- Author: Soman Chainani
- Series: Standalone
- Genre: Fantasy
- No. of pages: 336
- Dates read: 08.04.2022 – 11.04.2022
- Star Rating: 4 stars
Plot: Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life… and death. A prince has a surprising awakening. A beauty fights like a beast. A boy refuses to become prey. A path to happiness is lost… then found again.
Some quick blanket statements I wanted to make before we get further into the individual stories. I loved the writing style so much. It was super engaging and I was hooked straight away. The illustrations were super beautiful and gave an extra flair to the book. I really enjoyed the authors take on these stories. Some were played pretty straight while others were really different. But, I didn’t love that fact that the book didn’t have quotations marks. I struggled at times figuring out who was saying what etc.
I will also say that I have seen this marketed as a middle grade novel and I would have to say that I believe this has been mis-marketed. The writing and the content is 1000% YA. As a bookseller I wouldn’t recommend this to your stereotypical 9-12 age group as it feels way to old.
Red Riding Hood – 3.5 stars
This was a solid start to the collection. I loved this very different take on Red Riding Hood. I think this story did a really good job of setting the scene and giving you a strong idea of what to expect going forward. I enjoyed the ending a lot.
Snow White – 4 stars
This story was one that I felt followed quite closely to the original tale, in terms of plot. But in this version Snow White is black and I felt that added a whole new layer to this story. Race is a really big component. It is the main theme of the story and I really enjoyed looking at this tale from that lense. I LOVED the ending so much.
Sleeping Beauty – 4 stars
Now this story took more of a deviation from the original fairytale. In this story Sleeping Beauty is a prince and includes an LGBTQ+ relationship. While the story above very clearly followed the original storybeats with certain differences here and there, this story takes a lot more liberties. I really enjoyed this story and the way it was told. I love when a re-telling doesn’t strictly follow the same storybeats as its source material.
Rapunzel – 4.5 stars
Another story that is a bit more straightforward. This story focuses more on Rapunzel as a character rather than re-telling the whole story. One thing I love about this book is it really tackles the more mysoginistic view of those original stories and this one does just that by focusing on Rapunzel and her desire for freedom and to see the world over a romantic pairing. The ending had me cheering.
Jack and the Beanstalk – 3 stars
This story on the otherhand didn’t really see any changes from the original story. It was written well but it did not stand out to me.
Beauty and the Beast – 3 stars
This story I really enjoyed. I liked the backstory of the Beast and I love a story that champions the love of reading and the world of books. That being said, I didn’t like the ending. This story would have been rated higher if the ending was different.
Bluebeard – 3 stars
This story was similar to Jack and the Beanstalk. I liked how it was written, there was a small character change with the female character changed to male, but there nothing wasn’t really anything that grabbed me.
Cinderella – 2.5 stars
This was probably the most disappointing out of the collection. While I loved the ending, I just did not care for this story.
The Little Mermaid – 5 stars
This story on the other hand was oneof my absolute favourites. Similar to Rapunzel this focuses on the Mermaid as a character rather than the romance. The majority of this story is a conversation between the Sea Witch and the Mermaid as they discuss the terms of the contract to get the Mermaid her legs. This had such a strong “focus on you” and “don’t risk your entire life for a man” vibes. Which I loved. Honestly, I need the Sea Witch to give me life advice.
Rumpelstiltskin – 4 stars
This was a fun story. This followed the original fairy tale very closely but unlike some of the other stories, which did the same, I found myself really enjoying it.
Peter Pan – 5 stars
Probably my favourite story in the collection. I am a sucker for a Peter Pan re-telling. Especially, when Peter is the villain of the story. This had a really beautiful romance element and very interesting look at blending the demands of adulthood alongside your childhood self. I loved every minute of this one.