t quite realise was that the narrator really wasn’t talking about the first I was imagining. Or at least, that was not all that he was talking about. It turned out to be quite a tragic tale, and one that almost had me in tears.