Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 165
Series : Re-Told Fairy Tale Series
Format : Teenage Fiction Anthology
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge

The companion volume to A Wolf at the Door edited by the wonderful Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. The stories in this collection are re-tellings of older tales. It combines a mixture of fairy tales, folk tales and folk ballads including two tales from Arabian Nights and come Celtic stories.

Green Kid - Jane Yolen
A tale of Jack O' The Green in modern times. The story centres around a trickster child found one day in the woods.

Golden Fur - Midori Snyder
Based on illustrations from Arabian Nights, Prince Kahn must pass three tests to rescue a beautiful Princess with the help of a small golden creature named Golden Fur.

Chambers of the Heart - Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Sara lives next door to Bluebeard and eventually becomes one of his wives to save her family from poverty. After discovering his chocking secret, her brothers arrive just in time to save her life and kill her murderous husband.

Little Red and the Big Bad - Will Shetterly
An excellent dark, modern re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood minus the happy ending...

The Fish's Story - Pat York
The fisherman and his wife are not the only ones to catch a magic fish one day. Mira does as well and uses her wishese unselfishly, eventually revealing the true identity of the fish.

The Children of Tilford Fortune - Christopher Rowe
When Tilford Fortune dies he leaves his children (Sally, Toby and Molly) a rooster, sythe and tabby cat to make their way in the world.

The Girl in the Attic - Lois Metzger
Based loosley on Rapunzel, a sad and lonley girl is trapped inside herself. Only by letting down her hair can she be free.

The Harp that Sang - Gregory Frost
Based on the folk song "Cruel Sister" where the younger sister murders her elder sister for a gold bangle. At her wedding night a gypsy plays a harp made of bone with hair strings whcih sings the truth.

A Life in Miniature - Bruce Coville
A re-telling of Tom Thumb where he is engineered in a lab by combining his genes with mouse genes. He has some mouse like qualities as a result.

Lupe - Kathe Koja
Another look at Little Red Riding Hood. When Lupe's youngest brother dies her mother sends her into the woods to consult Blanca the local bruja (witch). She learns more about herself than she bargained for.

Awake - Tannith Lee
Every night Rosia (Sleeping Beauty) wakes up and spends it with the 13 fey who attended her christening. When she was born the Queen of the Fey gave her the gift of 100 years of freedom before having to settle down into an arranged marriage and do her parents bidding. Every night though all Rosia wants is to go back to her own life.

Inventing Aladdin - Neil Gaiman
Scheharazade tells her sister the story of Aladdin, saving her life a day at a time.

My Swan Sister - Katherine Vaz
Jessica's sister Rachel is born wrong with not long to live. Jessica struggles to knit her a jacket and they take her out to see New York at least once in her short life. Loosley based on The Wild Swans and Katherine's own experiences.

I preferred this collection to A Wolf at the Door simply because I liked the group of tales used as source material better. It's always good to read less popular stories rather than the same ones retold again and again. My favourites were Green Kid, Golden Fur, Chambers of the Heart, Little Red and the Big Bad, The Harp that Sang, Awake, Inventing Aladdin and My Swan Sister which was beautiful and very very moving. Recommended to all lovers of fairy tales.


Melody said...

I love fairy tales retellings! Will have to check out this book! Thanks, Rhinoa!

Datlow said...

Thanks for the review.

Melody, Terri and I have edited an anthology series of six adult fairy tale retellings:
Snow White, Blood Red
Black Thorn, White Rose
Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
Silver Birch, Blood Moon
Black Swan, White Raven
Black Heart, Ivory Bones

and our third children's fairy tale anthology just came out: Troll's Eye View (retold fairy tales from the point of view of villains).

Ana S. said...

Swan Sister made me cry so much. It was a lovely book and I can't wait to get my hands on the new one.

Melody said...

Thanks, Datlow!
I'll check those books as well! :)

Alice said...

I love fairy tale retellings! This is another book that I'd love to get. :)