Jane Yolen is the godmother of fantasy and fairy tales. I haven’t read her work before, but since reading this book, I will look for her other tales. This is a collection of traditional and some lesser known fairy tales and folklore from around the world, taken apart and put together again like Humpty Dumpty with humor and at times, darkness.
I found myself trying to figure out which tales are based on ones I know. The author kindly has a chapter at the end about how she ‘fractured’ the tales and what the base story is for some on her stories. Many of her fractured tales I enjoyed much more than the originals.
First, thanks to NetGalley and Tachyon Publications LLC for letting me read the ARC for this book. I can see it would be a great holiday gift for lovers of fairy tales or short stories. This could be a good read-to book for kids but some of the stories are definitely adult-there is an incestuous king and gruesome deaths.
I highly recommend this book and rate it [5 stars].
Photo: Jason Stemple
TOR.COM shares a selection from the collection.
Princess Miserella was a beautiful princess if you counted her eyes and nose and mouth and all the way down to her toes. But inside, where it was hard to see, she was the meanest, wickedest, and most worthless princess around. She liked stepping on dogs. She kicked kittens. She threw pies in the cook’s face. And she never—not even once—said thank you or please. And besides, she told lies.
In that very same kingdom, in the middle of the woods, lived a poor orphan named Plain Jane. She certainly was. Her hair was short and turned down. Her nose was long and turned up. And even if they had been the other way round, she would not have been a great beauty. But she loved animals, and she was always kind to strange old ladies.
One day Princess Miserella rode out of the palace in a huff. (A huff is not a kind of carriage. It is a kind of temper tantrum. Her usual kind.) She rode and rode and rode, looking beautiful as always, even with her hair in tangles. She rode right into the middle of the woods and was soon lost. She got off her horse and slapped it sharply for losing the way. The horse said nothing, but ran right back home. It had known the way back all the time, but it was not about to tell Miserella.
WAY TOO FANTASY is very excited about the book.
I absolutely love retold fairy tales, and Jane Yolen is a master of the art. When I saw this collection coming out I got really excited–looking forward to diving into it! Also, how great is that cover?!?
For more info on HOW TO FRACTURE A FAIRY TALE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story