Sea-Rabbit

Wendy Walker, Author Sun and Moon Press $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55713-000-6
The nine tales in this collection, Walker's first published work, are elegantly gaudy revivifications of folk/fairy stories in a kind of jeweled, poetic prose. Walker's sentences grow and ramify as luxuriantly as vines in an enchanted wood. In each tale, familiar motifs lie embedded, recombined, and transformed through the alchemy of the author's heady imagination. Outstanding is ``Arnaud's Nixie,'' a variation on the Cupid and Psyche legend, where Esperte undergoes ordeals and quests to recover her darling Arnaud, snatched from her by a cruel lady of the lake. Women who jam their blistered feet into a slipper to catch a melancholy prince's attention turn up in the exquisite ``Ashiepattle,'' a tale whose heroine has birdlike affinities, wears a bizarrely furred and feathered gown, and flutters high in a dovecote. The despised, poor or clumsy suitor who wins a princess through some special gift or charm appears in ``The Unseen Soldier,'' and in the title story. ``The Contract with the Beast,'' a labyrinthine adventure echoing the tale of Beauty and the Beast, has a winsome hedgehog for its hero. Deliciously quirky twists and unexpected endings increase the reader's surprise and delight. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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