Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 273
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time II Challenge, Twisted Fairy Tales Challenge, was interested in reading it as it is part of The Fairy Tale Series created by Terri Windling

A re-telling of the popular fairy tale collected by The Brothers Grimm. Set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in 1582-3. The Widow Arden lives with her two daughters Rosamund and Blanche treading very carefully as the villiage wise woman due to the witchcraft inquisition. Queen's magician John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelly (Ned) also live in the villiage, Mortlak, and are trying to summon fairy power to help change base metals into gold. A set of three mischevious fairies are unhappy with the link between the fairy realm and the mortal world and divert the magicians magic causing it to snare the essence of one of the Queen's sons. They are both half-mortal and half-fairy as their father is Thomas the Rhymer. When his essence is stolen, one of the brothers starts to change slowly into a bear.

As a bear he is bannished to the mortal world and his brother follows to try to find a way to change him back. The sisters become snared in the plot when the bear turns up at their house one evening and they figure out that he is under an enchantment. The three groups keep unknowingly working against each other fighting over the essence for their own reasons with bonds forming between the two sisters and fairy brothers.

I really enjoyed this book for the most part. I have to admit to having not read the original story and found it very helpful that at the beginning of each chapter was an extract from the Brothers Grimm tale which gave each chapter a focus. The only thing I didn't like, which I think is just a personal dislike for me, was the spoken language with the "thees" and "thous". Other than that I really enjoyed it and can definitely recommend it.

7 comments:

Nymeth said...

One more for the wishlist. I know what you mean about the language, though. Sometimes attempts to sound archaic end up feeling a little forced. Still, this sounds very much worth reading.

Debi said...

Recommendation noted...definitely going on the old wish list!

Darla D said...

I read this one when it first came out and very much enjoyed it. Have you read Sorcery and Cecelia, by Wrede and Stevermer? I love that series, too!

Andi said...

I've had my eye on this one for yeeearrrrsss! It's a scandal that I haven't read it already. Oy! So many books, so little time.

Literary Feline said...

This does sound good! I will have to look for this one. Thanks for the great review.

N.Vasillis said...

I'm putting it on my wish list.

GeraniumCat said...

This is going on my wishlist too!