Yay for more retold faerie tales! This time the baddies get their say.
Fifteen original tales by some of my favorite authors explore the villians’ side of what happened once upon a time. Rupunzel’s witch is the one being imprisoned. The giant’s wife has tells the tabloid version of Jack and her husband. The oldest princess is sick of her eleven princess sisters dancing until dawn and wearing out their shoes. The boy who cried wolf actually cries like a wolf. Rumplestiltskin doesn’t make excuses for wanting the child and hating the spoiled spinner. Hansel and Gretel’s witch had a heartbreaking childhood. Evil stepbrothers are just as bad as the stepsisters.
Some of the tales are recognizable within the first few sentences while others are familiar motifs without a specific villain in mind. What I liked the most about these tales is that they aren’t stories where the bad guys are sweet and innocent and just looked bad because they didn’t get to tell their story first; many of them are truly horrible, but they want you to see things from their perspective.
Anytime I see anything edited by Ellen Datlow &Terri Windling, I know it’s going to be wonderful, and this is another one to add to the list. I’m glad they’re bringing their collections to a younger audience and giving them a taste for the real tales that are sometimes hidden from them.