I must admit that The Snow Queen is one of my all time favourite fairy tales. Which meant that a steampunk adaptation of it was immediately going to draw me in. Particularly when the other two adaptations I’ve read by Karsak (Curiouser and Curiouser and Wolves and Daggers) were just so damn good. And you know what? This didn’t disappoint. It was fantastic and wonderful and did absolute justice to the original fairy tale (thank goodness).
It took me a little while to get into this story. And then a little while to get the different characters and their roles straight in my head. Particularly when Alexi comes into play – I really never noticed how much I relied on gendered terms until I read this. Now I want to read more full length novels that don’t use gendered terms for all characters – I need to get my head completely around such an idea.
This is one of those few books that I honestly don’t know if I prefer the movie or the book… honestly, they were just so damn different from one another that it was difficult to find a clear winner. For starters, the movie has Anne Hathaway. But, it is also a lot more grown up and set in a contemporary medieval world that overlays much more closely with ours. The book on the other hand is definitely a lot less mature and filled with characters that have a much simpler, more pleasant characterisation (there really weren’t many messy emotions in this novel). Or at least, that’s how it felt to me.
I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for a while, and I kind of figured that it was just going to be another cute little retelling. I was excited to read it, but wasn’t desperate to. And then I read this. And honestly… WOW! This is an AMAZING Little Mermaid retelling. I honestly just can’t get it out of my head. It’s dark, it’s fun and it’s weirdly sweet…
This really wasn’t quite what I was expecting from a Red Riding Hood retelling. It was great. It was unique. And it was completely unexpected. Which is probably what I enjoyed so much about it. I can see how the entire series will unfold as an overall retelling, rather than just this one story. There are so many aspects to the original fairy tale that just weren’t in this retelling, and I can’t wait to see how Karsak continues to weave Red Riding Hood into her wonderful world of steampunk.
After reading Snow White, Blood Red, I knew that I needed the other books which were edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling featuring fairy tale retellings. Because these aren’t the retellings that you would expect. And they’re not the kinds of retellings that make you feel all nice and fluffy on the inside. They’re dark and twisted in places. Sexual in others. And just downright make you think most of the time.
One of the suckiest things about being a woman is this whole idea around beauty – what makes a woman beautiful. What the expectations of beauty are. So on and so forth. It’s kind of horrible and seriously annoying. And this story is a great example of just how wrong things can go when we are constantly told that what and who we are just isn’t good enough.
This is my second (I think) Storm Constantine short story. It has that same sense of mystery and darkness as the first story I read. This great feeling of manipulation and comeuppance throughout that is kind of impossible to forget. The strength of women – not one of the more glowing, benevolent strengths, but that dark one we can all harness shines throughout this story.
I absolutely loved this poem adaptation to Little Red Riding Hood. It’s not generally one of my favourite fairy tales – so many plot holes, but this one kind of took those into account. It questioned how you wouldn’t know that the shape in the bed was the damn wolf. It questioned why you would follow a wolf into the woods.
I didn’t get hugely into this short story, but it was quaintly enjoyable. There was just something about it that felt comfortable and familiar. Although, I’m still not quite sure which fairy tale this was based on…