Once again, Bill Willingham and company have created a fresh spin on a fairy tale. And he takes Rapunzel to a very adult and at times disturbing journOnce again, Bill Willingham and company have created a fresh spin on a fairy tale. And he takes Rapunzel to a very adult and at times disturbing journey to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Rapunzel has been looking for her children for many, many years. Even though she was forced to forget them, she never really does. That was a poignant note in this story. An interesting touch was that Rapunzel's hair grows continually, and she experiences very rapid growth spurts of her hair under strong emotion. You can guess how that plays into the story! Her companion is one of the Crow brothers, who is also her hairdresser. Her time in Japan opens the doorway to a story full of Japan's very imaginative, and in some ways very frightful folklore.
If you're like me and Japanese horror movies scare the you know what out of you, you might find this volume therapeutic. There is an interesting twist on the drowned maiden in the well. And I will never look at hairballs the same way again.
There are some dark elements in this one, probably the most out of all the Fables/Fairest volumes I've read, so reader beware. Having said that, I loved it just as much as the other ones. Rapunzel is both sympathetic and at times, really kind of scary. I've never thought much about her, so this volume definitely has me seeing her in a different light.
I am sad that this series is over, but it ends in such a satisfying way. I do think that this series is required reading for those who like fairy taleI am sad that this series is over, but it ends in such a satisfying way. I do think that this series is required reading for those who like fairy tales and especially clever retellings. Each volume ups the ante on the grim aspect of fairy tales. Each book seems less appropriate for a younger audience. I'm torn on that. Mr. Gidwitz is obviously a teacher, and he understands the young minds he writes for. I mean, he has to in order to teach them. I'm going to trust that he knows what they can handle, but my personal limit would be 12 or older for these books. There is way too much dark violence and subject matter for kiddos younger than twelve, to my thinking. Also, the cruelty of adults against children in this book is highly disturbing.
I also think this is the saddest out of the series. Wow, the things that our young protagonists are faced with really tore at my heart. And how the cruelty and neglect they experienced warped something inside of them. Gidwitz deals with the psychology of abused/neglected children in a poignant way without getting too soapboxy.
There are some great life lessons here. Family, loyalty, honor, integrity, kindness, and making moral decisions. These kids have to raise themselves and that leads to some issues when they are faced with adult moral decisions. Along the way they make mistakes and have to learn from them and 'face the music.'
This book breaks the 4th wall in a way that the other ones in the series did not. At first, I really didn't like that about the book, but then I saw how integral it was to the story. It was also good because Gidwitz doesn't follow the predictable pattern I expected.
Johnny Heller truly is an awesome narrator. If he didn't win an award for narrating this series, then he was cheated. He deserves it. He was all in, and you would have to wonder how he didn't get emotionally affected by this book as he read. Not just in horror or sadness, but in hilarity, because this book involves all those emotions.
I am biased. I love fairy tales a lot. Yet, I think that increases my standards for fairy tale retellings. Gidwitz is a writer who clearly loves fairy tales just as much as I do, if not more. He respects the genre, and it clearly is a huge creative influence on him in crafting these marvelous books that add very much to the cultural relevance of fairy tales.
If you have not checked these out and you like fairy tales, what are you waiting for?...more
Another really good book in this series. I always get sucked into these books, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I am a huge fan of Sister AnAnother really good book in this series. I always get sucked into these books, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I am a huge fan of Sister Anselm. She's a whippersnapper! This story got my ire going for sure.
Ugh. I hate to give an Anna Campbell book less than four stars. I think I was just underwhelmed. I mean, this is like one of my fave themes, spinsterUgh. I hate to give an Anna Campbell book less than four stars. I think I was just underwhelmed. I mean, this is like one of my fave themes, spinster and rogue. But I didn't get as involved emotionally with this story. It's a pretty good short Christmas romance, that I expected to like this more than I did. Don't get me wrong. Erskine has had a thing for Phillipa since they first met, intrigued by this quiet wallflower. Phillipa looks down her nose at Erskine because he's a notorious rake. Apparently her sister wrote a steamy letter to him, and Phillipa enters the tiger's lair to get it back, but ends up locked in a cupboard with him, leading to a compromising position. Marriage is required, and Erskine is actually looking forward to it. That sounds pretty scrumptious. But it didn't come off as well as I expected.
I think I wasn't in the mood for such a self-deprecating heroine. She wouldn't believe that Erskine was into her! While I can understand the reasons for her low self-esteem, I wish she had made the most of having such a sexy hubby who couldn't get enough of her instead of being so 'woe is me'. That brings me to another area that I was disappointed. Usually Campbell rocks the love scenes. These weren't quite as sizzling as she typically manages. Maybe I just wasn't feeling it when I read this.
I admit it might be my mood right now. I'm still grieving and adjusting to things right now, so that does impact you when you are trying to focus on a book. I will try to read this again when I'm in more of receptive mood. I definitely don't want to miss out on Erskine's reformed rake sexiness.