Review: The Starlit Wood

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy TalesThe Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales by Dominik Parisien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoy fantasy and I enjoy short stories. The Starlit Wood ticks the boxes.

Some of the stories are disturbing but in good way! There are only a couple that didn’t appeal. The best ones to my mind are an amazing take on Little Red Riding Hood by Seanan McGuire, Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar. Garth Nix doesn’t disappoint with Penny for a Match, Mister? Not to be missed The Briar and the Rose by Marjorie M. Liu. Possibly my favourite is Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I love the way that, in most of the stories, the empowerment is given to the character who is downtrodden in the original.

I felt quite sad when I finished the final story.

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Review: The Starlit Wood

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the NightingaleThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a delightful story. Robin Hobb calls it, “An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale.”
Terry Brooks calls it, “Haunting and lyrical.”
I call it a wonderful story. If you enjoy fantasy, if you enjoy Robin Hobb, I thoroughly recommend it. the blurb says the The Bear and the Nightingale is perfect for readers of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted (which I have still to read) and Neil Gaiman.
The tale is a retelling of old Russian fairy tales – mainly the one called Frost. I first read these stories when I was a young child. The story is in Arthur Ransome’s lovely book Old Peter’s Russian Tales. that sits on my desk as I write this review.
The hero is a young woman and it is her growing up and finding her strength in the face of an enormously patriarchal society.
Katherine Arden’s telling of the tale is enchanting and I found it hard to put down, although I knew the ending.

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The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden