Genre: fairy tale

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Wonders of the Invisible World: Review

Wonders of the Invisible World: Review

I seem to have an affinity for those books which are magical and strange and not entirely definable. Sitting down to the write this review, it occurs to me how difficult it is to describe this book. I can tell you what it’s about, but to describe the experience of reading it almost makes me feel like I’ve had a spell cast on me myself. There is a palpable sense of unreality throughout as Aidan journeys to unravel the mysteries of himself and his family. Aidan can’t remember entire swaths of his life and he doesn’t even realize it. He drifts along as in a fog, feeling barely there at all. Until the day an old friend comes back into his life and lost memories begin to shake themselves loose from their bindings. But who bound Aidan’s memories, and why? You have to tell your story true, and not everyone… Read more »

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A Thousand Nights: Review + Giveaway

A Thousand Nights: Review + Giveaway

A Thousand Nights is the Arabian Nights retelling I have been waiting for. I know there have been a few to come out this year, but A Thousand Nights has been my favorite of them all. If I could imagine an Arabian Nights retelling that would make my heart sing, it’d be this book. Go read this book when it comes out. It’s awesome. Probably you are already familiar with the story on which this novel is based. If not, let me give you a brief synopsis. There’s a king. He takes a new bride every day and kills her each night. One woman, Scheherazade, becomes his queen and delays her execution by telling a series of interlocking stories with cliffhangers for 1001 nights. What I liked about A Thousand Nights is that it takes this frame narrative but transforms it – the novel stays faithful to the spirit rather than the letter of its… Read more »

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Mechanica: Review

Mechanica: Review

There is something so frustrating about a story that is so close to being satisfactory but doesn’t quite make it. Mechanica is a perfectly serviceable retelling, I imagine, but doesn’t have the emotional substance to make an impact. When I read a book I want to be swept away to another world, brought far from my own experiences, and caught up in the emotions of the characters. I don’t want “serviceable.” Now, I haven’t read Cinder, but from what I could tell this really isn’t very similar. Whereas Cinder is a futuristic dystopian-ish (I think?), Mechanica has much more of a traditional fairy tale feel. Think: 18th century but with magic, fae, and some adorable steampunk creatures. Also, that book has a significant focus on the romance aspect of the story. This one…doesn’t (but more on that later). I actually really enjoyed the first 20% or so of the book… Read more »

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Uprooted: Review Discussion

Uprooted: Review Discussion

Uprooted is an adult fantasy well worth your time.  Layla and I both added it to our  “all time favorite” shelves and adore the dark, fairy tale explorations of this story. Please join us for this fun review discussion! If  you’re a fantasy reader and we haven’t convinced you to read this book by the end of our discussion we’ll eat our hats. Let’s dive in.     Kim: You know, it’s been several years, but I finally found a new book to add to my all-time favorites shelf.  This book is so enchanting and warm and lovely while also being darkly comedic and deliciously creepy. There is just a beautiful glow to this story which reads like an old school Eastern European fairy tale.  Layla: I mean, you know I feel precisely the same way. I can’t remember the last time I loved something quiiiite this much. I kept on desperately checking… Read more »

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A Court of Thorns and Roses: Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Review

In the deepest winter forest an arrow is shot in desperation. The quarrel finds its target, but the consequences are far reaching and unexpected. Feyre, youngest daughter of an impoverished nobleman, has unintentionally killed one of the Fae and broken the treaty between humans and Fae. Now she must trade her life for that of her slain foe. Caught between death or handing herself over to live in the lands of the Fae, never to return to her family, Feyre surrenders. This is a totally new fantasy world, completely separate from that of Throne of Glass. Feyre lives on an island resembling Great Britain that is divided among human ruled lands and the realms of the Fae (many blessings upon Bloomsbury for including a map for those of us “constant flippers”). The humans live in constant fear of the Fae, and the Fae live in constant fear of the ever… Read more »

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Stitching Snow: Review

Stitching Snow: Review

I have read a lot of fairytale retellings recently, many of them sci-fi, a lot of them doing very interesting things with the stories they are retelling. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but I was excited for a science fiction story that did something different with the Snow White tale. I will be honest: Stitching Snow was not the book for me. Stitching Snow is about Essie, the princess of Windsong, the planet that rules the galaxy. She runs away to the mining planet of Thanda after her step-mother tries to kill her and lives there somewhat peacefully for eight years until a mysterious boy, Dane, crash lands near her home. Also, she is something called an Exile, an otherwise normal human with the genetic quirk that she can enter another person’s consciousness and know everything they’re thinking. The premise was interesting enough, but I found… Read more »

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Winterspell with Claire Legrand + Giveaway

Winterspell with Claire Legrand + Giveaway

There’s nothing better than a retelling that manages to take a fairytale we all think we know and completely turn it on its head. Winterspell is completely original, while still staying true to its Nutcracker roots. It is a very dark, and very beautiful story. There were a lot of things I loved about this story, but probably my favorite is that author Claire Legrand is very good at capturing the shades of grey in every character. There is no character who is all good or all bad. Everyone has nuance. Everyone does great and terrible things. There are just too many great things I can say about this book. This is a must read for anyone who likes dark fantasy and the grittier side of fairytales. And, it’s a stand-alone, so no terrible cliffhangers! We’re happy to have Claire Legrand at The Midnight Garden today as part of the official… Read more »

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