A volume that transports readers to a place where the lines between beastly natures and beautiful appearances can be difficult to discern.
Here are 12 familiar European fairy tales, folktales, and classic stories retold in ways that evoke elements of the traditional versions, populated by slightly different casts, and focusing on particular aspects of their usual forms. The tales include, among others, an ironically named Snow White with dark skin, persecuted for the form her beauty takes; South Asian siblings who hopefully follow a trail of rosewater and saffron sweets after being left in the forest by their father and stepmother; and a beautiful brown-skinned prince cursed to appear as a beast and the Chinese girl who moves into his castle to spare her father’s life (the two of them bond over books). The entries are expertly crafted with a deep understanding of the source material and are updated with feminist sensibilities, the addition of some queer relationships, and the inclusion of racial and ethnic diversity. Chainani’s writing is raw in what it lays bare on the page, perfectly appropriate to revisiting these beloved, ubiquitous stories that may have left readers with naïve expectations or dissatisfied conclusions. Chainani infuses his retellings with practicality while still evoking the wonder, terror, and magic of the fantasy realms. Final illustrations not seen.
For any lover of fairy tales who seeks alternative endings.(Fantasy. 11-adult)