Friday, February 26, 2016

Fairy Tale Fandom Book Report: Frozen Fairy Tales.

Winter is going fast and the world will wake to the Spring in the not too distant future.  The time has come to post my review of Frozen Fairy Tales from World Weaver Press.  Now, I’m just kind of figuring out how best to go about reviewing books, especially anthology books by a group of different authors.  So, I’m going to try something different than what I did the last time I reviewed an anthology.  This time, I’m going to post some thoughts on each of the different stories in the collection.  The aim is to create a bunch of micro-reviews of about a paragraph or so.
Reproduced with permission from World Weaver Press.
“The Stolen Heart” by Christina Ruth Johnson
This is a nice new take on “The Giant with No Heart”.  It combines both fairy tale tropes and modern elements nicely.  I do have a problem with the ending, though.

“Faithful Henry” by Steven Grimm
A new take on “The Frog King, or Iron Henry”.  It does some interesting things with the female lead of that tale.  I was expecting more from the title character of Henry, though.

“The Ice Fisher” by J. Patrick Pazdziora
This one just doesn’t do anything for me.  It’s got an Arctic, almost tribal feel to it.  However, while it wasn’t bad I just didn’t take to it.  I can’t say much more than that.

“Buffalo Wings” by Lissa  Marie Redmond
A neat little tale of magic in the modern world that I can relate to being I’m from Upstate New York.  It has an entertaining main character.  Probably my favorite of the bunch.

“Cold Bites” by Tina Anton
A nice little story with a slightly surprising ending.  The main character has an interesting dilemma to deal with.  I did feel that this one dragged a little bit in the middle, though.

“Death in Winter” by Lissa Sloan
This is a nice new take on the personification of Death seen in folklore.  It also has a very active female protagonist.  A good story.

“Simon the Cold” by Charity Tahmaseb
This one had an interesting premise.  It hinges on there being an unseen world like that of TV shows like Grimm.  It’s good urban fantasy but doesn’t have much in the way of fairy tale tropes.  My second favorite.

“The Light of the Moon, the Strength of the Storm, the Warmth of the Sun” by Aimee Ogden
“This is actually a rather sweet story.  It has little to no magic in it at all.  However, it’s worth reading just for emotional enjoyment.

“A Heart of Winter” by Anna Salonen
This story was nice and creepy, if you like that sort of thing.  It features a hero set on rescuing a damsel, but the twist in the tale is that the hero is a scholar and the damsel is his little sister.  Suggested for fans of dark fairy tales.

“Happily Ever After” by Amanda Bergloff
This story has a decidedly interesting structure.  It feels kind of like the old campfire story game of “And Then Suddenly . . . ”.  Every time it seems like you reach the end it takes up with another character to hear their story.  Very interesting, though it might feel a bit disjointed to those who want one solid story.

“The Heart of Yuki-Onna” by Alison McBain
Honestly, I found this one to be just a little confusing.  I think it’s supposed to be an origin story for the Japanese spirit Yuki-Onna (Snow Woman).  Honestly, it lost me somewhere, though.

“The Wolf Queen” by Rowan Lindstrom
A much darker take on “The Farmer’s Clever Daughter”.  It’s an interesting example of how tonal shifts can change a story.  I found the characters a bit unlikable, though.

“What She Saw by Lantern Light” by L.A. Christensen
This is another sweet one, much like the Ogden story.  It’s nicely paced and well-written.  I’d recommend it.

“The Shard of Glass” by David Turnbull
A story based on Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”.  Well written, but I’m personally not entirely fond of the tonal shift.  Has an interesting hint of world-building, though.

“How Jack Frost Stole Winter” by Gavin Bradley
Not so much a fairy tale as a porquois tale starring English folkloric figure Jack Frost.  It’s interesting to see a porquois tale with a European slant, seeing as most of the ones published today seem to lean towards African or Native American origins.  It’s a bit by-the-numbers though.

Overall, I think that Frozen Fairy Tales is a solid anthology.  It has its hits and misses as most multi-author anthologies do.  However, most of that will likely come down to personal taste.  I say the book is worth a shot, though not necessarily a “you must read this book now” type of read. 
I’d like to thank Kate Walford and World Weaver Press for giving me the chance to read and review their book.  In the comments, tell me what you think of this “micro-review” format I’ve come up with (honestly, I’m still on the fence about it).  Until Ever After, this is the Fairy Tale Geek signing off.


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  2. Hello, Adam. Thanks for your thoughtful review of the anthology. Love your blog. Especially your pieces that connect fairy tales with sci-fi. Your Doctor Who piece was especially prescient, given the major fairy-tale reference near the end of the latest season. No spoilers here for any of your readers who might not have seen it yet! I look very much forward to more of your insightful posts.

    Steven Grimm

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