Ahoy there me mateys! I received this short story collection eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
how to fracture a fairy tale (Jane Yolen)
Title: how to fracture a fairy tale
Author: Jane Yolen
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: TODAY!! (paperback/e-book)
While I have read many of Jane Yolen’s works, most have been her novels. It has only been recently that I have been reading her short stories. This collection has 28 varied tales. In addition, the end of the book has author reflections on how the stories came to be along with some of her poetry.
This collection didn’t resonate with me as much as the emerald circus collection did. I only loved about half of them. The others not so much even though I could appreciate the skill of the writing. I will try to give ye an idea of the bare bones and thoughts on me favourites:
“Snow in Summer” – a Snow White retelling with a fantastic answer to what happens to the evil queen.
“The Moon Ribbon” – this one has a bit of Cinderella (which I know) and a bit of The Princess and the Goblin (which I don’t). It was weird but I rather liked it.
“One Ox, Two Ox, Three Ox, and the Dragon King” – this was the seventh story in the collection and the first one I really loved. It tells the story of dragons from a Eastern perspective but with a Western solution.
“Brother Hart” – this tale was apparently based on the Russian/ Grimm story of Little Brother, Little Sister. I am not familiar with that tale at all but I loved this story. It deals with transformations and loving sibling relationships.
“Sun/Flight” – a tale based on the Icarus myth. I didn’t love it but I found it oddly beguiling and interesting.
“Slipping Sideways Through Eternity” – this is a story about a girl who goes back in time to the Holocaust with the help of Elijah. Powerful and compelling”
“The Foxwife” – this story features a kitsune. Ever since I read shadow of the fox, I have loved takes on the kitsune Japanese folk tales. Yolen also recommend foxwife by Kij Johnson. I will have to check that one out.
“The Faery Flag” – this is based around the Faery Flag legend of Scotland about the McLeods on the Isle of Skye. I got tired of faery stories a while back. This was a breath of fresh air.
“One Old Man, with Seals” – this one is based on the Greek shapeshifter, Proteus but set in 20th century America. It has a lighthouse and the sea. Awesome!
“Sleeping Ugly” – an absolutely lovely fracturing of Sleeping Beauty. The ending!
“Green Plague” – a fun mix of frogs and the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Silly and fun.
“The Unicorn and the Pool” – it has an unicorn! Short and bittersweet.
“Sule Skerry” – this is a tale of selchies of the Scottish Islands inspired by the song “The Great Selchie of Sule Skerry.” Lovely.
“Cinder Elephant” – another Cinderella retelling where our protagonist is overweight and a bird watcher. This was a lovely, wonderful tale. The poem and description about writing this tale was absolutely fabulous as well. I think this was me favourite.
“Mama Gone” – a fairy tale about vampires that is both sad and sweet. Seriously.
I be very grateful to have a chance to read these stories. While I didn’t love every story, I do have a few new favourites of hers. Arrrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Tachyon Publications!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the book:
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.
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