My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Whatever is spoken in the forest cannot be unsaid, lying can be just as dangerous as the truth, names hold power, and the most dangerous of predators used words that were coated with honey.”
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This took me a while to read, but it’s not because I didn’t enjoy it. These bite-sized queer fairy tale retellings (a lot of ace/aromantic goodness) go quickly; most are easy to get through in a few minutes. So I tried to only read one or two a night to savor/appreciate – this didn’t really work, because I read one, I found it hard to stop!
Some of my favorites were “Odd” (Most wonderfully affirming and unexpected twists!) “Match Sticks” (amazing celebration of different kinds of love!), “Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes” (loved the adoptive-family love!), “Beauty’s Beasts” (Actual poly ship, and wonderfully warm/satisfying).
“The Last Lost Boy” also hit me unexpectedly hard, with its reflection on long-lost and found-again friends, love, what you leave and what you take with you into a new chapter of life. (I also blame this one for making me pick up ‘Peter Darling’ next. Which is good.) I also loved “Dark Matters” for its macabre-and-hilarious twists on Goldilocks and the… three bears. And “The Suns of Terre” could likely be its own science-fiction book or series. I’d certainly read just from this small look into that universe.
Really, there was something wonderful in every story, beyond the ones I’ve named. Every writer brought a unique perspective and interpretation on familiar tales. There’s something so amazing about finally seeing yourself included in stories you’ve known since childhood, but never really been a part of. I’m so glad this collection exists.