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