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…
As always, I seriously enjoyed Yolen’s style of writing in this short story. There is always this sense of humour and wit that works its way into her writing. However, this time it wasn’t so overt… but mostly covert and intense. And seriously, seriously witty. Particularly when it’s a story based around Rumpelstiltskin…
This is one of those retellings that is reminiscent of a number of fairy tales that I’ve read. Which was a nice journey. It’s definitely a fairy tale / retelling that I have always enjoyed, so I was excited to read this. And, boy, I wasn’t disappointed by this retelling. Not only was it a great fantasy retelling, but it was also a great tale about rediscovering your love and your life after that initial honeymoon period is over… something that I think is often overlooked in many stories we read.
The Goose Girl is one of those fairy tales where I really, really loved the original story. The idea of the villain in the story pronouncing her own death… well, of course it intrigued me immediately. What I didn’t expect was that I would love a story in which the villain really wasn’t the villain… it was all just an accident of fate and an intriguing story. One that had a seriously tragic ending… but was still very, very good.
The story of East of the Moon, West of the Sun is one of my favourite lesser known fairy tales. It’s what the story of North is based on. So finding another short story retelling of this was incredibly exciting and seriously beautiful. Especially when the journey starts in New York City with a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, and ends in Europe with two people who have finally found what it is to be an adult…
Not quite a poem, and not quite prose. This is a really disturbing two pages of reading. But, you know… disturbing in the best of ways.