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Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales Hardcover – April 16, 2009
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I know I always care more about the contents of a short story collection like this than an actual review since I'm certain to find the book worthwhile for at least a few stories--although more than a few make this one worthshile--so I'm kindly sharing the list with my gentle readers, too. Most of the authors are the usual suspects for a collection edited by Datlow and Windling, so fans should be thrilled and newcomers have a treat in store.
Wizard's Apprentice by Delia Sherman
An Unwelcome Guest by Garth Nix
Faery Tales by Wendy Froud
Rags and Riches by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Up the Down Beanstalk: A W Remembers by Peter S. Beagle
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces by Ellen Kushner
Puss in Boots, the Sequel by Joseph Stanton
The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Holly Black
Troll by Jane Yolen
Castle Othello by Nancy Farmer
`Skin by Michael Cadnum
A Delicate Architecture by Catherynne M. Valente
Molly by Midori Snyder
Observing the Formalities by Neil Gaiman
The Cinderella Game by Kelly Link
There is a mixture of fun and trauma in the stories, ending with Link's chilling "The Cinderella Game." Don't read it at bedtime if you are subject to nightmares.
There is not a dull story in the collection. My favorites are as follows:
1. "The Wizard's Apprentice," Delia Sherman: A humorous story about a person's reputation and how things are not always what they seem. Is Zachariah Smallbones truly an evil wizard?
2. "Skin," by Michael Kadnum: Haunting and poetic, this story is a retelling of Rumpelstiltzskin from the elf's perspective. Spinning straw into gold is not his only talent.
3. "Molly," by Madori Schneider: Who is the true villain? The giant, or the impish girl who comes to visit him in his home? This story will make you think.
4. "A Delicate Archetecture," by Catherine M. Valentee. I've saved this story to the last because it is my absolute favorite. I implore you to get this book simply for this story alone. Bittersweet, cutting, and extremely creative, this tale is told from the witch's perspective in "Hansel and Gretel." Why is the witch so obsessed with sweets? Why does she live in a beautiful house of gingerbread? Valentee explores the heartrending themes of obsession, betrayal, and the universal craving within us all to be accepted. We are fragile creatures, yet we deserve respect and love.Read more ›
But there's plenty here for anyone of any age. Some of the finest fantasy writers currently working contribute and reading this book I found myself thinking of Saki and Thurber and Mrs. Lovett from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
There's not a dud in the bunch but my favorites were Peter S. Beagle speaking as a Giant's Wife, Catherynne M. Valente finding terror and pathos in pastry and Kelly Link playing a very old game in a very modern family.
You may buy this as a gift but you'll read it and you'll keep it so buy at least two copies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great stories with unexpected dark twist! I use it in the classroom.Published 25 days ago by Joseph
Loved it!! My favorite was the "backstory" of the witch hansel and gretel meetPublished 6 months ago by Gwyn
I love fairy tales and new twists on them but this collection of stories doesn't really have that special thing that gives you that fairy tale tingle. Read morePublished on April 8, 2011 by Lucinda