Monday, November 14, 2016

The Starlit Wood

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, 392 pages

This collection pulls together new versions of classic fairy tales, with authors giving new twists to the old stories, sometimes to the point that the original tale is almost entirely hidden. Some of the original stories are well-known ("Rumplestiltskin," "Hansel & Gretel," "Thumbelina") and some are more obscure, at least to me ("The Thousand Eyes," "The Mouse, The Bird, & the Sausage," "The Tale of Mahliya and Mauhub and the White-Footed Gazelle"). All offer a fresh perspective, often giving agency to characters (mainly female) who previously had none.

Generally speaking, I really enjoyed these new takes on classic tales. My favorites are the absolutely horrifying "Some Wait," which is a new take on "The Pied Piper of Hamelin"; the absolutely hilarious "Even the Crumbs Were Delicious," which sets "Hansel & Gretel" in a drug dealer's house; and "Seasons of Glass and Iron," which allows the women of "The Glass Mountain" and "The Black Bull of Norroway" to save each other. But really, all of these are good stories. Props to the authors and to Parisien and Wolfe for bringing them together.

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