Note: I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.
Even though I own several works by Jane Yolen (thanks to Humble Bundle) I hadn’t read anything by her before. I was still intrigued by this work up on NetGalley and couldn’t resist requesting it. I’m glad I did, because I think I found myself a new writer whose style I love.
How to Fracture a Fairy Tale is a collection of previously published short stories, all in the realm of fairy tales. However, these aren’t the ones you know and love from bedside story time. These tales are fractured and changed. Some have a different viewpoint (Granny Rumple, in which Rumpelstiltskin is a Jewish money lender), some are a bit (or a lot) more dark (Allerleirauh and The Gwynhfar) and some are just a short bit (Once a Good Man). The stories are accompanied by notes and poems, one for each story. About half the poems have been published before, the rest are new to this collection.
If you don’t know Yolen’s style, based on this book alone, I’d compare her to Neil Gaiman. Like Gaiman, she uses existing stories, myths and legends and weaves her own tale, and like Gaiman, she is a storyteller. Not surprisingly, one of the stories was even written for an anthology Gaiman was making of Sandman inspired stories (but did not end up in it). If you are looking for fairy tales with a twist, for stories that could be told at the fireside, for something on a cold winter night, look no further than this collection. Four out of five stars from me.