Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Wolf at the Door

Title: A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales
Author: Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

What it's about: Stories include "The Months of Manhattan" by Delia Sherman, "Cinder Elephant" by Jane Yolen, "Instructions" by Neil Gaiman, "Mrs. Big: 'Jack and the Beanstalk' Retold" by Michael Cadnum, "Falada: The Goose Girl's Horse" by Nancy Farmer, "A Wolf at the Door" by Tanith Lee, "Ali Baba and the Forty Aliens" by Janeen Webb, "Swans" by Kelly Link, "The Kingdom of Melting Glances" by Katherine Vaz, "Hansel's Eyes" by Garth Nix, "Becoming Charise" by Kathe Koja, "The Seven Stage a Comeback" by Gregory Maguire, and "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" by Patrica A. McKillip.

What I thought: "Instructions" isn't really a story, just a collection of, well, instructions. Stuff to keep in mind if you find yourself in a fairy tale. Very witty and very keeping in line with the sort of stuff that I've known Gaiman to write. "Falada: The Goose Girl's Horse" is an interesting take on that fairy tale, but now that I've read The Goose Girl, I have to say I prefer the longer version. "Swans" was always a favorite of mine in this collection because of how it melds a fairy tale world with a modern one, references to magic and royal duties alongside Star Wars and a regular grade school. "Hansel's Eyes" I found pretty creepy but deliciously so. It's a great update to the old story. And I have to say that I just absolutely love "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" because it's at the same time so quintessentially a fairy tale and a more developed story.

Overall: A really great collection. Definitely worth picking up if you like fairy tales.

1 comment:

ellen-datlow said...

I'm delighted that you enjoyed Terri and my anthology.
There's a second volume out called Swan Sister, and a third, called Troll's Eye View (re: fairy tail villains) is coming out next year.