cover image Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales

Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales

Edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt. Little, Brown, $18 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-21294-6

In this eclectic anthology, Marr (Carnival of Souls) and Pratt (Liar’s Blade) bring together 10 other authors, as well as illustrator Charles Vess, to reinterpret and reimagine a dozen classic stories, novels, and fairy tales. The mandate: to “boil those stories down to the rags and bones, and make something new from their fundamental essences.” The results derive from both familiar source material, such as Kelley Armstrong’s dystopian take on “The Monkey’s Paw” and Neil Gaiman’s splendid reworking of “Sleeping Beauty,” as well as less-remembered, like Margaret Stohl’s haunting update of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Pratt’s thought-provoking look at Henry James’s “The Jolly Corner.” Holly Black delivers a seductive update of “Carmilla,” while Marr takes on The Awakening. The tales tend toward the dark and Gothic, with happy or comforting endings in short supply, but the range of tones and approaches offers plenty for readers to savor. It’s a solid collection that may trigger flashbacks to English class among current and former students alike. Ages 15–up. Agent: (for Marr) Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House; (for Pratt) Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)