Black Swan, White Raven
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Black Swan, White Raven (The Snow White, Blood Red Anthology Series #4)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  799 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In their fourth collection of original adult fairy tales written by some of the premier names in literature today, World Fantasy Award-winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling transport readers deep into an enchanted forest with a stunning array of magical stories - bringing us the princes and ogres, charms and bewitchings, castles, cottages and secret gardens of fe...more
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published June 7th 1997 by Avon Books (first published June 1997)
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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Goose Girl by Shannon HaleBeauty by Robin McKinleyThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanFairest by Gail Carson Levine
The Best Fairytales and Retellings
251st out of 1,486 books — 6,506 voters
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Best Fantasy Short Story Collections
70th out of 203 books — 192 voters


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Community Reviews

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Althea Ann
Another volume in Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's series of re-told fairy tales. There's a reason they're two of my favorite editors. This is a classic anthology. Highly, highly recommended.

Contents:

The Flounder's Kiss • Michael Cadnum

A rather disturbing tale of a fisherman who hates fish, his wife who doesn't think much of him, and what happens when a fish willing to grant wishes is caught...

The Black Fairy's Curse • Karen Joy Fowler

Short and simple... what if Sleeping Beauty didn't particula...more
Danielle
I've always been fascinated with fairy tales, and this series puts a whole new spin on well loved stories. Most of them are darker retellings, just as a forewarning. I love to read stories I knew as a kid, but revamped for adults. My two favorites were the Rapunzel story and the Snow White retelling. The Snow White retelling is especially chilling because in this version, it is the father and not the step mother who is evil. I definitely recommend this book to all fans of fairy tales!
Marsha
This anthology is definitely a mixed bag of nuts. There is sometimes a fairy tale element, sometimes not. What most of the stories have in common is that women are given short shrift. Too many feature females as evil, victimized or peripheral. One story nearly omits the woman’s voice altogether, reciting a droning theme of abandonment as dry and dusty as an academician’s thesis. There is a list of recommendations in the back that may lead the more discerning reader to more gender-balanced choice...more
Kelli
This book did not start off strong and would have received low marks if not for the better second half. First of all, many of the stories and poems have nothing to do with any fairytales. Many of these are poorly written and/or just plain odd. But there are a few gems in here that I enjoyed such as "The Trial of Hansel & Gretel," "The Reverend's Wife," "Sparks," and "Godmother Death."
Kate
I'm slowly working my way through every single one of the fairy tale collections by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I like fairy tales, and I like it when authors do interesting things with fairy tales, rather than just accepting the easy explanation. I liked some of the stories. I didn't like others. I enjoyed that some of the authors chose less well known stories (such as The Tinderbox) to retell.

Trigger warning: (view spoiler)...more
Anna Rebecca
This book easily makes it into the list of worst books I've ever had the misfortune to read. The book states that it is a collection of retellings of fairytales. Most of the stories had nothing in common with the fairytales they were retelling. Perhaps a minor detail, two if you were lucky, reflected the original story. Otherwise these stories had no relation and were of merely average writing. None of these stories were even worth mentioning individually! Unless you are desperate, do not even b...more
Laura
As with most short story collections, there was really a mixed bag in this book. I don't understand why Joyce Carol Oates is famous. Her story in this collection was supposed to be some kind of rumplestilskin retelling, and instead it was a weird story about a woman who goes running and then has some sort of child pornography nightmare involving her ex husband and children. WTF. I did like some of the stories, though, but not enough of them to make the book worth buying.
Debbie
Nov 07, 2008 Debbie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy and fairy tales
Shelves: fantasy
Okay, I admit it, I'm a sucker for these books. Are they the best reading in the world? Maybe, maybe not. But I enjoy them. There's always a number of stories in each book that I feel make it worth the price. These adult versions of classic fairy tales make me want to go out and find the originals versions, before they were rendered "kid friendly".
Taylor
I love fairytales retold by different authors and this is a great collection of some most common authors telling their versions of their favorites. Some take place in today's world, so take place in the times that they originated, either way, a fun and enjoyable read.
Nora Peevy
Black Swan, White Raven edited by Ellen Datlow. A great fairy tale collection. One of her earlier collections, but all the authors are stellar and the fairy tale twists are entertaining. If you like the other fairy tale collections she's edited, then read this one!
Tab
Mixed batch good and bad of fairy tales. Favorites: The Trial of Hansel and Gretel, No Bigger Than My Thumb, The Reverend's Wife. Joyce Carol Oates story was disappointing; I ended up skimming it.
Cinnamingirl
Again, not as amazing as the first two, but I'd say about half of the stories I really liked and the others I could take or leave. Really wish I could find the last two books in the series.
Susan
"The Reverend's Wife" by Midori Snyder is the story I remembered from first reading this collection. "Sparks" by Gregory Frost is based on my favorite Andersen story and mixed with LA noir.
Jen
4.5 stars

Though not all the stories were "amazing," I did enjoy them all. I really love this series of re-imagined fairy tales for adults. They're so imaginative and entertaining!
Bethany Anne


I liked some, hated others. No real love for any. Don't think I will bother with any more of these little anthologies.
And I really didn't see how some were tied to fairy tales in any way.
Hack
i really like fairy tale retellings, and Datlow and Windling really pick good ones. i've enjoyed most of this series, and i hopefully enjoy the ones that i haven't read yet.
Tasha
Did not finish reading book. Although some of the short stories were excellent, others were kind of boring or closely repeated themes in earlier books of this anthology.
Amy
This book of fairy tale retellings from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling includes stories from John Crowley, Jane Yolen, and Pat Murphy. Another great collection.
Sash Uusjärv
Keskmine, aga mitte kõva, vaid nõks allapoole. Kaks väga head juttu, paar head, ülejäänu oli suht läbinärimise ja ohkamise teema.
Amie Doughty
Some really interesting folktale revisions as usual. I particularly enjoyed "Sparks" (a reworking of "The Tinderbox") and "Rapunzel."
Tiffany
Some of the stories were ok, but most of them were long and it was hard to understand exactly what was going on.
Janice
Not fairy tales at all. Negative and creepy.
Try Mercedes Lackey, Orson Scott Card, Patria McKilip.
David
Some pretty good tales,
Some more mediocre, but
None really stood out.
Doug H
A couple of good stories in the mix. Nothing great.
Daniel
Some were good, some were bad. Overall, meh.
Sasha Strader
Modern fairy tales for adults.
Amber
Apr 12, 2011 Amber rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
another great fairy tale anthology!
Semeicha
Semeicha marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
Jeff James
Jeff James marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2014
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter...more
More about Ellen Datlow...
Snow White, Blood Red Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy (Riverside Series) (The Dresden Files #10.9) The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm Lovecraft Unbound Black Heart, Ivory Bones

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“The French fairy tale writers were so popular and prolific that when their stories were eventually collected in the 18th century, they filled forty–one volumes of a massive publication called the Cabinet des Fées. Charles Perrault is the French fairy tale writer whom history has singled out for attention, but the majority of tales in the Cabinet des Fées were penned by women writers who ran and attended the leading salons: Marie–Catherine d’Aulnoy, Henriette Julie de Murat, Marie–Jeanne L'Héritier, and numerous others. These were educated women with an unusual degree of social and artistic independence, and within their use of the fairy tale form one can find distinctly subversive, even feminist subtext.” 8 likes
“Though now we think of fairy tales as stories intended for very young children, this is a relatively modern idea. In the oral tradition, magical stories were enjoyed by listeners young and old alike, while literary fairy tales (including most of the tales that are best known today) were published primarily for adult readers until the 19th century.” 7 likes
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