When I read it: October 2012
Genres: fantasy; fairy tales; retellings
Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys fairy tales (and myths) and retellings, but particularly those that are on the darker side.
(I think this is shelved as “YA” a bit on goodreads, but I think it’s closer to adult fiction.)
What it’s about (from goodreads):
Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.
The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.
But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is a malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
I haven’t read this book in over four years, but I still think about it probably weekly, at least. It was just that good, in my opinion, and I recommend it to people every chance I get. I haven’t actually read many retellings, including the popular ones (like The Lunar Chronicles, but they’re on my TBR), but I do enjoy them, usually.
This book isn’t a sweet, fluffy retelling and merging of fairy tales and myths. It’s definitely a bit on the darker side of things, but I like that. I enjoy fluffy retellings, sure, but I also know that a lot of the original material wasn’t like that, so it’s refreshing for me to read interpretations that aren’t warm and fuzzy.
There are mixed reviews for this book, so I know it isn’t for everyone, but what book is? I recommend it, and I would love to talk to you about it if you’ve read it, even if you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. I’m actually planning to re-read this at some point, so if anyone would like to buddy-read it together, let me know!
I would also like to give a shout out to Kate Danley for making one of my first indie/self-published reading experiences so nice. Small presses and self-published books sometimes aren’t looked upon fondly, and I was skeptical for a long time about them, but this book changed all that. (I think this book was originally totally self-published, but later picked up by Amazon’s 47North, or something like that. I’ve seen the publisher listed as a couple of different things online, so I’m not exactly sure, sorry.)