The Birds Word with Robin: Fairytale Retelling Roundup

Presenting The Birds Word with Robin: A roundup featuring books in the fairytale retelling genre. Reviewed by Robin Wasilewski for In the Stacks. 

I'll be reviewing two fairy tale retellings and one YA fantasy novel.

The first is Chain of Gold (The Last Hours) By Cassandra Clare This story takes place during the Victorian era around the same time as the Infernal device’s series, just a little bit into the future where Will and Tessa's children are teenagers. The focus of this story is on Cordelia Carstairs, who is a shadow hunter trying to salvage her family name after her father has been accused of a crime he may or may not have committed. She along with her friends are also trying to figure out the reason behind the strange demon attacks happening in London that are poisoning and sometimes killing shadow hunters without explanation.

 The second is A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer A Curse so Dark and Lonely is the fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. A young arrogant prince named Rhen is cursed to repeat the same year over and over until he finds someone to love him back. The story is set between two worlds, current time and an alternate universe set hundreds of years in the past (that was my interpretation of it anyway). A young woman Harper is accidentally transported to this place after she attempts to stop, what she thinks, is a kidnapping. She ends up being kidnapped herself by a man named Grey and finds herself in the kingdom of Emberfall with no foreseeable way out. Harper continues to try and get back home to DC to care for her brother and ill mother, while also starting to slowly trust Rhen and his guard, Grey.

The last is Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Spinning Silver is another story that is loosely based on a fairy tale (Rumpelstiltskin). This book follows the story of three young women: Miryem: Who takes over the moneylending business from her father after she is tired of watching people in the village take advantage of her family when he fails to ask what is due to them. Mireyem become so good at this business that she draws the interest of the Staryk (a feared being who is obsessed with gold and who is from a parallel world where it is constantly winter). After he hears her bragging that she can told silver into gold, the Staryk makes a dangerous deal with her. Irina: Whose father is a duke and is pushing her into a loveless marriage to a tsar. There is something off about the tsar, and we find out that he has his own ulterior motives that put Irina in danger. Wanda: Who is currently working as a servant for Miryem and her family to work off her abusive alcoholic fathers’ debt. Wanda enjoys working for the family, as it gives her an excuse to leave her abusive home daily. As you can tell there is a LOT going on in this story, each woman has her own separate story that eventually ties in with the others by the end. I enjoyed how the author switched between each character and was able to successfully tell the story of everyone without it becoming convoluted.

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