Tag Archives: Susan Wade

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

The Black Swan by Susan Wade

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: The Black Swan
Author: Susan Wade
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
Dates read: 25th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: One night she was so late returning that alll the stable lads had gone and I had been excused from my duties at table – I had progressed to such responsibilities only that summer – and gone to my loft for the night.

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Synopsis

All he ever wanted to do was help her win her heart’s desire. But even once she accomplishes that, things don’t go quite as planned. The unveiling of the beautiful Black Swan.

Thoughts

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.

I love that this short story / retelling of a classic fairy tale has the more traditional tragic ending. There is no joy and happiness in this story. There is nothing like and fluffy. Rather, it is just a whole heap of tragedy all bundled up into one tale. It really makes your heart bleed. And, the very final scene makes an amazing final scene for the ending of this collection…

The Black Swan is a gorgeous little short story. It also has a fantastic voice as a narrator. I love that there is so much foreshadowing for future tragedy throughout. And there’s this constant commentary on what a beauty the woman is, before she undergoes her transformation. And just a genuine wonder and concern as to why she would go through such a horrible thing when she is already wonderful and perfect as she is. Something I think we all need to remember.

<- Sweet Bruising SkinBlack Swan, White Raven ->

Image source: Goodreads

Snow White, Blood Red edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Overview
Image result for snow white, blood red book cover

Title: Snow White, Blood Red
Author: Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling, Susan Wade, Charles de Lint, Gahan Wilson, Nancy Kress, Tanith Lee, Wendy Wheeler, Kathe Koja, Gregory Frost, Elizabeth A. Lynn, Harvey Jacobs, Steve Rasnic Tem, Melanie Tem, Caroline Stevermer, Ryan Edmonds, Neil Gaiman, Leonard Rysdyk, Esther M. Friesner, Jack Dann, Jane Yolen, Patricia A. McKillip & Lisa Goldstein
Series: Adult Fairy Tales #1
In: Snow White, Blood Red (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: 17th December 2018 – 12th April 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Signet
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: It’ll still mean that I’m willing to let someone die, just so I can have my own way.

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Synopsis

Snow White, Blood Red is a brand new collection of fairy tales. But be warned. It is not a collection for the faint-hearted. Or even one to lull the innocent towards the sleeping realms of dreams. For Snow White, Blood Red is a modern book of wonders: a boundless expanse of nightmares, lusts and fables for the grown-up child in us all.

Through richly imaginative retellings of existing fairy tales, twenty-one of the world’s top fantasy authors recreate the full mythical, magical, mind-bending power of humankind’s oldest fables. Prepare to be seduced by stories that bite – stories that are frightening, erotic, dark and compelling. Because as Terri Windling reminds us in the introduction: ‘Something still stirs inside us when we hear those old, evocative words: Once upon a time.’ Only this time, in this world, there is no happy ending…

Thoughts

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.

Some of the stories in this collection are kind of dark and twisted. Some are incredibly sexual. And some are just a great, contemporary retelling that makes childish fairy tales far more relatable. I got goosebumps reading some of these stories. While others left a smile on my face. You know it’s a fantastic collection when it takes you through the rollercoaster of emotions and leaves you feeling incredibly happy at the close of the last page.

Anybody who loves fantasy, horror or fairy tales, this is a great collection to add to your shelves. It is one that I won’t be getting out of my head anytime soon, that’s for sure…

<- Taking LoupLike a Red, Red Rose ->

Image source: Amazon

Like a Red, Red Rose by Susan Wade

Overview
Image result for snow white, blood red book cover

Title: Like a Red, Red Rose
Author: Susan Wade
In: Snow White, Blood Red (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Signet
Year: 1993
5th sentence, 74th page: Only now the roses blushed, their petals a rich, true pink.

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

Blanche and her mother live on the outskirts of the local village, but when Blanche begins to fall in love, everything quickly starts to unravel and secrets will be revealed.

Thoughts

There’s something about fairy tales that I love. Have honestly always loved. Probably because they were what I grew up on. But there is also this lyricality and sense of surrealism that I just don’t get from any other type of writing. Recently, I read a series of fairy tales from The Grimm Brothers, and Like a Red, Red Rose worked in exactly the same way for me. It had that sense of darkness (which I always love) and the surrealistic lyricism that I know and love.

Because there is a dark twist in this fairy tale, these don’t necessarily make the best of bedtime tales. For a normal person. I’m not normal, and I freaking love dark twists to in any and all stories that I sink my teeth into. When this is partnered with a story of roses, love and tragedy… be still my beating heart.

In the introduction to this, it says that Wade wanted to write a Rapunzel / Beauty and the Beast style story. One which had a heavy emphasis on the roses that feature prominently in both (or at least the earlier versions). What she got was something completely different. And far more grimm-ly in its telling and creation. Now I can’t wait to see what else is in store in this collection!

 <- Snow White, Blood Red ReviewThe Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep Review ->
Image source: Amazon