Title: How to Fracture a Fairy Tale
Author: Jane Yolen
Rating: 3.5/5, rounded up
Blurb (copied from Goodreads):
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.
Anthologies have always been difficult for me to review, which is why I will rarely request one from Netgalley. How do you rate an anthology? I suppose I took the lazy way out by simply looking into the number of stories that I really enjoyed, and I’d say it was about 3.5/5 of the book, so this gets 3.5 stars.
I will, however, tell you what I loved. In no particular order, I really enjoyed Godmother Death, The Foxwife, Brother Hart, Sule Skerry, The Woman Who Loved a Bear, and Wrestling with Angels. I gasped at the ending of Snow in Summer, teared up at Allerleirauh, felt awe for Slipping Sideways Through Eternity, giggled at The Green Plague, and rooted for the underdog in Sleeping Ugly. I didn’t feel much for the other tales, unfortunately, although none of them are bad.
My absolute favourite has got to be Once a Good Man. It’s a story about, well, a good man, who is allowed a wish from the Lord. He decides that he wants to see heaven and hell. I won’t spoil the end of the story, but I had somehow never heard the original folklore. I see in the notes that this was originally made for a children’s book, and I have to say, I would totally tell my future children this story. I cried, I read it again, and then I read it out loud to my fiancé. It will stay with me a long time.
I’d like to thank Tachyon Publications for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.