Review of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao. ★★★★ TW: physical abuse In short, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is the origin story of the evil Queen from “Snow White,” set in an East Asian inspired fantasy world. So if a YA fantasy with a complex anti-heroine at it’s center sounds like you’re sort of thing, then you…

Review of The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. ★★★★ The Language of Thorns is a collection of six, gorgeously illustrated short stories. While all these stories are set in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s novels, you absolutely don’t have to have read them to enjoy this collection. In fact, The Language of Thorns might be a good place to start…

Review of The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang. ★★★1/2 If a queer retelling of The Little Mermaid is of interest, then you should check out The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang. Only, think the Hans Christian Anderson original, not the happily ever after Disney version. Dr. Cadence Mbell has devoted her life to studying the atargati, the sentient, deep sea…

Review of The Faerie Godmother’s Apprentice Wore Green by Nicky Kyle

The Faerie Godmother’s Apprentice Wore Green by Nicky Kyle. ★★★★ What a delightful story! The village of Styesville believes that they’re in need of a knight to solve their dragon problem. But the solution to their problem arrives largely unnoticed: Dea, a faerie godmother’s apprentice drawn by the rumors of dragons. She soon realizes that there’s something more…

Review of The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher

The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher. ★★★★ This wonderfully written YA fantasy novel would appeal to fans of Robin McKinley’s fairy tale works. Rhea’s life takes an unexpected turn when a local lord requests her hand in marriage. She doesn’t want to get married, much less to a stranger who’s as old as her father, but when…

Review of The Starlit Wood Edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe. ★★★★ Trigger warning: rape The Starlit Wood is an anthology containing eighteen entirely new retold and genre mixing fairy tales from some of SFF’s best writers. The full author line up is as follows: Charlie Jane Anders, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar, Jeffrey Ford, Max…

Review of The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier

The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier. ★★★ The City in the Lake is an original YA fairy tale. When the Prince of the Kingdom goes missing, the magic of the Kingdom is thrown out of balance. The disturbance reaches all the way to the rural village where Timou is learning the craft of her father, a…

Review of The Fox’s Tower and Other Tales by Yoon Ha Lee

The Fox’s Tower & Other Tales by Yoon Ha Lee. ★★★★ The Fox’s Tower & Other Tales is a collection of beautifully elegant flash fiction stories. Each of these stories can be read in less than five minutes, and the majority have the feel of a fairy tale, even if they are not straight forward retellings. While the formats…

Review of A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston. ★★★1/2 There’s an obvious One Thousand and One Nights influence to E.K. Johnston’s A Thousand Nights. But while A Thousand Nights may take its inspiration from the frame story, it is more of an original story than a retelling. Lo-Melkhiin has gone through many different wives. Many die after a single night, some live for a…

Review of Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord. ★★★1/2 Redemption in Indigo is undeniably fantastical, but it more closely resembles a fairy tale or fable than your usual fantasy novel. Based upon a Senegalese folktale, Redemption in Indigo is the wryly humorous account of Paama, a mortal woman who attracts the attention of the djombi, who gift her with the Chaos Stick. However,…

Review of Roses and Rot by Kat Howard

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard. ★★★★1/2 Roses and Rot is a hauntingly lovely contemporary fantasy about the bond between two sisters. Imogene and Merin have an abusive mother that they both seek to escape. They hadn’t spoken in years when Merin reaches out. Soon after, both sisters find themselves at an artist’s residency at the prestigious Melete….

Review of Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente. ★★★ Trigger warning for sexual assault, suicide, and abuse. Six-Gun Snow White is a dark, adult fairy tale novella from the masterful Catherynne M. Valente. While I enjoyed Valente’s prose, I ultimately found the book too strange for my taste. Snow White is the daughter of a Nevada silver baron and…