Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Redder Than Blood
Tannith Lee

April 4, 2017/ ISBN 9780756412517

Reviewed by Jan Fields


Though all of the stories in this collection are inspired by fairy tales, the telling is dark and occasionally quite erotic. The stories explored include Snow White, Pied Piper, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, and more. In these stories, the prince is rarely especially good or pure. Beauty can be beastly. And the beasts very nearly always have teeth. I found the tales delightful. First, short stories are a uniquely wonderful format for exploring ideas about power duty, feminism and freedom, because the format seems to allow the author to distill the most moving and impressive elements. We don't mind that the stories are saying things so bluntly about life, sex and relationships, because that's what short stories do. But these are more than just a means of looking at ideas, they're also beautifully written with a lovely classical feeling to the language, style and imagery. They feel like fairy tales, despite that they're a bit twisted. Of all the nine stories, my favorite was the one based on the frog prince. For the girl who comes to love her "froggy" and is improved for knowing him, it's a beautiful, hopeful story, right up to where the "happily ever after" normally comes in. And that's what I love about these. They never let you have the easy answer and the black-and-white narrative. They always make you think. You might not like where the story ends up, but the story will keep you in its thrilling grip the whole time. What more could one possibly ask?

Reviewed 2017