I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Page Count 320
Publication date Nov 2018/ Publisher Tachyon Publications
Fantasy legend Jane Yolen presents a wide-ranging offering of fractured fairy tales. Yolen fractures the classics to reveal their crystalline secrets, holding them to the light and presenting them entirely transformed; where a spinner of straw into gold becomes a money-changer and the big bad wolf retires to a nursing home. Rediscover the tales you once knew, rewritten and refined for the world we now live in―or a much better version of it.
This week I’m talking Anthologies.
In my determination to fix my 20% Netgalley score I read two collections this month and have one more to fight through. As mentioned in my previous post I’m not generally a fan of anthologies, here’s how I got on with my fantasy choice:
We begin with a foreword by Jane, I have to be honest I skimmed this part, although I love re-tellings I didn’t want to dissect them. Yes, I realise the book is called HOW TO Fracture a Fairytale but I’m here for the re-tellings rather than the instruction. For those wanting to write their own I’d recommend taking your time over this section.
On to the fiction…
The first retelling was brilliant- an alternate Snow White. I had a good chuckle at the ending and much preferred this version.
The Happy Den is an old folks home for wolves who tell their own versions of stories such as little red riding hood and three little pigs.
Sleeping Ugly was a nice short tale of the usual- a maiden awakened by a prince’s kiss.
I much enjoyed the story of St George from a family of dragons’ POV told as a bedtime story from grandpa Dragon.
HTFAF uses religion in most of the stories- as can be expected of fairy tales. There are Jewish themes threaded heavily through much of the content and the word God is only written as G-d in this book.
Unfortunately 50% of the fairytales didn’t work for me, some were too strange, some felt a little pointless and some were just plain boring.
I preferred the shorter of all these stories though I’m not quite sure why, perhaps it was harder to invest in any set up knowing the tales aren’t very long.
There are 28 short stories in this collection and I had fun trying to match them to their original fairy tales, there are quite a few in this anthology that I didn’t recognise but perhaps you will.
All are explained at the end of the book with an afterword and a poem though I would’ve preferred these to be printed alongside each tale rather than at the end.
How To Fracture A Fairytale is a useful instruction with varying examples for anyone considering writing their own re-telling or simply interested in the art.