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Red as Blood

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,860 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
How would it be if Snow White were the real villain & the wicked queen just a sadly maligned innocent? What if awakening the Sleeping Beauty should be the mistake of a lifetime--of several lifetimes? What if the famous folk tales were retold with an eye to more horrific possibilities?
Only Tanith Lee could do justice to it. In RED AS BLOOD, she displays her soaring ima
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published 1983 by DAW Books (NY)
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Melanti I've noticed that this particular publisher doesn't mind cutting corners on cover art.

I can name at least one other author they re-print where the…more
I've noticed that this particular publisher doesn't mind cutting corners on cover art.

I can name at least one other author they re-print where the covers also look like they're a cheap self-published type job...

But then they've published other authors where the cover art is wonderful. I guess it's just whatever the author insists on.

Regardless - cover art is not this publisher's strong point.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 21, 2009 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of speculative fiction
The common thread binding the nine stories (five previously published in various magazines) of this collection is that they're all re-imagined fairy tales, and all of them are of high literary quality; but otherwise they exhibit a wide variety. Lee wasn't well-served by the jacket copy, or by the above description, both of which tend to sensationalize these stories, under-stress their emotional complexity, and paint an exaggerated image of grimness. Only two of the tales could justly be called " ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jul 23, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released
For the last couple of years I have been focusing on including more short fiction in my reading routine. Likewise, I have been trying to go back to reading more fantasy and science fiction, two genres I devoured in my teens and early twenties but have gotten away from in recent years. Red as Blood by Tanith Lee fits both categories as it's a collection of retold fairy tales, each one with a dark twist.

The stories are based on the Grimm brothers' tales but given a feminist focus. The Grimm storie
Maricar Dizon
original post: Books Are My Lovers

Red As Blood is a dark retelling of the famous fairytale Snow White. In this story, Tanith Lee created a very vivid and eerie depiction of the tale with the Evil Queen as the center of it all. In her version, the Queen is not evil. In fact she is a good witch. Snow White here is named Bianca, a princess with a very mysterious and dark disposition who hates to go out of the castle before dusk, with skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood. And for an eerie
Feb 23, 2009 yellowbird rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tanith Lee writes wonderfully lyrical horror stories that sound like fairy tales, so it's only appropriate that she should rewrite some of the old standard. This book contains When the Clock Strikes, a retelling of Cinderella which is worth the price of admission alone, and The Princess and her Future , a heartwarming tale about a princess who marries a handsome prince who promises that "...I will love you for the rest of your life." He keeps his word.
While Tanith Lee's novels can be a little
Heather *live on coffee and flowers*
Didn't really enjoy this as a whole, but then, I am usually apathetic about short stories. Most of these were too long without being satisfactory, and most never seemed to reach any sort of point. The last one was good though and I actually kind of wish it had been longer.

Oh, and I don't know why Lee even bothered noting the setting of each story, since any of them could have been set anywhere. Like, why did the characters use French in the Scandinavian stories? Am I missing something?
Jan 23, 2008 rivka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to rivka by: Audrey Neal
Shelves: other-spec-fic
In sort of the reverse of how fairy tales have gradually gone from Grimm to sanitized, Tanith Lee has taken 9 classic fairy tales and turned them dark.

Overall, it's an intriguing idea. However, the repeated Satan-worship theme got really old. There was only one story I really enjoyed -- the last one, "Beauty." Perhaps not coincidentally, it is the only one that is SF rather than fantasy.
Jun 10, 2015 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
LMAO, I really liked all of these.

It should probably be renamed "Princesses Behaving Badly by Dabbling in the Dark Arts and Worshiping Satan".
Apr 08, 2014 Kara rated it it was amazing
EDIT, just bought my own copy to reread:

Tanith Lee retells nine fairy tales in this darkly delicious collection. Part of her magic is, what she does, stripping out details and ignoring rules of grammar when it suits her, work perfectly in her hands, but in the hands of a lesser writer would be as clunky and amateurish as a6th grader’s essay on How I Spent My Summer Vacation. But Lee’s so good I’m tempted to eat her books in hopes of absorbing some of her writing ability.

Excuse me now while I gus
Aug 26, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of reworked fairy tales was fascinating and thought-provoking. They are arranged so that each story is set in a different time and different places. The Paid Piper is set in Asia in the last century B.C., Red As Blood in 14th century Europe, Thorns in 15th century Eurasia, When The Clock Strikes in 16th century Europe, The Golden Rope in the 17th century, The Princess and Her Future in Asia in 18th century, Wolfland is in Scandinavia in 19th century, Black as Ink in 20th century ...more
Janne Varvára
Mar 17, 2013 Janne Varvára rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The last thing I read by Tanith Lee was an Arthurian short story in a Merlin story collection, and hearing this audiobook version of her story Red As Blood was a very different experience.
After reading her tale of Merlin, which I loved, I immediately went looking for more of her work, but having heard this, it left me disappointed.
I've always loved re-imaginings of well-known fairy tales, such as Gregory Maguire's books for instance, but this feels less like a re-imagining than just plain editin
This was a wonderful book. I am generally *not* a fan of short stories. I like stories that with lots of character development and there isn't time for that in short stories. Maybe this collection was improved by already "knowing" the stories, but I don't think that's the only reason. They were definitely not for kids and one or two were rather disturbing, but riveting all the same. I would only say that one had any real innuendo, but the themes were adult (or, at least, young adult).

I read a co
Dec 30, 2009 Shiyiya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my. That was *fantastic*. My favourite genre, riffs off of well-known fairy tales. Dark and twisted new takes on old stories. Lovely. Absolutely lovely. I do wonder what Black as Ink is supposed to be, though. Wikipedia says The White Duck, which is ridiculous. It has not even a nodding acquaintance with The White Duck. With the swans I'd think it was The Swan Princess, but bits of it made me think of Giselle... though Giselle isn't well-known enough for that kind of thing, generally. For tha ...more
Godliness is next to more Godliness, apparently. This collection of fairy tale re-imaginings could have been good--a lot of her ideas are excellent and I'd love to see them in the hands of a better writer--but I only got through about half the stories in this collection. And of those six or so, five were varying degrees of allegory, usually of the "wicked person worships SATAN and GOD won't save you then." A little too much in the Christian tradition for me, particularly when the stories were se ...more
May 01, 2015 Anya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic collection of short stories retelling 9 "classic" fairy tales. Reordered by chronological setting rather than publication date, I found the stories getting better as I went along. Beauty was my favourite, a hauntingly sad retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a mild sci-fi setting, followed by Wolfland, a much better interpretation of Little Red Riding Hood involving werewolves and women with agency. Most of these stories did not turn out how I expected them to at all, and often the cha ...more
This certainly lives up to its reputation!
(But the cover is horrid - especially compared to the older covers.)
Sarah Pierce
Jan 03, 2009 Sarah Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An addiction you say? Yes, I may have an addiction to Tanith Lee’s short stories. Especially since I started this one before I’d finished Dreams of Dark and Light, so it was all Tanith Lee, all the time. This collection of stories is based partly on fairy tales that we know and love, with new stories mixed in, all with Lee’s twist of the dark and the macabre.
Twisted retellings of well known fairy tales. I loved them all to the point that I hunted the used bookstore until I found a hardcover edition I could call my very own.

Many of these short stories left me wishing they had been full blown novels in their own right.
Feb 22, 2014 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Save for When the Clock Strikes, The Princess and her Future, and Thorns these stories were all completely absorbing. And to say that I found the others lacking in comparison doesn't mean I didn't find fascinating elements in them. I love how universally terrible most of the Tanith Lee cover art is and how it rarely matches the stories tonally- I always find bad cover art endearing.

I read this in a day. I think I'm getting to the point where I'm trying to hone the razor-sharp marathon reading sk
Feb 18, 2008 Dianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twisted fairy tales, like what if the stepmother in Snow White was really the good one. Artfully crafted and beautifully embroidered, but truly macabre. I had to wait till my son was a tween to let him read these fairy tales.
A wonderful classic of dark fantasy, every short story in this collection is a small jewel. Comparable in quality and prose to Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber of which I'm confident, Lee is heavily indebted to.
Tina Edwards
One of my favorite short story books, ever.

Mar 01, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked most of it. Some of the stories were a bit of a stretch. I did especially like her version of Beauty and the Beast. I thought it was a bit bizarre but I loved it.
Jan 13, 2011 Chade66 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little dark for my tastes, but some very interesting ideas in there. I especially liked "Wolfland".
May 05, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, shortstories
Tanith Lee is extremely dark, and this collection of fairy tales done her way is no exception.
Corrine Brady
Aug 29, 2009 Corrine Brady rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Strangest, yet most INTRIGUING short story collection I've ever read!
Dec 09, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tanith-lee
The most excellent collection of fairy tales.
Jennifer Dale Taylor
I do enjoy twists on the fairy tales that have existed for generations upon generations and this is a twisted collection of a variety of well known tales. Some of the interpretations are better than others, all were done to give them a "darker" spin from the perspective that sometimes the damsel in distress and fair princess is actually the corrupt Big Bad and by saving her the savior has doomed the world.

My only real dislike is that the quality of the book's print isn't great and the cover is a
I'm very fond of this collection of reimagined fairy tales - I've always been surprised that it hasn't gotten quite the reputation that The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter has. I wish I could rate different parts of it differently - there's a two-star story based on Swan Lake that brings the average down and a three-star one on Giselle, but most of the other stories rank as fours and fives. The Snow White story is particularly good - it's the most interesting and convincing Snow-White-is-a-vampi ...more
i feel like i need to say something about this book, because it's just amazing. it's a collection of 9 stories retelling the known fairy tales but taking them in a complete different direction. it's been a while since i read it, so probably i am forgetting some details but i don't think it makes any difference,as i am not gonna go into the plots, just my feelings about each story in general.

maybe some spoilers...

So, here we go: the first story 'paid piper' was the one i liked best. not because o
Nathan Miller
May 27, 2013 Nathan Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many of us grow...well, not necessarily tired of fairy tales, so much as weary of the sickeningly sweet happily ever after versions we've all come to know and sometimes loathe. After all, the originals in their often many versions are frequently more violent than most of us have been taught in our youths. Tanith Lee takes this idea a step or two further.
Lee not only re-tells, but re-imagines several well-known fairy tales. Most of them are recognizable...though there were two I didn't, but that
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Ask Kate Wolford ...: Why do you love Fairy Tale re-tellings? 28 28 Jun 20, 2013 07:11AM  
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Tanith Lee was a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She was the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She also wrote four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series "Blake's 7."
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a wai
More about Tanith Lee...

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“It was not apathy. It was an intelligent disinterest in those things that could have no bearing on one's existence.” 35 likes
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