This lush collection artfully gathers together many of World Fantasy Award winner Goss’s fairy tale–themed poems and short fiction published over the last 16 years, including her Locus-nominated story “Red as Blood and White as Bone.” As a Hungarian-American raised on Hans Christen Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, Goss takes obvious delight in reweaving classic European folk tales to reveal new, often deeply feminist, perspectives. In “The Gold Spinner,” Rumpelstiltskin is recast as a girl lying to save herself, while “Conversations with the Sea Witch” features the Little Mermaid as an old woman looking back on a life both difficult and well-lived. In “A Country Called Winter,” a college student must come to terms with her birthright as ice threatens to overtake the world, while “Mr. Fox” explores the balance of power between lovers, and the choice to say no to a future others have laid out is celebrated in “The Princess and the Frog.” Perhaps most poignant of all, “The Nightingale and the Rose” is a beautiful, sensitive reminder that storybook love is not all it’s cracked up to be. This toothsome collection is best read in one go. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2018 Release date: 02/05/2019 Genre: Fiction
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