Tag Archives: M.E. Beckett

Black Thorn, White Rose edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Black Thorn, White Rose
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, Ann Downer, Daniel Quinn, M.E. Beckett, Michael Kandel, Michael Cadnum, Lawrence Schimel, Isabel Cole, Tim Wynne-Jones, Midori Snyder, Jane Yolen, Howard Waldrop, Roger Zelazny, Peter Straub, Ellen Steiber, Storm Constantine & Susan Wade
Series: Adult Fairy Tales #2
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Short story collections
Dates read: 12th February – 25th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: Thank you for your last letter, which reached me before I set off.

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Synopsis

The award-winning editors of II Snow White, Blood Red II return us to distinctly adult realms of myth and the fantastic with eighteen wondrous works. From Roger Zelazny’s delightful tale of Death’s disobedient godson to Peter Straub’s blood-chilling look at a gargantuan Cinderella, here are stories strange and miraculous that remold our most cherished childhood fables into things sexier, more sinister… and more appealing to grown-up tastes and sensibilities.

Thoughts

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.

Many of the authors in this collection are ones that I have already come across. Which is something I most certainly enjoyed. A few were totally new to me. Enough to make me wonder who I would be coming across next, but not so much that I felt like I had a whole slew of new people to add to my shelves. Rather, it was a fair few authors who are already in my wishlist…

I love the constant returning to fairy tales that were reminiscent of the Grimm Brothers. It’s a nice little departure from the more common fairy tales that I find. And other than Rumpelstiltskin and Red Riding Hood, the vast majority of these fairy tales were of the lesser known variety. Which suited me perfectly. I like those more abstract stories at times.

<- Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy WidowerWords Like Pale Stones ->

Image source: Goodreads

Near-Beauty by M.E. Beckett

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Near-Beauty
Author: M.E. Beckett
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Science fiction
Dates read: 9th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: She became uneasy, at last, not because it was watching, but because it looked intent; if that stare had come from a human, she’d have called him horny.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

She’s not quite beautiful. She’s not quite ugly. But, when she meets the toad of her dreams, she finds out that near-beauty might just be enough.

Thoughts

One of the things that I love the most about this story is that it’s not about a stunningly beautiful woman. Or a frog that miraculously turns into a gorgeous prince. It’s about those that are almost beautiful. That almost make the cut. It’s a great way to retell a well-known fairy tale, but with a more relatable spin to it.

This is a great sci-fi spin on The Princess and the Frog. She doesn’t magically get whisked away and find her happily ever after. Rather, she makes a choice to join an alien species and make something more. Something different of her life.

Mostly, I love that this is all about two individuals who don’t quite make the beauty boat cut. They’re almost beautiful. They’re almost everything that they want to be. But they don’t quite make it… which is far more relatable and nice to read about than a stunning beauty. It’s also a great reminder that good things don’t just happen to the stunningly beautiful, but to us more ordinary folk too.

<- The Frog King, or Iron HenryOgre ->

Image source: Goodreads