The Woodcutter
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The Woodcutter

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  2,137 ratings  ·  422 reviews
Cinderella is dead and one of Odin's hellhounds has gone rogue. The Woodcutter, protector of peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of Faerie, is charged with finding the beast and returning him to the Wild Hunt. Unfortunately, it seems the forces of evil have other plans. It is a race against time as the Woodcutter travels east of the sun and west of the m...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 14th 2010 by Createspace
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C.L. Cloud
I don't understand why so many people were so taken by this book. I'm shocked this won awards and was very disappointed in the flow of her writing ability to tell the story with fluidity. I found it to be broken and rushed in areas and didn't give enough description of the characters as for who they were and what purpose they served in the story but rather was more concerned with the art of the sentence. Which is something that frustrates me when reading. I feel that some authors focus on how be...more
Kristina
It as been some time since a book was able to so utterly transport me to a different world. This was an absolutely enthralling read that I was scarcely able to put down. Kate Danley has a very interesting writing style that works for this type of genre. The Woodcutter's multi-dimensional character contrasts well with the decidedly one-dimensional evil of the Queen and the Gentleman. The emotions that run through this book made me cry with joy and sadness, made me angry, upset, and frustrated, an...more
Mihir

Full review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: The Woodcutter by Kate Danley is a book that slipped me by when it was originally self-published by the author in 2010. I happened across it recently when it was rereleased by 47North. I was very much intrigued by the storyline as it reminded me of The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly which is one of my all time favorites.

The story is set in a realm wherein there are twelve kingdoms and all of them are either ruled by creature...more
Jackie
A thoroughly enjoyable retelling and combining of fairy tales from various sources.The message the same, even if the meaning is a little different: True love conquers all.
In this case however, true love is not the romantic, Disneyfied stuff. It is love that comes without enchantment or disguise. It is the love that contains a willingness for sacrifice and the quiet, comfortable warmth of true understanding and acceptance of another.

There is so much of this book that I want to quote, but I don'...more
Kirsty
The Woodcutter was an interesting idea, I was sure I was going to love it because who doesn't like fairy tales? After reading it though, I honestly believe if it ain't broke don't fix it!

The Woodcutter is basically a Frankenstein monster of all the pretty tales you grew up with as a child. Practically every fairy tale you can think of has been dissected, and sown back together in an unattractive and messy way.

I really didn't like the narrative and flow of the book. I was only a few chapters in,...more
Lucinda
A dark magical tale of faerie, folklore, fable and fantasy that is truly spellbinding!

This beautiful book has such a striking, exquisite cover that it certainly stands out on the bookshelf as something unique and not of this world. As one opens the pages it feels like ‘The Neverending Story’ where dreams become reality as you are swept away into a world of myth and legend, of magic and the extraordinary. The twelve kingdoms is a place that you can escape to, reminiscent of Alice exploring Wonde...more
Julie Davis
I was interested in this book after reading a few reviews that said the author told a story referencing fairy tales, but in a way that made the tale itself something brand new ... yet faithful to fairy tales.

And this review pulled me in.
A thoroughly enjoyable retelling and combining of fairy tales from various sources.The message the same, even if the meaning is a little different: True love conquers all.

In this case however, true love is not the romantic, Disneyfied stuff. It is love that come
...more
Miss Inga Page
Also published at Miss Inga Page.

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley deals with the trials and tribulations of our protagonist, the eponymous Woodcutter. After discovering a woman murdered in the forest – his territory – he realises that something is amiss, and begins his quest to bring safety back to the Kingdoms. However, in the time it takes for him to understand what he is up against, more women and children are being attacked: time is of the essence, and he, alone, can stop the devastation.

Despit...more
Fiona Leonard
I'm still not sure if I liked this book or not. I liked it enough to read it in a couple of sittings. I liked it enough to want to know what was going to happen and to care about some of the characters. But ultimately I came away feeling a bit cheated; as if I'd been given an old pair of shoes in a sparkly box and for a second I'd actually believed they were new.

The Woodcutter is a retelling of not just one fairy tale, but pretty much every fairy tale you can possibly imagine. All the standards...more
Fref
The writer mostly tries to evoke the simple evocative style of the Brothers Grimm, and sometimes attempts to portray the scarier, pagan aspects of the stories - as well as grittier elements of modern life. This is almost completely overwhelmed by the glowing tree spirits, cute pixies and true love at first sight. As fairy tale retellings go, its much more Disney than Angela Carter.

Fated love, true love, love at first sight is important to the story - and make me a bad fit as a reviewer, because...more
heidi
I'm not sure how to review this book.

For the first 90%, it's a dizzying and sometimes stretched tour of pretty much every western fairy tale you can think of. Baba Yaga and her house. Odin at the head of the Wild Hunt. 12 Dancing Princesses in a house that wanders. All that times a dozen.

The central character, the Woodcutter, is charged with maintaining order and balance in the 12 Kingdoms, and he is stalwart and tough about it, and I really enjoyed watching him problem-solve his way around fair...more
Sarah Jamison
Way back in the day, I wrote a lot of fanfiction. Like, a lot a lot. Thousands and thousands of words of it and a few people really dug it. Having written way more fanfic than original anything, I am here to report that fanfic is fun because you can just tell a story. All the characterization and most of the setting is (usually, often) taken care of for you. So you pick a few phrases and a few tropes and then you just get to have a rollicking good time winging the wacky (or morose, or terribly d...more
Lorrie
No... I am sorry but no. I dont see how anyone can give this more then one star. It lacks the passion, action and adventure the author tries to portray in its description. Remember the clear eyes commercial guy? Yea monotone and bland but the words he says are meant to be exciting? Yea thats how I picture the woodcutter... wow. Its like pure vanilla sex when you were promised the ride of your life. Im sorry usually I try not to give a bad review and even if I didnt like the book that much I stil...more
Diane
This book started out feeling a little clunky to me but somehow, once it got going, the writing style just started to make sense and feel natural - it seemed to switch from feeling clunky to feeling starkly lyrical. I would put this in the "comfort book" category because it's a reworking of fairy tales more in the "name dropping" (how many characters can pass through here) way than it is in the actual *re-working* of a fairy tale way (i.e., Daughter of the Forest, Into the Woods). I enjoyed it,...more
Amy
This book came highly recommended. With such glowing reviews, I expected to be blown away, but I wasn't.

Part of it is the writing style, very fable-like, but without the sort of world-building and depictions of characters that truly allow me to connect with them and their world. Instead of feeling like I've entered the world, as I do with great fantasy, I rather felt like I was watching a play through a pin-prick hole, very removed. This left me feeling rather cold.

I also felt like, even conside...more
Darian
TLDR: Intriguing premise, but dull narration.

I get that perhaps I'm not its intended audience. My girlfriend insisted on picking this up (probably because of the nice cover) and I'm just reading this in the moments when I have nothing better to do, rather than let it sit there and gather dust. I haven't finished it but I think I've read enough (20%) to know where it's going...

The premise at least seems intriguing, but the narration--the voice I hear inside my head as I silently read the words--...more
Rosanne Lortz
When I was little, my favorite part of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was always the “Fractured Fairytales” segment. I loved how they took classic fairy tales and gave them a humorous twist. Lately, this same idea has become increasingly popular as TV shows like Once upon a Time and movies like Shrek put their own spin on the folk stories of long ago.

The Woodcutter, by Kate Danley is a novel that draws from a wealth of fairy tale lore. A horrifying beast has been prowling the forest, terrifying i...more
Emily
I enjoyed this book. Like many other reviewers, I had to get over the writing style but it eventually stopped bothering me (for the most part). I do understand what she was going for, she wanted that fairy tale feel, but it was a bit over the top and dramatic at times.

It was a really quick read, both because it's relatively short and the chapters go by quickly so it's easy to just read a chapter here and there -- many chapters are only one page long. The world she created by interweaving fairy t...more
Lynne Cantwell
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up The Woodcutter: a new kind of fairy tale, maybe; or maybe something more lyrical, similar to the work of Patricia McKillip or Robin McKinley. What I got was something else entirely -- a sort of private-eye noir tale, set in the world of make-believe.

The Woodcutter of the title is the main character. He is an enchanted being who is sort of the one-man detective force of fairyland. If bad stuff happens, he's called in -- and he must leave his mort...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
If you are into fairy tales then you are going to totally dig this story!

Told in sorta kinda "SHREK" land. You know, where all the fairy tale creatures live together? The Woodcutter has to protect the Wood and find out why the pixies are dying out and a girl is dead but untouched. Oh!! And there's a beast loose too. Ahh!!

It's full of adventure and true love, poetic and a great story to read out loud. If I was a school teacher of a 4th or 5th grade class this story would be PERFECT to read!!

I lov...more
Rachel
I found this book by chance whilst delving through books to go on my kindle whilst I went travelling. I was intrigued by the promise of a modern tale unlike those that we would have read when we were younger. I wasn't sure what I was getting into but it soon became apparent that I was involved in adventure, fantasy, mystery and most of all suspense. It was a quick read with short - very short chapters but I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys reading myths, fables and fairy tales.
The sto...more
Brittany
Kate Danley, in this book, is like one of those people at the self-serve frozen yogurt shop who have just completely lost focus: "I love cheesecake! I'll have some of that. Oooh, and pumpkin! Strawberry! MANGO! Can't forget cookies and cream. And double chocolate. And cappuccino!" And then they get to the toppings bar: "Blueberries! I can't NOT have gummi bears. I love gummi bears. And whipped cream! Chocolate sprinkles, of course. Some nuts. Also, hot fudge. Perhaps a kiwi slice. And those funk...more
Devon Ashley
I'm not gonna lie...there is a LOT going on in this book. So many characters have been entwined to create a whole new story - Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, even Titania and Oberon from A Midsummer Night's Dream (and probably some more). For about the first 20-30% of the novel, I felt a bit overwhelmed. So much information was given - almost mentioned casually, instead of explained, like I should have known these things going in...more
Alexis Leno
The Woodcutter took me into a realm that I have not really ventured into in a long time: the world of fairy tales. Lately, I have been more interested in fairy tales and I think that this book came at a good time in my book club. The story takes the perspective of the Woodcutter, a man we know of from many fairy tales. He is often the helper and in this book, he shines as the hero.

The Woodcutter is part of a realm of magic and the ordinary. He protects those who need it and respects the forest....more
Carol
To begin with, I'm not writing a synopsis of the story because there's enough on here already for anyone considering the book. I'll just say it included about every well known fairy tale character plus dwarves, giants, faeries, hellhounds to name just a few.


I loved the story which I found enchanting and held me absorbed from the start. The characters are strong, especially The Queen and The Gentleman who were just so evil. The Woodcutter's own story was quite sad but it's nice that he gets what...more
Annie
OK. Ich gebs auf. Dass das Thema so leicht Grimm/Once Upon A Time mäßig ist, ist nicht jedermanns Sache, okay. Aber meine.
Nur dieses Buch ist einfach nur furchtbarst geschrieben. Eine sinnlose aneinander Reihung von altbekannten Märchencharakteren und neuen. Allerdings lieblos aneinander geklatscht und an keiner Stelle macht man sich die Mühe, mal irgendwas zu erklären oder die Personen weiter vorzustellen.
Vielleicht soll es anmuten wie klassische Märchen, wo das ja auch nicht der Fall ist. Abe...more
Jennie Pratt
This is a different take on a blending of many fairy tales into one encompassing fairy tale story. While the author's style of writing is a little jarring at first (lots and lots of small chapters), as the story progressed I found it easier and easier to read. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the fact that she didn't go into each fairy tale character's story. There seems to be an assumption that you were familiar with their stories, so she didn't spend a lot of time spelling things out f...more
Avery DeBow
Taking fairy tales back to their dark roots, this novel grabs the characters of childhood bedtime and gives them a good shaking up. The author's plotting skills are sharp, her world-building skills even sharper. There are few books I read where I think, "Man, I wish I had thought of this first," but this one is a definite exception. I read through the galloping plot twists and turns with a mixture of admiration and envy. Clever to a fault, Ms. Danley has crafted a dark, thoroughly enjoyable adul...more
Melody
At the beginning of the book I was intrigued with the interweaving of all my favorite fairy tale characters. Somewhere in the middle of the book I felt a little as if I was stuck in the moving house with the Queen & her Gentleman. The party kept going, but the story was getting tiresome and there seemed to be no way out. Mostly tiresome due to the predictability that there is a convenient out for every situation the Woodcutter faces.

Yay! for the pixies & all but this is one book I could...more
John Taloni
The Woodcutter unfolds with layer after layer of story peeled back, each revealing a fuller understanding of what has come before, until the entirety is revealed at the end.

The central character - the Woodcutter - is both what he seems to be, and eventually much, much more. Alternate takes on fairy tales are not new, but in the Disney-fied world of today, they have lost their bite. Neil Gaiman repopularized the dark fairy tale in his Sandman series. Kate Danley has done the genre justice with h...more
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Q&A with Kate...: The Woodcutter Discussion Board 2 26 Jan 19, 2013 11:54AM  
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Kate Danley is twenty year veteran of stage and screen with a B.S. in theatre from Towson University. She was one of four students to be named a Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts in the annual competition.

Her debut novel, The Woodcutter, was honored with the Garcia Award for the Best Fiction Book of the Year, is the 1st Place Fantasy Book in the Reader Views Literary Awards, and the winne...more
More about Kate Danley...
Maggie for Hire (Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker, #1) Maggie Get Your Gun (Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker, #2) Maggie on the Bounty (Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker, #3) M&K Tracking (Maggie MacKay, Magical Tracker, #4) A Spirited Manor (O'Hare House Mysteries, #1)

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“Her breath caught in her throat, for she heard the clatter of death waiting to fall.” 2 likes
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