The Princess and the Pea has always been one of those stories that is kind of iconic for me. I’m not sure why, since I don’t often enjoy stories about princessy princesses. But, this version of it using tricksters and the desert is far more to my taste. Actually, I was incredibly disappointed when it was over.
This was such a beautifully bittersweet storyline. Sleeping Beauty (the Disneyfied version) has always felt a little bittersweet to me. After all, a mistake on her parents’ behalf curses her to a hundred years in sleep. A hundred years in which her loved ones, friends, acquaintances are all unable to live their lives. And it is just the single kiss of a man who is fighting brambles which saves her. In this retelling, Wrede asks just what would happen if the prince were too early or too late? What would happen if the fairy tale just didn’t quite happen the way it was supposed to?
Rumpelstiltskin is one of my preferred fairy tales. There is just something about it that I love, and the fact that it was has been used across many of the different retellings and TV series that I have watched makes it even more thrilling. Which meant that having a Rumpelstiltskin story to open the collection Black Thorn, White Rose made me really happy. It was a great, slightly darker start to these adult fairy tale retellings.
I’ve had this book on my wish list for a very, very long time. So, when I finally managed to find a second hand copy and get it delivered to my door, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it. After all, I love fairy tales, I like stories with a dark twist, and I’m fascinated by retellings and the ways in which people are able to twist and turn classic themes to fit a more contemporary or recognisable setting. Which makes this kind of the perfect short story collection to sit on my shelves.
It’s kind of obvious from the title of this short story that this is a retelling and tale of Hansel and Gretel. But it wasn’t the kind of retelling that I was expecting. From beginning to end this was a bit of a surprise. Immediately I thought that this tale would be one in which the parent would betray her child (like in the original fairy tale).
One of my favourite things about poems is the multitude of meanings that a very few words can describe. The multitude of ways in which mere words can tell an entire story. It’s something that prose just can’t quite manage. Prose can fill in more information, but I find that poetry can often find more meaning.
This short story had an incredibly bittersweet ending. One that I enjoyed thoroughly. It wasn’t sad, it wasn’t happy, mostly it was just incredibly lonely. A tale that makes you think about the things that you could have had, if only you stopped wishing for something just over the horizon.
I kind of loved this version of Puss-in-Boots. After all, the original was so PG, and kind of didn’t explain just why the cat was so loyal and giving to his owners. There was just something a little too innocent about it, and I don’t love the idea of a character who is obviously powerful and intelligent from weighing hand and foot on such a horrible, selfish and downright irritating man. This short story put that all to rights.
This is such a great fairy tale! It’s filled with beautiful pictures, different outlooks (like an ogre dancing) and a great couple at the very centre. The fact that this great couple happens to be a lesbian one just makes this story all the sweeter and greater. It becomes this beautiful, encompassing storyline that makes you swoon again and again and again.
The introduction to this short story tells you that you are going to recognise the fairy tale upon which it is based at the end of the tale. And, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure that I was going to recognise it. there just seemed to be nothing recognisable in it. Until the last two pages… then I finally understood exactly which fairy tale this was. And I loved it.