Genre: Fantasy – Fairytales – Mythical
📖 Disclaimer – I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
✍️ This book has such an interesting writing style, it is almost antiquated yet also modern, an intriguing blend. In a strange way, you feel smart reading but at the same time, the stories are recognisable as variations on traditional tales. Although these variations are far from the Disney versions you may be more familiar with.
🗣 I often think it’s useful to see an extract of a book to get an idea of the writing style. Here is a brief extract so that you can see a sample of the writing yourself:
‘I come to take your daughter,’ said the red-lit being. ‘With me, she actualises; with you, she dies.’
‘I don’t know who or what you are,’ cried the woman, ‘but please don’t take my daughter. She’s all I have!’
‘You are all you have; she is all she has,’ came the dry rustle of response to the woman’s desperate plea. Then, with a loud pop-zip, the being was gone.
The woman stumbled back to her shack, whimpering as she went. She unlocked the sheet-iron door and burst in. But she was too late – her beloved daughter had been taken.
👓 This book contains 24 short stories and at the end of each one, the author provides detail of the original story and an overview of areas he changed during the re-telling (e.g. trading male for female viewpoints, adjusting time periods etc). I really enjoyed these creative insights. The stories are dark, shocking and striking. If anyone has ever read the “original” Grimm stories (for example in the original Grimm version Cinderella’s sisters cut off their toes to try to make them fit the slipper), Maclennan very much pays homage to this writing style.
👫 The author also includes a detailed introduction about the different terms used in fairy tales (such as Transhumanism) including insight into its use and historical references. This is very interesting
🗺 As a little side note (not that it should particularly matter) but the cover is also rather beautiful, harking back to traditional storybook style covers.
💭 Overall View: Not for the faint-hearted but this is a really intriguing collection of dark stories.