I can’t believe it took me THIS LONG to pull this book off my shelf and read it. It was just amazing!! And rave worthy. And completely, completely world-shatteringly good. The only reason that I didn’t read it in one sitting is because I got about 60 pages in and stopped. I had work that I had to do, and I knew if I didn’t stop then, I never would. Five days later I blocked aside almost a whole day so that I could forget about the world and just enjoy the amazing journey that Miller was able to take me on.
This is an incredibly easy, fun and engaging short story collection. It takes some brilliant authors who take you on journeys through well known fairy tales. The fact that these retellings all focus on the villains of the stories just made me love it even more. I always love the highlighting of grey areas and alternate tellings.
I loved that this was a retelling of The Billy Goats Gruff, but through the lens of loss. Or, more specifically about a lost future and lost chances. It gave a fairy tale that already feels a little eerie a far more haunting appeal. There was something about a broken down village and an abandoned bridge that made you think of people who are broken and unable to fulfil their dreams and potential.
I absolutely loved this poem. Although Maleficent (or the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty) has always seemed kind of a terrifying villain, she’s also been the one that I relate to the best. Well, maybe not relate to, but understand. After all, she is retaliating against an incredible slight. Plus, there are so many beautiful retellings in the world now which make her seem far less evil, and just… misunderstood.
As a child I always admired the children who could overcome the giants in the fairy tales. After all, they’re triumphing over someone and something far bigger and scarier than they are. But, the older I get, the more I realise that children are not necessarily always in the right. And, sometimes they are actually kind of in the wrong… and apparently Snyder agrees with this sentimentality.
I’ve never really questioned why there was a gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. Or why it seems to be something that is repeated across fairy tales. After all, it is a really impractical and useless way in which to make a house. And it kind of seems just… sticky to live in.
I never quite realised how weird a name ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ is. It’s just a name that has always been. But when you read a cute little short story about how odd that is, you start to realise that it is quite an absurd name…
I bought the first three books of this series on a whim because I saw their pretty covers on someone’s Facebook page. Normally I do a little research into a series before I do this. But I mostly just got a little bit too overexcited and just went for it. And I’m really glad that I did! This story takes the original Disney version of Snow White and gives it so many glorious twists and turns that leaves you understanding and sympathising with the villain. One of the scariest villains of my childhood for that matter – the Wicked Queen.
As with many of the retellings in Snow White, Blood Red, The Root of the Matter was filled with a sexuality that is almost missing from the traditional fairy tales. I say almost because it does kind of linger in the originals, but it’s possible to ignore and read in total innocence. You can’t read The Root of the Matter in total innocence. You can’t read it in any semblance of innocence for that matter.
There’s something about trolls that is always… I guess amusing. Probably because they are often cast as dumb, lumbering and far south of thoughtful. And, this short story really doesn’t do anything to dispel those ideas. What it does do is take a creature that is traditionally gross and smelly and making him… well, kind of cute.