Monday, September 28, 2009

Troll's Eye View: A book of villainous tales by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (4/5 stars)

This is a children's book of 15 short stories by various fantasy writers. Overall it was a decent collection. The stories are very short and there are some poems thrown in between stories. My favorite story of the bunch was Catherynne Valente's "A Delicate Architecture." I also really enjoyed "Skin" by Michael Cadnum and "Troll" by Jane Yolen. My least favorite was "Up the Down Beanstalk" by Peter Beagle. Overall though it was a great group of stories. See below for brief comments on each story.

- "Wizards Apprentice" by Delia Sherman
About an evil wizard's apprentice. Where all is not what it seems to be. This was a pretty funny story. 4/5

- "An Unwelcome Guest" by Garth Nix
In this story Rapunzel is the one harassing the witch. Very cleverly written. 4/5

- "Faery Tales" by Wendy Froud
A short poem about what happens to the princesses when they get older. 4/5

- "Rags and Riches" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
This was a retelling of the goose girl. The story was very detailed and a good read. 4/5

- "Up the Down Beanstalk: A Wife Remembers" by Peter S. Beagle
In this story we get a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk from the Giant's Wife's perspective. My least favorite of the bunch. 3/5

- "Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces" by Ellen Kushner
A retelling of the twelve dancing princesses. Loved the story. 4/5

- "Puss in Boots, the Sequel" by Joseph Stanton
What if Puss in Boots didn't stay captured? This poem explores that. 4/5

- "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" by Holly Black
How did the wolf in "Little Red Riding Hood" end up at grandma's house? Very clever ending. 4/5

- "Troll" by Jane Yolen
Talks about the troll under the bridge; only this on is scared of goats. Very funny little story, I liked it a lot. 5/5

- "Castle Othello" by Nancy Farmer
Maybe Bluebeard wasn't the evil one afterall. Interesting take on the tale. 4/5

- "'Skin" by Michael Cadnum
A very beautifully and clever retelling of Rumplestilskin. Loved this story. 5/5

- "A Delicate Architecture" by Catherynne M. Valente
How did the witch from Hansel and Gretle end up in that house made of candy in the woods? This story answers all and is writen beautifully. The story had wonderful imagery and was very creative. My favorite of the bunch. 5/5

- "Molly" by Midori Snyder
Tells about how Molly tricked the Giant. Maybe the giant wasn't so bad after all? 4/5

- "Observing the Formalities" by Neil Gaiman
A poem about sleeping beauty. Well-written. 4/5

- "The Cinderella Game" by Kelly Link
When two siblings start playing Cinderella, things get violent. This was an odd story and I wasn't quite sure what had happened when I got to the end. It was well-written. 4/5

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