Once Upon a Time PDF » Once Upon PDF/EPUB or

Once Upon a Time PDF » Once Upon PDF/EPUB or


  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Paula Guran
  • English
  • 15 September 2014
  • 9781607014041

10 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time

  1. Marquise Marquise says:

    45 stars overall This anthology was much but much better than Guran's other anthology Beyond the WoodsYes the uality is still uneven I think by now it must be a standard disclaimer as well as a genre cliché to say that about anthologies but it isn't less true for that So what makes this one better for me? For one that the entire anthology doesn't live or die on one single star author included in it as was the case with the previous that relied mainly on Tanith Lee's brilliance to succeed and I very much doubt it would've been as highly rated if not for her Instead in this anthology there's three authors that stand out amongst eighteen included and that distributes the merit for its success evenly Many talented ones are responsible instead of just one each with their own style and creativity Secondly from the authors whose stories stood out there's much variety in styles and stories which means different takes on tales than there would be from just one creative And since I'm on it shouts out and bows go to Cory Skerry for his story Castle of Masks and to Theodora Goss for her story Blanchefleur as the best writers Honourable mention goes to Caitlin Kiernan for The Path of Needles All three were wonderful but Goss's is my absolute favourite and gets the top rating from me


  2. Tina Tina says:

    A strong collection of fairy tales; adapted twisted re imagined re purposed and made anew for a modern audience These tales capture the original tales and make them feel fresh and new And whilst most collection of short stories have a few that aren't as strong as the others all these tales stand strong alone and collectively The Coin of Heart's DesireA tale I hadn't heard of the sacrifice a ruler must make for its Kingdom I loved the characters in it and the twists and turns The Lenten Rose A stunning retelling of the Snow ueen I really loved the narrative the flashes between present and past and the stark red rose imagery against the white snow and those white lenten roses always present and creepy throughout The Snow ueen is a tale that has always haunted me and this version just made me remember why I loved it as a child The Spinning Wheel's TaleWithout giving too much away with regards to this tale's twist this was a stunning bit of work which did leave me guessing as to who was the narrator Though really I should have known better My own criticism far too short Would've loved of an alternative perspective to the Sleeping Beauty tale Below the Sun BeneathA retelling of what I believe is the 12 princesses The tale has such beautiful imagery of the sun beneath of what happens when the sun sets into the lands below and it was just stunning to read I loved the tale the tale of the bored tyrant King and the Princesses who frightened him I loved this story it was a joy to read Warrior DreamsReminiscent of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden the warrior of our tale takes on faerie and the creatures of the Lake and waterways Absolutely loved the style of it loved our hero warriors and wished there could have been Poignant tale and truly wonderful Born and BreadI have never heard of this tale it was perfectly told though with a heroine using her skills rather than charm or looks to become the hero of the piece I really did love Doe though I in real life dislike dough immensely the imagery as well was very vivid Tales that Fairies tellPuss in Boots meets Gossip Girl A world of fantasy meets reality in this modern take on Puss Puss in Boots never engaged me as a younger reader but this with its nods to modern fashion and our brief desires for things made me love the tale and Puss for once Sleeping Beauty of ElistaA modern possibly true tale of Sleeping Beauty and the woes of modern medicine This left me curious wanting to know if the tale was true The Road of NeedlesWhilst it has some beautiful writing this tale took some reading and didn't grip me as much as the others but still pretty strong tale LupineWho hasn't acted like an idiot in front of the person that they like? takes this idea and transforms it into a fairy tale curse Doomed to hate those she loves and love all those she hates Lupine is an engaging heroine who finds herself the brunt of a mother's 'love' or rather her jealousy I loved this story but so short I could've read FlightThe transformation of a princess is a well known tale the transformation from girl to woman or from Princess to creature is shown here with the Emer faced of transforming from Princess to ruler upon her birthday but getting a rather rude shock The tale of the Black Bride mixed in was uite excellent and I would've loved to read about her and the White Bride Egg by Priya SharmaA tale of be careful what you wish for I really loved this story I could honestly sympathise with the mother and felt the heartbreak and hope she felt the whole way through Superb writing couldn't stop readingOther tales included Castle of Masks The Giant in Repose The Hush of Feathers The Clamor of Wings Eat me drink me love me The Mirror tells all Blanchefleur


  3. Hilary Hilary says:

    As always with an anthology there are some stories you love some which challenge you some which confuse you some which are surprisingly short and usually one you just don't like for some reason and this was no exception Most of these stories meld the old and the new so read on to see Puss In Boots Beauty and the Beast the Twelve Dancing Princesses Sleeping Beauty and Red Riding Hood amongst others in a very different way You'll find role reversals and substitutions all in the same world of fairy tales and legend where promises are broken or kept with terrible or wonderful conseuences but maybe seen from a different viewpoint or where the focus of the story is newIn the end it was hard to decide on a rating By choice it would be 35 stars but as GR doesn't do half stars I was leaning towards 4 stars before realizing that I probably wouldn't seek this out for a reread and therefore decided to round down Don't think I didn't enjoy it though because I did and I may reread a couple of the stories again I just wouldn't seek out the anthologyDisclaimer I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


  4. Gabi Eisenberg Gabi Eisenberg says:

    An above average version of retold fairytales I did enjoy some of them but for a lot of them it was difficult to associate the short story in this book with the fairytale it was originally based on And am someone who knows their fairytales fairly well so it was a challenge for me to even figure out if some of these tales were based on fairytales or new fairytales made up by the authors Additionally the editor didn’t expressly put on each story which fairytale it was based on so it made it even difficult to figure out if these tales were inspired by the genre of fairytale or if they were retold fairytales


  5. Cathy Cathy says:

    I had no intention of getting sucked into this book I was just going to read Caitlín R Kiernan's story which was nominated for a 2014 Locus Award for best short story and maybe one or two others Kiernan was also nominated in the novella category and for her collection But the editor really got me in the intro Where did it all start for you?For me it was a book title Fifty Famous Fairy Stories That book is on my shelf upstairs one of the few I have from my early childhood How I poured over that book I think I got it at a garage sale for a uarter so worth every cent Then I liked the first story in the book and then kept going They were all so easy to read it was a pleasure after some of the hard to plow through stories I've been reading lately It really struck me after Tanith Lee's story when I was on page 90 and had no intention of switching over to a novel even though I had just picked up the new Jim Butcher book from the library that I was well and truly sucked in Or enchanted might be a nicer and appropriate wordAnyway the editing of the book was very good I liked that each story had introductions by the author Their thoughts on what fairy tale they wrote about and how they approached their tale added a lot to the book Plus I hadn't heard of a number of the tales being referenced and had to look them up before reading the story to properly appreciate it The illustrations were nice too a pleasant change to have each chapter started with a full page picture even if most were just clipart It was also nice that the stories varied in length so much some were very brief almost like flash fiction and others were much longer It gave the book a nice flow that I really haven't seen in any other anthologies I liked reading so many international authors there were several from Great Britain and Australia among others And the choice of authors seemed very deliberate There were several authors who said that they had a specialty writing about fairy tales sometimes with a twist so it wasn't not just people taking a wild swing at the theme I'd much rather read author's I've never heard of who are right for this anthology and a bunch of big names that don't have anything special to add to this theme There was a lot to give the book variety and texture even with a strong theme like this The book was well edited and overall one of the better anthologies that I've readYoon Ha Lee The Coin of Heart's Desire This story was originally written in exchange for a donation to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina It's an neat little tale about an empress and a dragon a little light in the end but really pretty good It was fun to see a completely original story to anchor the book using Korean folklore about the Dragon King Under the Sea remembered from her childhood as an inspiration as well as some personal family memories The imagery of the story was very effective and lingering which makes sense since she said that it was the illustrations from the Korean folktales that she grew up with that that she remembered than the stories themselves She did a good job of conveying the spirit and visuals of what she was imagining Also don't be fooled by her short bio she has written a ton of short stories in addition to the collection mentioned in the book There's a lot available online in Clarkesworld Lightspeed Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Torcom at least that was enough for me but there might be Genevieve Valentine The Lenten Rose It was funny to see her here I'd just read my first story by her the day before on Torcom But this story wasn't such a success for me For one thing if I hadn't taken the time to read the article about The Snow ueen in Wikipedia to refresh my memory then I'd have been totally lost it's very dependent on the original fairy tale to have any meaning Which is fine to some degree I ended up reading a lot of the original stories that I was unfamiliar with But the other stories would have made sense without having read the background they just wouldn't have resonated as much This one was really confusing I don't think I'd have followed well without knowing where it was going It was so disjointed I don't see how all of that jumping around added to the story at all It didn't make it mysterious or mystical it just made it confusing It didn't work DisappointingJane Yolen The Spinning Wheel's Tale It was fine but it's very very short There really wasn't much to judge here a bit of cleverness about who the witch might have been not so much about the wheel Cute short It did intrigue me about her over eighty five original fairy tales as mentioned in her bio so that was a win for the anthology model of marketing I liked her clear style without many unnecessary flourishes Of course the contrast seemed even greater after the confusing last story Her style reminded me a bit of Seanan McGuire somehow maybe something about the wittinessTanith Lee Below the Sun Beneath It seemed like a pretty faithful version of the story of the twelve dancing princesses with a few added elements to make it her own and to resonate for modern readers He saves her and she saves him right back The language was a bit heavy with the fairy tale style if you know what I mean but it was a good storyCinda Williams Chima Warrior Dreams I've lived in Cleveland most of my life and I never heard of the Storm Hag of Lake Erie of the Black Dog of Lake Erie so that was interesting She included many other mythological elements too And if was a pretty good story But it was so urban fantasy it didn't feel at all like a fairy tale Putting in mythological elements doesn't make it a fairy tale does it? I don't know it has some elements he was offered the sword he killed the wicked ueen There's certainly no happily ever after but that doesn't matter the real Grimm stories were pretty grim too It just didn't feel anything like a fairy tale at any point I don't need flowery language I don't even like too much of it I don't know what bothered me so much What makes a fairy tale a fairy tale? Not just fae? It did make me curious if all if the talk about him being a Warrior was connected to her warrior YA series which does look pretty goodKaaron Warren Born and Bread A fine short story much shorter than the one that inspired it Sivka Burka A bit gruesome too It didn't make me hungry that's for sure Nice to read an Australian and Fijian author nominated for many awards including the Aurealis Award and the Ditmar Award I've been frustrated that I wasn't able to get to any of the award nominated stories this year so this book is helping to sooth my frustrationsRichard Bowes Tales That Fairies Tell Puss in Boots with an extra helping of Renard the Fox He recently wrote a collection of modern feminist centered fairy tales I liked most of it but the end was abrupt the intro of dragon felt out of place though the idea that the cat was indeed a monster was not I am a monster but never to you Good fairy tale stuff Overall a good story just the pace felt kind of off it didn't feel like it was building to an end then it was over no crisis the end Reynard was wasted tooEkaterina Sedia Sleeping Beauty of Elista I like her point from the intro one thing fairy tales can do is extract some comfort from terror They were often attempts to explain and warn about some pretty scary things so maybe someone brave lived through the terror you should now avoid by listening to the tale you're being told as a warning and they won a kingdom or lived happily ever after Or died if it was some of the real original stories Anyway it reminded me of the article I just read on Torcom about why we should let kid read horror Grim dark fairy tales can not only be actual warning of what not to do don't go down that road or into that castle but can be an emotional comfort and release that people of all ages really needSedia is great at giving her modern books a fairy tale uality anyway I've read a few that I'd ualify as urban fantasy I hate the term literary urban fantasy or literary anything what does that mean that just for fun stuff is crap with no literary value? But her modern has a eerie haunting uality that feels fairy tale like to me like there's a mystical magical element floating beneath the surface of everything going on Like I said above just because stories have myths in them doesn't mean that they feel like fairy tales I've read tons of urban fantasy with mythological elements that doesn't at all feel like it would fit in this book Sedia's stories have that uality to of a degree than mostThe story was good she definitely transported a traditional fairy tale into a modern setting And as I often do with her I appreciated the international setting this time a small city in Russia There were no answers though It did make me want to check out her collection now that I'm reading so many short storiesCaitlin R Kiernan The Road of Needles This was a remarkably complete world character and story right from the opening and all throughout It was a bit odd the way the woman was always referred to as Nix Severn her full name when she was on the ship I guess it was to show that she was caught up in the tale the way that Little Red Riding Hood was referred to by her full name never Red or Hood I loved the way the author took a fairy tale into science fiction and outer space it wasn't at all literal and it worked great She writes a lot of great fairy tale themed stories so this was really up her alley It was cool that she took it in such a different direction Nisi Shawl Lupine Very short the into and bio together were almost as long as the story Definitely a fairy tale The animal fixed everything but who knows why just because the girl was so good like Cinderella was I guess Not exactly a retelling of any story original as far as I can tell but definite strong Cinderella influences despite the very un Cindy like tellingAngela Slatter Flight I hadn't heard of The Raven or White Bride Black Bride but after reading them I was pretty intrigued at how she was going to weave them together much less make them reloaded perhaps as she'd done in her MA work which was writing reloaded fairy tales Another Australian author or I'm guessing that from the Aurealis Award she won It's so hard to get any fiction by Aurealis Award winning authors sometimes it's good to see them included here She was also nominated for a BFSA and WFA so she might not be as hard to track down if I look Anyway she made the stories work I was impressedPriya Sharma Egg A British doctor another international author I really liked this one She wrote something new instead of reworking something old It was very touching very effective on a literal and symbolic level Mothers and daughters a gold mine for authors eh? She was the first one that I immediately looked up and sent stories to my kindle instead of just looked up casually with vague ideas of paying attention to them laterCory Skerry Castle of Masks Based onBeauty and the Beast I didn't like it It isn't cool to just decide people's fates just because it was done to you doesn't make it OK to turn around and do it to others It doesn't matter if you think they're better off it isn't your decision Evil people in fairy tales do that stuff not heroes This wasn't a happy endingNathan Ballingrud The Giant In Repose He has a Norwegian background so he was interested in Scandinavian folklore for his story another one I had to look up and found interesting His approach was interesting too what if his hero's journey got interrupted so long ago and was resumed in a modern era? What would it mean to him after so much time? It reminded me a bit of the Fables graphic novels in the idea that he remained young as long as he remained true to the Story When he came to American and abandoned his myth his Story he began to change and age a cool idea I also really liked that you didn't have to have read the original tale to enjoy this story the author captured all of the elements in his tale If this story was reprinted in another book or magazine without the introduction so a reader didn't know that it was about that myth or didn't take the time to look it up like I did the story wouldn't suffer for it It made sense since the author knew that Scandinavian mythology isn't well known in the countries where this book was probably primarily going to be sold It was uite a good story A good one for this book as well good flow and balanceAC Wise A Hush of Feathers A Clamor of Wings I've read her Women to Read column in SF Signal I like her idea from her intro that fairy tales are skeletons wanting skin There was to the analogy than that It helps explain very simply why so many books comics movies TV shows and who knows what can continue to be created around the same simple frameworks Old bones new skin new story with similar shapes familiar yet haunting resemblance Powerful stuff The story was OK It used elements from mythology and fairy tales but it didn't really feel like a fairy tale itself Maybe because it was a recounting of history than actually a journey In real time But so was the giant's tale and that worked Whatever It also bugged me that although I liked her idea as stated in her into that she was giving voice to one of the cursed birds in the original story and suggesting that all of them might not be innocent victims I had no idea what original story she was referring to I searched the internet for far to look for seven princes with a sister I looked up some Sleeping Beauty stuff because the princess does have those pricked fingers from seeing the nettle shirts I just don't get it Circe I know but what does that has to do with not so innocent birds? I didn't get it and it was annoyingChristopher Barzak Eat Me Drink Me Love Me Based on the poem Goblin Market This one definitely wasn't a fairy tale it wasn't a journey of any kind or any present tense story It was a tale about a fairy tale and it was a good story I'm not complaining I liked the way he read nuances into the poem and what might have been going on behind the scenes and brought it all to life as well It was fun to have a reason to read the original poem too after seeing the Goblin Market referred to in several urban fantasy books latelyErzebet Yellowboy T he Mirror Tells All A Snow White story Another one that is reminiscing of a story instead of any actual action Makes me uestion the editing at the end of the book that it has so many similar stories in a row It story was fineTheodora Goss Blanchefleur This is a fairy tale An innocent a dead mom a fairy auntie instead of godmother to give himforce him Into an apprenticeship a journey a court of cats three tasks three gifts lots of good stuff It felt like one of the classic stories that my grandma read to me when I was a kid I could almost see the bright colors of the book with Puss In Boots and the other characters in her hands could imagine the lizard children in their furniture fort or the clever Professor Owl with a uill in his hand And she did it all without using flowery language how'd that work so well? A great story to co anchor the book Other than the part where they're cousins but that makes them even suited to be European royalty right? It was fun to end with another original story as wellIn the end I was intrigued enough by Lee Sharma and Ballingrud to collect several additional stories from the internet by each I already have Kiernan's latest collection on my kindle waiting to be read And I'm thinking about getting Sedia's short stories as well


  6. Bookworm1858 Bookworm1858 says:

    Source Received an e ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewAs has been long documented on this blog I adore fairy tales in pretty much all iterations so of course I was going to take the opporutnity to read the new variations contained in this book My usual policy for short story collections is to review each individually just a few sentences so be ready for a long one today because we have eighteen to coverThe Coin of Heart's Desire by Yoon Ha Lee This story is based on a Korean folktale so it was not one I was familiar with but it does have dragons and is very well written I was not expecting the ending but loved how it all panned outThe Lenten Rose by Genevieve Valentine This is based on The Snow ueen a story I only vaguely know and I did not really like this retelling I wonder if familiarity with the original tale would have helped me here I kept feeling like I was missing somethingThe Spinning Wheel's Tale by Jane Yolen This is an author whose name I've seen a lot but who I actually haven't read though several of her books are on my list Here her offering is a short variation on the tale of Sleeping Beauty looking at the innocent at the heart of the story It's very short so it didn't make much of an impression on meBelow the Sun Beneath by Tanith Lee The Twelve Dancing Princesses was always one of my favorite stories as a kid so I just adored this elaborate retelling Though the beginning left me wondering where we were going I soon caught on and was thrilled with the feminist slant included This was probably my favorite of the storiesWarrior Dreams by Cinda Williams Chima I admire the intention behind this story which looks at a contemporary soldier struggling to reintegrate himself to civilian life and being brought into a battle with some fantastical creatures The writing for this never clicked with me and I had trouble staying engaged with the storyBorn and Bread by Kaaron Warren I've never heard of the Russian story Sivka Burka which inspired this interpretation but I loved how it was rolled out here I don't have much to say about it but this was another one I likedTales That Fairies Tell by Richard Bowes This was a weird take on Puss in Boots though admittedly that is never one of my favorite stories despite getting to live with an adorable cat who could totally rock boots if he so chose I did not find much to impress in this story but I'm sure it will intrigue othersSleeping Beauty of Elista by Ekaterina Sedia takes as a starting point a pediatric AIDS outbreak in Elista and weaves in a bit of Sleeping Beauty to shake things up This one had a heavy air of melancholy over it but was beautiful all the sameThe Road of Needles by Caitlin R Kiernan Little Red Riding Hood is the inspiration here though it's a shaky one I thought the ending pages were most excellent but the beginning is a bit of a slog in this sci fi twist there are many made up words and terms thrown at the reader I preferred focusing on the familial relationshipLupine by Nisi Shawl This was such a weird story beginning with a mother who hates her daughter I liked how this eventually ended but hated the starting point Flight by Angela Slatter I was not familiar with either of the stories referenced by the author in her introduction this story which made me nervous as I tend to like the retellings when I know their source material Still it was beautifully written and the start middle and end were clearly distinguished I especially loved the use of the sister sister relationship as well as mother daughter when looking at two standout partsEgg by Priya Sharma A woman is somewhat incautious when wishing for a child and having that wish fulfilled The heartbreak is palpable in this story as the mother struggles with her daughter and ends up doing the difficult but right thingCastle of Masks by Cory Skerry This was such a cool story It owes a bit to Beauty and the Beast and has so many great moments Another standout in the collectionThe Giant in Repose by Nathan Ballingrud I enjoyed this story upon giving it a second read as I initially found the story bewildering When I read it the second time I knew the characters better I liked how it played with the Story making me think of Mercedes Lackey's fairy tale novels where the Story will impel people to fulfill certain tropesThe Hush of Feathers The Clamor of Wings by AC Wise Such a sad story with a brother who chose to remain a bird after his sister's sacrifice of silence and knitting a nettle shirt for each of her seven brothers; what will he give up for her to allow her to live?Eat Me Drink Me Love Me by Christopher Barzak I did not really like this retelling of The Goblin Market though I suspect this is one I'd have at least enjoyed if I was familiar with that poem Instead I just kept reading hoping to eventually fall in love but never succeedingThe Mirror Tells All by Erzebet YellowBoy I loved how the starting point for this Snow White retelling is not about mother daughter competition or jealousy but instead is about triumph in the face of those who would try to stifle a young woman's spirit I thought it was very neat how the elements of the original story were woven inBlanchefleur by Theodora Goss I think this was the longest story in the collection and it ended up being one of the best too It really honors the traditional fairy tales with the young man who no one much values undergoing three trials rescuing a kingdom and learning from a mysterious frightening woman It may have been a bit on the long side for this collection but the characterization really benefited from thatOverall I enjoyed this collection finding stories to enjoy than skip If you like short story fairy tale collections this would be worth checking out


  7. Paul Decker Paul Decker says:

    Overall I really enjoyed this anthology of short stories I highly recommend it to fans of fairytales There were many stories referencing tales I've never heard of so fairy tale fanatics will love this book Averaging up all the reviews excluding the one story I couldn't finish gives this book a 45 and I agree with thatThe Coin of Heart's Desire by Yoon Ha Lee Dragons and trickery uestions and bargains This is an Asian influenced fable with an interesting world where the Empire is led by the Empress and you get new names throughout your life as you accomplish things I thought this story was original and fun 45The Lenten Rose by Genevieve Valentine I only read 60% of this story I was lost It is a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow ueen I'm not that familiar with the original story so that may be why I couldn't follow it 5The Spinning Wheel's Tale by Jane Yolen This story shows the well known fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty from a different perspective For a hint just read the title I never thought about this perspective before I found this story short but elouent 55Below the Sun Beneath by Tanith Lee This is another retelling I remember the original story from a cartoon that used to be on HBO Family The story involves a king searching for a man to find out what his daughters are doing at night that causes their soles to be worn in the morning I feel that Lee added depth to the story with the cripple and the witch I am interested in reading the original fable now 45Warrior Dreams by Cinda Williams Chima This story takes place in America with all the unusual magical beings you find here I like the way Chima combined magic and science There is mention of magic side by side with hormones phosphates TBI and PTSD 355Born and Bread by Kaaron Warren This was a retelling of a story I hadn't heard of before This retelling involves a dough like lady who bakes excellent bread There is also a very unusual sex scene I found the story interesting It was short and sweet 35Tales that Fairies Tell by Richard Bowes I really liked a uote from this story The craving of fairy tales appears when a world is changing from one of magic to one of science and vice versa This story takes place in a futuristic New York and features Puss in Boots The concept was interesting and the world was cool but I felt like it was too much for a short story I didn't understand all the characters And the story just kind of ended 255Sleeping Beauty of Elista by Ekaterina Sedia This short story is an interesting take on the pediatric AIDS incident in Elista in the 80s This story brings up the uestion of why things happen Do all things teach lessons? This story plays with the basics of thr original Sleeping Beauty story a witch and a victim It was written very well 45The Road of Needles by Caitlin R Kiernan This story references Little Red Riding Hood It takes place in the future when space travel is becoming commonplace The protagonist is the only person on a soaceship when something goes wrongThe story jumps back and forth through time in its telling There was an interesting use of the storybook 45Lupine by Nisi Shawl This is a simple story A girl is locked up by her mother with a curse she must overcome 35Flight by Angela Slatter This is a complete fairy tale It feels like its been around a long time I could see this as a Disney movie I would watch an animated version of this Bird transformations princesses evil aunts human eating giantess 45Egg by Priya Sharma A woman wants a child A hag grants her wish but not the way she expected This story brings up some interesting topics about parenting 45Castle of Masks by Cory Skerry This story reminds me of a different take on Beauty and the Beast A man poses as a women and goes to a monster as a virgin offering I really liked how this story was told 55The Giant in Repose by Nathan Ballingrud This story draws from Nordic myths A man has escaped his fairytale like story and lived life He is thrust back to a place where everything has waited for him I liked this story 45The Hush of Feathers the Clamor of Wings by AC Wise This story had lyrical imagery but it was kind of twisted It is a modern tale with a witch's curse Choice plays a big role 355Eat Me Drink Me Love Me by Christopher Barzak This is a retelling of Goblin Market The original story is in this story if you aren't familiar with it There's also an explanation for the retelling This story features an interesting relationship between sisters 45The Mirror Tells All by Erzebet Yellowboy There aren't many stories I've read written in second person It was interesting to read This is a take on Snow White I liked this interesting and different way to tell a story 45Blanchefleur by Theodora Goss This is an epic adventure of a boy called Idiot becoming whatever he can be I really liked this one There are interesting worlds and characters Its like a blend of classic and modern 55


  8. Cherry Abittant Cherry Abittant says:

    DNF


  9. Sasha Sasha says:

    I love fairy tales and I like clever retellings Most of these fit into the two categories Coin of Heart's Desire a very cool Korean fairy tale about sacrifice and responsibility I really liked the atmosphere and the beautiful writing Definitely checking out the author's other books The Lenten Rose Snow ueen is one of my super favorite fairy tales and this one was done really well Some extra character development was nice and the theme of poison was pretty cool throughout The Spinning Wheel's Tale Too obvious and boring Maybe should've changed the title instead of spoiling the whole thing not that the revelation would have been any interesting Glad this one was shortBelow the Sun Beneath Definitely a favorite It had the perfect fairy tale atmosphere without getting too preachy I love the extra descriptive stories so this one was right up my alleyWarrior Dreams Broke my heart This story incorporated a real issue into urban fantasy without being painfully obvious or awkward Pretty sweet references to the obscure French fairy talesBorn and Bread No freaking idea where the author got the original twisted ass Sivka Burka story I grew up with these stories and just to double check I read the original in Russian NOPE the father does not come out of the grave every night to eat bread The sons are just supposed to guard the field trying to catch whoever is eating all the grain It turns out to be a horse which MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE end rand Other than that gross bastard of an original version I uite liked the story The character of Doe was very uniue and likable and she carried the whole story Good job Sleeping Beauty of Elista Meh I see what she did there but it was too serious of an issue to stick into the fairy tale format It's thought provoking but it had no place in this collectionThe road of needles I don't read high sci fi so that could be the reason why I didn't get this story at all All the high tech words were so foreign to me that I couldn't get into it Absolutely not for me If you want to read a sci fi retelling of Little Red Riding Hood read ScarletLupine Very pretty straight forward fairy tale Solid 3 starsFlight Cool combination of two stories White Bride Black Bride; The Raven A longer fairy tale with a strong female character and a twist ending not my favorite ending but not bad overallEgg Eeeeewww But I still liked the modern setting and the hearbreak that comes with having a child who not what you wished for A good oneCastle of Masks This one made me giggle A cross dressing take on Beauty and the BeastThe Giant in Repose A Scandinavian myth retold It's about your destiny and stuff I'm weird and I didn't like it that much All the elements were there The characters the origin the heroic middle and genre defying ending But the author needs to become a stronger story teller The Hush of Feathers The Clamor of Wings The familiar story of the sister who is forced into silence until she makes nettle shirts for her 7 brothers turned swans pigeons in this case This one's also set in the modern world but it didn't make as much sense in this case The choice seemed to be deliberate but unnecessary in the end The twist in this one is that it's told from the point of view of the brother who did not want to be turned back into a human costing the freedom of his sister It's about selfishness and sacrificed at the cost of another uite a doozy and I liked it Eat Me Drink Me Love Me A retelling of the Goblin Market I've already read two of those and I have to say that this one was the most messed up one Not a fan unfortunately For a better one read Lips Touch Three TimesThe Mirror Tells All Meeeeh A modern day creepy Snow White story Not executed well too confusing I'm all for unresolved endings but you need to give us a bone here Blanchefleur The longest tale and one of my favorites I loved the hero's journey feel to it And the sassy kitty Mreow Great collection I got a free ARC in exchange for an honest review


  10. Mel (Daily Prophecy) Mel (Daily Prophecy) says:

    ’m not a huge fan of anthologies but this one features fairy tales and I thought you can’t go wrong with that Obviously you can There were stories I enjoyed than hated but most of them were just enjoyable with the potential of being great I’m going to point out the highlights and the ones I dislike because reviewing them all would make this review too longGood storiesSleeping beauty of ElistaThe blend of the original tale with the modern world was subtle It didn’t clashed with the charm of a fairy tale but it created something original It’s about vaccinations and how one girl ended up in a never ending sleepLupineThis book is how a fairy tale is supposed to be It already starts with a great fairytalish line It’s about a bad mother and a lovely girl who needs to find herself to break freeThe spinning wheel’s taleVery interesting POV It gives a complete other spin to the Sleeping beauty taleWarrior dreamsI liked that this story was based on sacrifice It’s not about romance and finding your true love but it’s about sacrificing your life to protect othersCastle of masksThis is by far my favorite story It vaguely reminds me of Beauty and the beast and I swear it’s not because of that It’s well written and clever It’s about a boy who sacrifices himself to the beast by dressing up as a girl He wants to find revenge for his sister who went the year before but instead of a monster he finds a friend A friend he still needs to kill I didn’t saw the twist comingBlanchefleurI always like tales where the hero is portrayed like a total loser The boy here is called ‘Idiot’ but people are not able to see his potential I loved seeing him develop into the boy he truly isBad storiesThe lenten roseThis is a retelling of The snow ueen but it was just so slow and boring I never felt engaged in the story and there was something off about the writing style It’s a shame because this was one of the longer retellingsTales that fairies tellI have no idea what this story is about because I skipped it From the first page I knew this wasn’t going to work for me I believe it’s supposed to be about Puss in boots who tells a story and it’s a strange blend with chick litThe road of needlesWeird story I started to skim and I still don’t know what this was supposed to be Something with red riding hood but it was weirdThe hush of feathersI like the idea of the author but it didn’t work for me I felt unsatisfied at the end and it was hard to get into the storyThe mirror tells allI guess it was the POV but I also had troubles with the writing style It felt a bit choppyOverall not bad Still not good enough to give it 3 stars but if you are a hardcore fairytale fan like me it’s definitely interesting enough to read it once otherwise skip it


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Once Upon a Time❮Reading❯ ➶ Once Upon a Time Author Paula Guran – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Eighteen extraordinary authors devise all new fairy tales imaginative reinterpretations of the familiar evocative new myths speculations beyond the traditional realm of once upon a time Often dark occ Eighteen extraordinary authors devise all new fairy tales imaginative reinterpretations of the familiar evocative new myths speculations beyond the traditional realm of once Once Upon PDF/EPUB or upon a time Often dark occasionally humorous always enthralling these stories find a certain Puss in a near future New York an empress bargaining with a dragon a princess turned into a raven a king's dancing daughters with powerful secrets great heroism terrible villainy sparks of mischief and a great deal Brilliant dreams and dazzling nightmares with meaning for today and tomorrow“The Giant In Repose” Nathan Ballingrud“Eat Me Drink Me Love Me” Christopher Barzak“Tales That Fairies Tell” Richard Bowes“Warrior Dreams” Cinda Williams Chima“Blanchefleur” Theodora Goss“The Road of Needles” Caitlín R Kiernan“Below the Sun Beneath” by Tanith Lee“The Coin of Heart’s Desire” Yoon Ha Lee“Sleeping Beauty of Elista” Ekaterina Sedia“Egg” Priya Sharma“Lupine” Nisi Shawl“Castle of Masks” by Cory Skerry this version © Cory SkerryAn earlier version appeared in Fairy Tales in Split Vision ed Cindy Lynn Speer Drollerie Press “Flight” © Angela Slatter“The Lenten Rose” Genevieve Valentine“The Hush of Feathers the Clamour of Wings” A C Wise“Born and Bread” Kaaron Warren“The Mirror Tells All” Erzebet YellowBoy“The Spinning Wheel’s Tale” Jane Yolen.


About the Author: Paula Guran

Paula Guran is senior editor for Prime Books She edited the Juno fantasy imprint from its small press inception through its incarnation as Once Upon PDF/EPUB or an imprint of Pocket Books She is also senior editor of Prime's soon to launch digital imprint Masue Books Guran edits the annual Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series as well as a growing number of other anthologies In an earlier life she produced we.


10 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time

  1. Marquise Marquise says:

    45 stars overall This anthology was much but much better than Guran's other anthology Beyond the WoodsYes the uality is still uneven I think by now it must be a standard disclaimer as well as a genre cliché to say that about anthologies but it isn't less true for that So what makes this one better for me? For one that the entire anthology doesn't live or die on one single star author included in it as was the case with the previous that relied mainly on Tanith Lee's brilliance to succeed and I very much doubt it would've been as highly rated if not for her Instead in this anthology there's three authors that stand out amongst eighteen included and that distributes the merit for its success evenly Many talented ones are responsible instead of just one each with their own style and creativity Secondly from the authors whose stories stood out there's much variety in styles and stories which means different takes on tales than there would be from just one creative And since I'm on it shouts out and bows go to Cory Skerry for his story Castle of Masks and to Theodora Goss for her story Blanchefleur as the best writers Honourable mention goes to Caitlin Kiernan for The Path of Needles All three were wonderful but Goss's is my absolute favourite and gets the top rating from me

  2. Tina Tina says:

    A strong collection of fairy tales; adapted twisted re imagined re purposed and made anew for a modern audience These tales capture the original tales and make them feel fresh and new And whilst most collection of short stories have a few that aren't as strong as the others all these tales stand strong alone and collectively The Coin of Heart's DesireA tale I hadn't heard of the sacrifice a ruler must make for its Kingdom I loved the characters in it and the twists and turns The Lenten Rose A stunning retelling of the Snow ueen I really loved the narrative the flashes between present and past and the stark red rose imagery against the white snow and those white lenten roses always present and creepy throughout The Snow ueen is a tale that has always haunted me and this version just made me remember why I loved it as a child The Spinning Wheel's TaleWithout giving too much away with regards to this tale's twist this was a stunning bit of work which did leave me guessing as to who was the narrator Though really I should have known better My own criticism far too short Would've loved of an alternative perspective to the Sleeping Beauty tale Below the Sun BeneathA retelling of what I believe is the 12 princesses The tale has such beautiful imagery of the sun beneath of what happens when the sun sets into the lands below and it was just stunning to read I loved the tale the tale of the bored tyrant King and the Princesses who frightened him I loved this story it was a joy to read Warrior DreamsReminiscent of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden the warrior of our tale takes on faerie and the creatures of the Lake and waterways Absolutely loved the style of it loved our hero warriors and wished there could have been Poignant tale and truly wonderful Born and BreadI have never heard of this tale it was perfectly told though with a heroine using her skills rather than charm or looks to become the hero of the piece I really did love Doe though I in real life dislike dough immensely the imagery as well was very vivid Tales that Fairies tellPuss in Boots meets Gossip Girl A world of fantasy meets reality in this modern take on Puss Puss in Boots never engaged me as a younger reader but this with its nods to modern fashion and our brief desires for things made me love the tale and Puss for once Sleeping Beauty of ElistaA modern possibly true tale of Sleeping Beauty and the woes of modern medicine This left me curious wanting to know if the tale was true The Road of NeedlesWhilst it has some beautiful writing this tale took some reading and didn't grip me as much as the others but still pretty strong tale LupineWho hasn't acted like an idiot in front of the person that they like? takes this idea and transforms it into a fairy tale curse Doomed to hate those she loves and love all those she hates Lupine is an engaging heroine who finds herself the brunt of a mother's 'love' or rather her jealousy I loved this story but so short I could've read FlightThe transformation of a princess is a well known tale the transformation from girl to woman or from Princess to creature is shown here with the Emer faced of transforming from Princess to ruler upon her birthday but getting a rather rude shock The tale of the Black Bride mixed in was uite excellent and I would've loved to read about her and the White Bride Egg by Priya SharmaA tale of be careful what you wish for I really loved this story I could honestly sympathise with the mother and felt the heartbreak and hope she felt the whole way through Superb writing couldn't stop readingOther tales included Castle of Masks The Giant in Repose The Hush of Feathers The Clamor of Wings Eat me drink me love me The Mirror tells all Blanchefleur

  3. Hilary Hilary says:

    As always with an anthology there are some stories you love some which challenge you some which confuse you some which are surprisingly short and usually one you just don't like for some reason and this was no exception Most of these stories meld the old and the new so read on to see Puss In Boots Beauty and the Beast the Twelve Dancing Princesses Sleeping Beauty and Red Riding Hood amongst others in a very different way You'll find role reversals and substitutions all in the same world of fairy tales and legend where promises are broken or kept with terrible or wonderful conseuences but maybe seen from a different viewpoint or where the focus of the story is newIn the end it was hard to decide on a rating By choice it would be 35 stars but as GR doesn't do half stars I was leaning towards 4 stars before realizing that I probably wouldn't seek this out for a reread and therefore decided to round down Don't think I didn't enjoy it though because I did and I may reread a couple of the stories again I just wouldn't seek out the anthologyDisclaimer I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  4. Gabi Eisenberg Gabi Eisenberg says:

    An above average version of retold fairytales I did enjoy some of them but for a lot of them it was difficult to associate the short story in this book with the fairytale it was originally based on And am someone who knows their fairytales fairly well so it was a challenge for me to even figure out if some of these tales were based on fairytales or new fairytales made up by the authors Additionally the editor didn’t expressly put on each story which fairytale it was based on so it made it even difficult to figure out if these tales were inspired by the genre of fairytale or if they were retold fairytales

  5. Cathy Cathy says:

    I had no intention of getting sucked into this book I was just going to read Caitlín R Kiernan's story which was nominated for a 2014 Locus Award for best short story and maybe one or two others Kiernan was also nominated in the novella category and for her collection But the editor really got me in the intro Where did it all start for you?For me it was a book title Fifty Famous Fairy Stories That book is on my shelf upstairs one of the few I have from my early childhood How I poured over that book I think I got it at a garage sale for a uarter so worth every cent Then I liked the first story in the book and then kept going They were all so easy to read it was a pleasure after some of the hard to plow through stories I've been reading lately It really struck me after Tanith Lee's story when I was on page 90 and had no intention of switching over to a novel even though I had just picked up the new Jim Butcher book from the library that I was well and truly sucked in Or enchanted might be a nicer and appropriate wordAnyway the editing of the book was very good I liked that each story had introductions by the author Their thoughts on what fairy tale they wrote about and how they approached their tale added a lot to the book Plus I hadn't heard of a number of the tales being referenced and had to look them up before reading the story to properly appreciate it The illustrations were nice too a pleasant change to have each chapter started with a full page picture even if most were just clipart It was also nice that the stories varied in length so much some were very brief almost like flash fiction and others were much longer It gave the book a nice flow that I really haven't seen in any other anthologies I liked reading so many international authors there were several from Great Britain and Australia among others And the choice of authors seemed very deliberate There were several authors who said that they had a specialty writing about fairy tales sometimes with a twist so it wasn't not just people taking a wild swing at the theme I'd much rather read author's I've never heard of who are right for this anthology and a bunch of big names that don't have anything special to add to this theme There was a lot to give the book variety and texture even with a strong theme like this The book was well edited and overall one of the better anthologies that I've readYoon Ha Lee The Coin of Heart's Desire This story was originally written in exchange for a donation to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina It's an neat little tale about an empress and a dragon a little light in the end but really pretty good It was fun to see a completely original story to anchor the book using Korean folklore about the Dragon King Under the Sea remembered from her childhood as an inspiration as well as some personal family memories The imagery of the story was very effective and lingering which makes sense since she said that it was the illustrations from the Korean folktales that she grew up with that that she remembered than the stories themselves She did a good job of conveying the spirit and visuals of what she was imagining Also don't be fooled by her short bio she has written a ton of short stories in addition to the collection mentioned in the book There's a lot available online in Clarkesworld Lightspeed Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Torcom at least that was enough for me but there might be Genevieve Valentine The Lenten Rose It was funny to see her here I'd just read my first story by her the day before on Torcom But this story wasn't such a success for me For one thing if I hadn't taken the time to read the article about The Snow ueen in Wikipedia to refresh my memory then I'd have been totally lost it's very dependent on the original fairy tale to have any meaning Which is fine to some degree I ended up reading a lot of the original stories that I was unfamiliar with But the other stories would have made sense without having read the background they just wouldn't have resonated as much This one was really confusing I don't think I'd have followed well without knowing where it was going It was so disjointed I don't see how all of that jumping around added to the story at all It didn't make it mysterious or mystical it just made it confusing It didn't work DisappointingJane Yolen The Spinning Wheel's Tale It was fine but it's very very short There really wasn't much to judge here a bit of cleverness about who the witch might have been not so much about the wheel Cute short It did intrigue me about her over eighty five original fairy tales as mentioned in her bio so that was a win for the anthology model of marketing I liked her clear style without many unnecessary flourishes Of course the contrast seemed even greater after the confusing last story Her style reminded me a bit of Seanan McGuire somehow maybe something about the wittinessTanith Lee Below the Sun Beneath It seemed like a pretty faithful version of the story of the twelve dancing princesses with a few added elements to make it her own and to resonate for modern readers He saves her and she saves him right back The language was a bit heavy with the fairy tale style if you know what I mean but it was a good storyCinda Williams Chima Warrior Dreams I've lived in Cleveland most of my life and I never heard of the Storm Hag of Lake Erie of the Black Dog of Lake Erie so that was interesting She included many other mythological elements too And if was a pretty good story But it was so urban fantasy it didn't feel at all like a fairy tale Putting in mythological elements doesn't make it a fairy tale does it? I don't know it has some elements he was offered the sword he killed the wicked ueen There's certainly no happily ever after but that doesn't matter the real Grimm stories were pretty grim too It just didn't feel anything like a fairy tale at any point I don't need flowery language I don't even like too much of it I don't know what bothered me so much What makes a fairy tale a fairy tale? Not just fae? It did make me curious if all if the talk about him being a Warrior was connected to her warrior YA series which does look pretty goodKaaron Warren Born and Bread A fine short story much shorter than the one that inspired it Sivka Burka A bit gruesome too It didn't make me hungry that's for sure Nice to read an Australian and Fijian author nominated for many awards including the Aurealis Award and the Ditmar Award I've been frustrated that I wasn't able to get to any of the award nominated stories this year so this book is helping to sooth my frustrationsRichard Bowes Tales That Fairies Tell Puss in Boots with an extra helping of Renard the Fox He recently wrote a collection of modern feminist centered fairy tales I liked most of it but the end was abrupt the intro of dragon felt out of place though the idea that the cat was indeed a monster was not I am a monster but never to you Good fairy tale stuff Overall a good story just the pace felt kind of off it didn't feel like it was building to an end then it was over no crisis the end Reynard was wasted tooEkaterina Sedia Sleeping Beauty of Elista I like her point from the intro one thing fairy tales can do is extract some comfort from terror They were often attempts to explain and warn about some pretty scary things so maybe someone brave lived through the terror you should now avoid by listening to the tale you're being told as a warning and they won a kingdom or lived happily ever after Or died if it was some of the real original stories Anyway it reminded me of the article I just read on Torcom about why we should let kid read horror Grim dark fairy tales can not only be actual warning of what not to do don't go down that road or into that castle but can be an emotional comfort and release that people of all ages really needSedia is great at giving her modern books a fairy tale uality anyway I've read a few that I'd ualify as urban fantasy I hate the term literary urban fantasy or literary anything what does that mean that just for fun stuff is crap with no literary value? But her modern has a eerie haunting uality that feels fairy tale like to me like there's a mystical magical element floating beneath the surface of everything going on Like I said above just because stories have myths in them doesn't mean that they feel like fairy tales I've read tons of urban fantasy with mythological elements that doesn't at all feel like it would fit in this book Sedia's stories have that uality to of a degree than mostThe story was good she definitely transported a traditional fairy tale into a modern setting And as I often do with her I appreciated the international setting this time a small city in Russia There were no answers though It did make me want to check out her collection now that I'm reading so many short storiesCaitlin R Kiernan The Road of Needles This was a remarkably complete world character and story right from the opening and all throughout It was a bit odd the way the woman was always referred to as Nix Severn her full name when she was on the ship I guess it was to show that she was caught up in the tale the way that Little Red Riding Hood was referred to by her full name never Red or Hood I loved the way the author took a fairy tale into science fiction and outer space it wasn't at all literal and it worked great She writes a lot of great fairy tale themed stories so this was really up her alley It was cool that she took it in such a different direction Nisi Shawl Lupine Very short the into and bio together were almost as long as the story Definitely a fairy tale The animal fixed everything but who knows why just because the girl was so good like Cinderella was I guess Not exactly a retelling of any story original as far as I can tell but definite strong Cinderella influences despite the very un Cindy like tellingAngela Slatter Flight I hadn't heard of The Raven or White Bride Black Bride but after reading them I was pretty intrigued at how she was going to weave them together much less make them reloaded perhaps as she'd done in her MA work which was writing reloaded fairy tales Another Australian author or I'm guessing that from the Aurealis Award she won It's so hard to get any fiction by Aurealis Award winning authors sometimes it's good to see them included here She was also nominated for a BFSA and WFA so she might not be as hard to track down if I look Anyway she made the stories work I was impressedPriya Sharma Egg A British doctor another international author I really liked this one She wrote something new instead of reworking something old It was very touching very effective on a literal and symbolic level Mothers and daughters a gold mine for authors eh? She was the first one that I immediately looked up and sent stories to my kindle instead of just looked up casually with vague ideas of paying attention to them laterCory Skerry Castle of Masks Based onBeauty and the Beast I didn't like it It isn't cool to just decide people's fates just because it was done to you doesn't make it OK to turn around and do it to others It doesn't matter if you think they're better off it isn't your decision Evil people in fairy tales do that stuff not heroes This wasn't a happy endingNathan Ballingrud The Giant In Repose He has a Norwegian background so he was interested in Scandinavian folklore for his story another one I had to look up and found interesting His approach was interesting too what if his hero's journey got interrupted so long ago and was resumed in a modern era? What would it mean to him after so much time? It reminded me a bit of the Fables graphic novels in the idea that he remained young as long as he remained true to the Story When he came to American and abandoned his myth his Story he began to change and age a cool idea I also really liked that you didn't have to have read the original tale to enjoy this story the author captured all of the elements in his tale If this story was reprinted in another book or magazine without the introduction so a reader didn't know that it was about that myth or didn't take the time to look it up like I did the story wouldn't suffer for it It made sense since the author knew that Scandinavian mythology isn't well known in the countries where this book was probably primarily going to be sold It was uite a good story A good one for this book as well good flow and balanceAC Wise A Hush of Feathers A Clamor of Wings I've read her Women to Read column in SF Signal I like her idea from her intro that fairy tales are skeletons wanting skin There was to the analogy than that It helps explain very simply why so many books comics movies TV shows and who knows what can continue to be created around the same simple frameworks Old bones new skin new story with similar shapes familiar yet haunting resemblance Powerful stuff The story was OK It used elements from mythology and fairy tales but it didn't really feel like a fairy tale itself Maybe because it was a recounting of history than actually a journey In real time But so was the giant's tale and that worked Whatever It also bugged me that although I liked her idea as stated in her into that she was giving voice to one of the cursed birds in the original story and suggesting that all of them might not be innocent victims I had no idea what original story she was referring to I searched the internet for far to look for seven princes with a sister I looked up some Sleeping Beauty stuff because the princess does have those pricked fingers from seeing the nettle shirts I just don't get it Circe I know but what does that has to do with not so innocent birds? I didn't get it and it was annoyingChristopher Barzak Eat Me Drink Me Love Me Based on the poem Goblin Market This one definitely wasn't a fairy tale it wasn't a journey of any kind or any present tense story It was a tale about a fairy tale and it was a good story I'm not complaining I liked the way he read nuances into the poem and what might have been going on behind the scenes and brought it all to life as well It was fun to have a reason to read the original poem too after seeing the Goblin Market referred to in several urban fantasy books latelyErzebet Yellowboy T he Mirror Tells All A Snow White story Another one that is reminiscing of a story instead of any actual action Makes me uestion the editing at the end of the book that it has so many similar stories in a row It story was fineTheodora Goss Blanchefleur This is a fairy tale An innocent a dead mom a fairy auntie instead of godmother to give himforce him Into an apprenticeship a journey a court of cats three tasks three gifts lots of good stuff It felt like one of the classic stories that my grandma read to me when I was a kid I could almost see the bright colors of the book with Puss In Boots and the other characters in her hands could imagine the lizard children in their furniture fort or the clever Professor Owl with a uill in his hand And she did it all without using flowery language how'd that work so well? A great story to co anchor the book Other than the part where they're cousins but that makes them even suited to be European royalty right? It was fun to end with another original story as wellIn the end I was intrigued enough by Lee Sharma and Ballingrud to collect several additional stories from the internet by each I already have Kiernan's latest collection on my kindle waiting to be read And I'm thinking about getting Sedia's short stories as well

  6. Bookworm1858 Bookworm1858 says:

    Source Received an e ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewAs has been long documented on this blog I adore fairy tales in pretty much all iterations so of course I was going to take the opporutnity to read the new variations contained in this book My usual policy for short story collections is to review each individually just a few sentences so be ready for a long one today because we have eighteen to coverThe Coin of Heart's Desire by Yoon Ha Lee This story is based on a Korean folktale so it was not one I was familiar with but it does have dragons and is very well written I was not expecting the ending but loved how it all panned outThe Lenten Rose by Genevieve Valentine This is based on The Snow ueen a story I only vaguely know and I did not really like this retelling I wonder if familiarity with the original tale would have helped me here I kept feeling like I was missing somethingThe Spinning Wheel's Tale by Jane Yolen This is an author whose name I've seen a lot but who I actually haven't read though several of her books are on my list Here her offering is a short variation on the tale of Sleeping Beauty looking at the innocent at the heart of the story It's very short so it didn't make much of an impression on meBelow the Sun Beneath by Tanith Lee The Twelve Dancing Princesses was always one of my favorite stories as a kid so I just adored this elaborate retelling Though the beginning left me wondering where we were going I soon caught on and was thrilled with the feminist slant included This was probably my favorite of the storiesWarrior Dreams by Cinda Williams Chima I admire the intention behind this story which looks at a contemporary soldier struggling to reintegrate himself to civilian life and being brought into a battle with some fantastical creatures The writing for this never clicked with me and I had trouble staying engaged with the storyBorn and Bread by Kaaron Warren I've never heard of the Russian story Sivka Burka which inspired this interpretation but I loved how it was rolled out here I don't have much to say about it but this was another one I likedTales That Fairies Tell by Richard Bowes This was a weird take on Puss in Boots though admittedly that is never one of my favorite stories despite getting to live with an adorable cat who could totally rock boots if he so chose I did not find much to impress in this story but I'm sure it will intrigue othersSleeping Beauty of Elista by Ekaterina Sedia takes as a starting point a pediatric AIDS outbreak in Elista and weaves in a bit of Sleeping Beauty to shake things up This one had a heavy air of melancholy over it but was beautiful all the sameThe Road of Needles by Caitlin R Kiernan Little Red Riding Hood is the inspiration here though it's a shaky one I thought the ending pages were most excellent but the beginning is a bit of a slog in this sci fi twist there are many made up words and terms thrown at the reader I preferred focusing on the familial relationshipLupine by Nisi Shawl This was such a weird story beginning with a mother who hates her daughter I liked how this eventually ended but hated the starting point Flight by Angela Slatter I was not familiar with either of the stories referenced by the author in her introduction this story which made me nervous as I tend to like the retellings when I know their source material Still it was beautifully written and the start middle and end were clearly distinguished I especially loved the use of the sister sister relationship as well as mother daughter when looking at two standout partsEgg by Priya Sharma A woman is somewhat incautious when wishing for a child and having that wish fulfilled The heartbreak is palpable in this story as the mother struggles with her daughter and ends up doing the difficult but right thingCastle of Masks by Cory Skerry This was such a cool story It owes a bit to Beauty and the Beast and has so many great moments Another standout in the collectionThe Giant in Repose by Nathan Ballingrud I enjoyed this story upon giving it a second read as I initially found the story bewildering When I read it the second time I knew the characters better I liked how it played with the Story making me think of Mercedes Lackey's fairy tale novels where the Story will impel people to fulfill certain tropesThe Hush of Feathers The Clamor of Wings by AC Wise Such a sad story with a brother who chose to remain a bird after his sister's sacrifice of silence and knitting a nettle shirt for each of her seven brothers; what will he give up for her to allow her to live?Eat Me Drink Me Love Me by Christopher Barzak I did not really like this retelling of The Goblin Market though I suspect this is one I'd have at least enjoyed if I was familiar with that poem Instead I just kept reading hoping to eventually fall in love but never succeedingThe Mirror Tells All by Erzebet YellowBoy I loved how the starting point for this Snow White retelling is not about mother daughter competition or jealousy but instead is about triumph in the face of those who would try to stifle a young woman's spirit I thought it was very neat how the elements of the original story were woven inBlanchefleur by Theodora Goss I think this was the longest story in the collection and it ended up being one of the best too It really honors the traditional fairy tales with the young man who no one much values undergoing three trials rescuing a kingdom and learning from a mysterious frightening woman It may have been a bit on the long side for this collection but the characterization really benefited from thatOverall I enjoyed this collection finding stories to enjoy than skip If you like short story fairy tale collections this would be worth checking out

  7. Paul Decker Paul Decker says:

    Overall I really enjoyed this anthology of short stories I highly recommend it to fans of fairytales There were many stories referencing tales I've never heard of so fairy tale fanatics will love this book Averaging up all the reviews excluding the one story I couldn't finish gives this book a 45 and I agree with thatThe Coin of Heart's Desire by Yoon Ha Lee Dragons and trickery uestions and bargains This is an Asian influenced fable with an interesting world where the Empire is led by the Empress and you get new names throughout your life as you accomplish things I thought this story was original and fun 45The Lenten Rose by Genevieve Valentine I only read 60% of this story I was lost It is a retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow ueen I'm not that familiar with the original story so that may be why I couldn't follow it 5The Spinning Wheel's Tale by Jane Yolen This story shows the well known fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty from a different perspective For a hint just read the title I never thought about this perspective before I found this story short but elouent 55Below the Sun Beneath by Tanith Lee This is another retelling I remember the original story from a cartoon that used to be on HBO Family The story involves a king searching for a man to find out what his daughters are doing at night that causes their soles to be worn in the morning I feel that Lee added depth to the story with the cripple and the witch I am interested in reading the original fable now 45Warrior Dreams by Cinda Williams Chima This story takes place in America with all the unusual magical beings you find here I like the way Chima combined magic and science There is mention of magic side by side with hormones phosphates TBI and PTSD 355Born and Bread by Kaaron Warren This was a retelling of a story I hadn't heard of before This retelling involves a dough like lady who bakes excellent bread There is also a very unusual sex scene I found the story interesting It was short and sweet 35Tales that Fairies Tell by Richard Bowes I really liked a uote from this story The craving of fairy tales appears when a world is changing from one of magic to one of science and vice versa This story takes place in a futuristic New York and features Puss in Boots The concept was interesting and the world was cool but I felt like it was too much for a short story I didn't understand all the characters And the story just kind of ended 255Sleeping Beauty of Elista by Ekaterina Sedia This short story is an interesting take on the pediatric AIDS incident in Elista in the 80s This story brings up the uestion of why things happen Do all things teach lessons? This story plays with the basics of thr original Sleeping Beauty story a witch and a victim It was written very well 45The Road of Needles by Caitlin R Kiernan This story references Little Red Riding Hood It takes place in the future when space travel is becoming commonplace The protagonist is the only person on a soaceship when something goes wrongThe story jumps back and forth through time in its telling There was an interesting use of the storybook 45Lupine by Nisi Shawl This is a simple story A girl is locked up by her mother with a curse she must overcome 35Flight by Angela Slatter This is a complete fairy tale It feels like its been around a long time I could see this as a Disney movie I would watch an animated version of this Bird transformations princesses evil aunts human eating giantess 45Egg by Priya Sharma A woman wants a child A hag grants her wish but not the way she expected This story brings up some interesting topics about parenting 45Castle of Masks by Cory Skerry This story reminds me of a different take on Beauty and the Beast A man poses as a women and goes to a monster as a virgin offering I really liked how this story was told 55The Giant in Repose by Nathan Ballingrud This story draws from Nordic myths A man has escaped his fairytale like story and lived life He is thrust back to a place where everything has waited for him I liked this story 45The Hush of Feathers the Clamor of Wings by AC Wise This story had lyrical imagery but it was kind of twisted It is a modern tale with a witch's curse Choice plays a big role 355Eat Me Drink Me Love Me by Christopher Barzak This is a retelling of Goblin Market The original story is in this story if you aren't familiar with it There's also an explanation for the retelling This story features an interesting relationship between sisters 45The Mirror Tells All by Erzebet Yellowboy There aren't many stories I've read written in second person It was interesting to read This is a take on Snow White I liked this interesting and different way to tell a story 45Blanchefleur by Theodora Goss This is an epic adventure of a boy called Idiot becoming whatever he can be I really liked this one There are interesting worlds and characters Its like a blend of classic and modern 55

  8. Cherry Abittant Cherry Abittant says:

    DNF

  9. Sasha Sasha says:

    I love fairy tales and I like clever retellings Most of these fit into the two categories Coin of Heart's Desire a very cool Korean fairy tale about sacrifice and responsibility I really liked the atmosphere and the beautiful writing Definitely checking out the author's other books The Lenten Rose Snow ueen is one of my super favorite fairy tales and this one was done really well Some extra character development was nice and the theme of poison was pretty cool throughout The Spinning Wheel's Tale Too obvious and boring Maybe should've changed the title instead of spoiling the whole thing not that the revelation would have been any interesting Glad this one was shortBelow the Sun Beneath Definitely a favorite It had the perfect fairy tale atmosphere without getting too preachy I love the extra descriptive stories so this one was right up my alleyWarrior Dreams Broke my heart This story incorporated a real issue into urban fantasy without being painfully obvious or awkward Pretty sweet references to the obscure French fairy talesBorn and Bread No freaking idea where the author got the original twisted ass Sivka Burka story I grew up with these stories and just to double check I read the original in Russian NOPE the father does not come out of the grave every night to eat bread The sons are just supposed to guard the field trying to catch whoever is eating all the grain It turns out to be a horse which MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE end rand Other than that gross bastard of an original version I uite liked the story The character of Doe was very uniue and likable and she carried the whole story Good job Sleeping Beauty of Elista Meh I see what she did there but it was too serious of an issue to stick into the fairy tale format It's thought provoking but it had no place in this collectionThe road of needles I don't read high sci fi so that could be the reason why I didn't get this story at all All the high tech words were so foreign to me that I couldn't get into it Absolutely not for me If you want to read a sci fi retelling of Little Red Riding Hood read ScarletLupine Very pretty straight forward fairy tale Solid 3 starsFlight Cool combination of two stories White Bride Black Bride; The Raven A longer fairy tale with a strong female character and a twist ending not my favorite ending but not bad overallEgg Eeeeewww But I still liked the modern setting and the hearbreak that comes with having a child who not what you wished for A good oneCastle of Masks This one made me giggle A cross dressing take on Beauty and the BeastThe Giant in Repose A Scandinavian myth retold It's about your destiny and stuff I'm weird and I didn't like it that much All the elements were there The characters the origin the heroic middle and genre defying ending But the author needs to become a stronger story teller The Hush of Feathers The Clamor of Wings The familiar story of the sister who is forced into silence until she makes nettle shirts for her 7 brothers turned swans pigeons in this case This one's also set in the modern world but it didn't make as much sense in this case The choice seemed to be deliberate but unnecessary in the end The twist in this one is that it's told from the point of view of the brother who did not want to be turned back into a human costing the freedom of his sister It's about selfishness and sacrificed at the cost of another uite a doozy and I liked it Eat Me Drink Me Love Me A retelling of the Goblin Market I've already read two of those and I have to say that this one was the most messed up one Not a fan unfortunately For a better one read Lips Touch Three TimesThe Mirror Tells All Meeeeh A modern day creepy Snow White story Not executed well too confusing I'm all for unresolved endings but you need to give us a bone here Blanchefleur The longest tale and one of my favorites I loved the hero's journey feel to it And the sassy kitty Mreow Great collection I got a free ARC in exchange for an honest review

  10. Mel (Daily Prophecy) Mel (Daily Prophecy) says:

    ’m not a huge fan of anthologies but this one features fairy tales and I thought you can’t go wrong with that Obviously you can There were stories I enjoyed than hated but most of them were just enjoyable with the potential of being great I’m going to point out the highlights and the ones I dislike because reviewing them all would make this review too longGood storiesSleeping beauty of ElistaThe blend of the original tale with the modern world was subtle It didn’t clashed with the charm of a fairy tale but it created something original It’s about vaccinations and how one girl ended up in a never ending sleepLupineThis book is how a fairy tale is supposed to be It already starts with a great fairytalish line It’s about a bad mother and a lovely girl who needs to find herself to break freeThe spinning wheel’s taleVery interesting POV It gives a complete other spin to the Sleeping beauty taleWarrior dreamsI liked that this story was based on sacrifice It’s not about romance and finding your true love but it’s about sacrificing your life to protect othersCastle of masksThis is by far my favorite story It vaguely reminds me of Beauty and the beast and I swear it’s not because of that It’s well written and clever It’s about a boy who sacrifices himself to the beast by dressing up as a girl He wants to find revenge for his sister who went the year before but instead of a monster he finds a friend A friend he still needs to kill I didn’t saw the twist comingBlanchefleurI always like tales where the hero is portrayed like a total loser The boy here is called ‘Idiot’ but people are not able to see his potential I loved seeing him develop into the boy he truly isBad storiesThe lenten roseThis is a retelling of The snow ueen but it was just so slow and boring I never felt engaged in the story and there was something off about the writing style It’s a shame because this was one of the longer retellingsTales that fairies tellI have no idea what this story is about because I skipped it From the first page I knew this wasn’t going to work for me I believe it’s supposed to be about Puss in boots who tells a story and it’s a strange blend with chick litThe road of needlesWeird story I started to skim and I still don’t know what this was supposed to be Something with red riding hood but it was weirdThe hush of feathersI like the idea of the author but it didn’t work for me I felt unsatisfied at the end and it was hard to get into the storyThe mirror tells allI guess it was the POV but I also had troubles with the writing style It felt a bit choppyOverall not bad Still not good enough to give it 3 stars but if you are a hardcore fairytale fan like me it’s definitely interesting enough to read it once otherwise skip it

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