Edited by Josie Brown, Rose Mambert and Bill Raciot
Pink Narcissus Press (July 1, 2011)
Reviewed by Valentina Cano
This collection is a wonderful mixture of the magical, the bizarre, and the haunting flavor of the fairy tales we’ve all been raised on, with a healthy dose of the grown-up world. All of these stories deserve to be read and to be savored with the giddiness of childish abandon.
The stories vary from the humorous “The Froggy Prince”, which details the difficulties of finding the right enchanted prince to marry, to the frightening “Snovhit”, which describes what could have happened after Snow White rose from the dead. There are a blend of voices, all unique and all refreshing, with endlessly creative ways of retelling the known fairy tales. It is especially interesting to see the difference between authors’ takes on the same story, such as “A Wolf’s Guide to the Fairy Tale” by Dave Sellars, and “The Wolf in Standard Ration Clothing” by Michael Takeda, both takes on the Little Red Riding Hood tale. Just to see the differences in these is worth getting your hands on this book.
Two stories that stood out from the collection were “The Seven Swan Brothers” by Anne Waldron Neumann and “Come, come Blackbird” by Heather Fowler. The original tale “Seven Ravens” is dark enough, but the retelling captures that depression and enhances it. There is such hopelessness to the story that really strikes the reader and lingers even after the last word. “Come, come Blackbird” by Heather Fowler is the only original tale in the collection, and it is a beautifully told story of lost love and misunderstood magic. There’s a darkness to it that makes it a fitting conclusion to this collection.
This is a wonderful book, one that should be on the shelves of every person that still hopes to encounter a kissable frog on a lily pad somewhere.