Review | Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss

Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss is a dark fantasy about a kitchen girl obsessed with fairy tales, who upon discovering a ragged woman outside the castle during a storm, takes her in–certain she’s a princess in disguise.

I found a bunch of the Tor.com originals and so many of them sounded good, so I picked up a selection of them and so far am not disappointed. I really enjoyed Theodora Goss’ writing style in this story and while the contents itself were a little predictable, it was a well rounded take on a fairy tale, and the danger in believing them. The main character, Klara, also goes through quite a transformation throughout the story as she learns some hard lessons and grows to become a strong woman, her personality shaped by what she experienced.

Happy reading!

Review | Twelve

Twelve is a poetic retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Bewitching and beguiling, this short series of linked poems takes the reader to the underground realm and back, following the stories of twelve princesses and their life after the magic shoes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection as it retold what happened after the 12 dancing princesses were found out and their dancing had been stopped. Each sister experienced the loss of their nightly adventures differently – some escape, some take revenge and some find their new normal. All of them react very differently and each of their stories is a little vignette into how they survive.

I would hesitate to call this poetry, I would call it flash fiction or vignette type stories, but it was beautifully written and each look into the sisters’ lives was unique and varied. It’s a quick read that flies and is a great example of retellings with a twist.

Happy reading!

Review: The Waking Forest

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive? 

I really wanted to be able to say that I loved this book, but sadly I didn’t. For me it was very slow moving and there were definitely passages where I was confused, which lead to some re-reading and slowing of my pace.

The writing of this book is so beautiful and lyrical, but at some points it seems that it could almost be too lyrical. Still, this writing style does lend immensely to the dark, twisting story of the book. We follow two different perspectives, one being Rhea and one being the witch in the woods. I did love the feel of this book and how like a traditional fairy tale parts of it were written.

While this book wasn’t exactly for me, I could definitely see a lot of people loving it. The writing is beautiful and the story dark and constantly evolving and shifting.

Happy reading!

Review: The Black Bull of Norroway

Sibylla always wanted adventure, but she didn’t know it would come in the form of a giant, magical bull. Is he a man or a monster? And who knew a prophecy could be so literal?

Based on the classic Scottish fairy tale, this is the first title in a new series co-created by sibling writer/artist team CAT SEATON and KIT SEATON, begins the adventure of a lifetime.

This one has been on my radar ever since I heard it was based on a Scottish fairy tale. I love things that are based on mythology or fairy tales, so I definitely wanted to check this out. I was not disappointed by the story in any way, thought I’m still a tad confused as to what is happening.

I do like the way the story slowly pieces together, each character adding another layer to the overall story and mythos, but there are moments where I definitely wished I had more information. The art style was beautiful with just enough whimsy to know that it’s a fairy tale. I especially loved the facial expressions and what they conveyed.

All in all I can’t wait for the next volume to see what happens to the characters and how they will resolve their issues.

Happy reading!

Review: Hunted

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

I’m a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, though I know the market is currently over saturated with them, I still reach for them. Hunted has been on my shelf ever since it came out, so it was past time I picked it up. I’m SO glad I did and am a little mad at myself for waiting so long.

In a lot of ways the story of this book is very close to the original story line of Beauty and the Beast, but I felt that there was enough deviation to make it a unique story. The major plot points we know from the original fairy tale are there, but often with a spin on them. The backdrop and mythos she creates for her version of the story are full of depth and richly told.

I hesitate to call anything a strict favorite, but this may definitely be my number one retelling of Beauty and the Beast, plus it makes me eager to read more from Meagan Spooner and see if I enjoy her other works as much.

Happy reading!

Review: Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

fierce fairytalesOkay – first and foremost something that has no bearing on my rating at all but must be mentioned – this cover! It is so breathtaking in person and was done excellently.  The detail when you really look at it is exquisite.

Now that I have that out of the way, I will be the first person to admit that modern poetry is typically not my thing. A six word sentence broken up into three lines does not a poem make in my opinion. I know a lot of people enjoy that style, but I don’t, so I was a little hesitant heading into this. I was pleasantly surprised that this book of poetry and short stories was a more traditional style while still being modern and I LOVED it.

The way Gill twists the common fairytale themes and looks at them in a different way was so refreshing and beautiful. Her writing at times is so lyrical and descriptive that there were times I literally stopped, had to take a breath, and then re-read. I was often swept away by the imagery that she was portraying and building within these passages.

It was great looking at these stories from a different angle and while the poems and stories definitely lean towards feminism, it’s feminism that speaks of strength and resilience, belief in oneself. I was not expecting to love this collection as much as I did, I thought I would probably enjoy it and have a few that really spoke to me, but I truly fell in love with it. i’m definitely looking forward to picking up other collections and works by Nikita Gill in the future and would definitely recommend checking our Fierce Fairytales.

Happy reading!