There’s something about trolls that is always… I guess amusing. Probably because they are often cast as dumb, lumbering and far south of thoughtful. And, this short story really doesn’t do anything to dispel those ideas. What it does do is take a creature that is traditionally gross and smelly and making him… well, kind of cute.
This was such an amazing novella. Which I was kind of expecting because I also thought that Before the Snow was amazing. Especially as a wind up to the actual novel and the first full-length story in this series. The only thing that annoys me about this is the fact that I decided to read Stealing Snow for my Around the Year in 52 books challenge… so I don’t get to read it until the 16th of July…. That’s a loooooong time to wait.
I had no idea what to expect from this novella, or even what to expect from the rest of this series. I had just bought Stealing Snow because it was cheap in the Boxing Day Sales. And the cover looked pretty. And it was one of those stories that I’m so glad I did. At least, judging from the first novella (I haven’t got to the actual novel yet).
I loved this take on the tale of Humpty Dumpty. He is gross, creepy and annoying. And yet there is a weird connection between him and the king. The fact that this weird, grotesque relationship is told through the eyes of an inventor and the queen’s sister kind of makes it all the more fun. Alongside the word spinning and twirling that seems to be an aspect of anything influenced by Lewis Carroll.
In the collection, Snow White, Blood Red, I Shall Do Thee Mischief follows directly after Little Red. And I had to put this book down after Little Red because of the ick factor. So when I found out that there was a second story based on this fairy tale. Also with a sexual component… I’ll admit that I was kind of concerned. And uncomfortable. There is only so much ick I can read before I have to change over to the happy and carefree stories. Luckily for me, although the sexuality was still there, it wasn’t so intense. Or icky.
While I really enjoyed this short story, what bumped up my great opinion of it was Black’s explanation for why she wrote it in the first place. On childhood vacations, she often wished that she could turn into a wolf and eat her family – so she wrote about a boy who could. And, honestly, who hasn’t felt like that on a family vacation?
This short retelling of Red Riding Hood lost half a point because of the creep factor. The creep factor still made the story thoroughly enjoyable and a perfect addition to a series of adult fairy tale retellings. But I didn’t like the feelings I got when I finished it. Hence the deduction of half a point.
I don’t think I’ve read the original tale of Puss in Boots. Although I have read a few retellings over time, and I thought that doing new take on an old classic using a poem was a quaint and attractive way in which to do so. This was quick, sharp, shiny and straight to the point. It was also well written, fun and great at highlighting the triumph of beast over man.
Not all fairy tales have a happy ending, and in the case of Snow Drop, there is most certainly not a happy ending. At least for Snow Drop… I’m still not sure whether the ending was happy or just twisted for Cristena…
I’m an older sister. And it doesn’t matter how old my younger sister and I are. It doesn’t matter where life takes us. I will always be her big sister. And I will always feel responsible for her. And protective of her. So it’s really nice to read a short story that reminds me that I’m not the only one in this position. That is uses the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses just makes it all the more fun and engaging.