One of the first stories we ever hear are fairy tales with charming princes rescuing the sweet naive Princess from evil stepmothers and magic enchantmOne of the first stories we ever hear are fairy tales with charming princes rescuing the sweet naive Princess from evil stepmothers and magic enchantments so these classic tales get lodged in our collective consciences. And it was with both anticipation and trepidation that I approached this adult version of the children’s story of Snow White – the ‘true story’ as it was always meant to be.
Despite the small page count – just 200 pages, this is definitely an adult version with sex and swearing, but is still simply told, managing to capture the feel of classic fairy tales. Interestingly, despite being the story of Snow White, the tale is told mostly from the point of view of other characters – the wicked Stepmother, one of the dwarves and the handsome Prince and gives a very different interpretation of their roles and motivations from the simplified version. I particularly liked getting to know Lilith, the stepmother who managed to become three-dimensional character with her own issues and her descent into wickedness was an intriguing addition to the story. The prince also has a very different role from his usual handsome rescuer position. Yet, despite these twists many of the expected notes are included in the story from seven dwarves, the huntsman, the old crone with the apple and the magic mirror, but none happens exactly as you had expected.
Overall, Poison has a charisma and instinctive appeal that will stay with you long after you finish reading with the story of Snow White in your own mind subtly different from before. I loved the wider world Sarah Pinborough hints at behind Snow White’s story with hints and glimpses of other fairy stories. This gentle teasing has whetting appetite for Charm and Beauty, two more sexed up fairy tales from Sarah coming soon....more
Wisdom is an unconventional princess – she would rather run through the fields and learn to swear at the local docks than focus on her upcoming nuptiaWisdom is an unconventional princess – she would rather run through the fields and learn to swear at the local docks than focus on her upcoming nuptials. Her grandmother, Queen Benevolence despairs of her. Meanwhile, kitchen wench and orphan, Trudy is in love with her childhood friend Tips, who is training to be a soldier in the Emperor’s retinue. And when these characters all meet up, the course of nations will change.
Fun and witty – Wisdom’s Kiss is told from various points of view – some in retrospect, some via letters and diary entries and some through encyclopaedia entries. This is a different method of telling a story from other children’s books – and reminiscent of classic tale Dracula - and I really enjoyed getting a taste of the different characters involved and seeing how their story merged together. The writing is smooth and I found myself desperately flicking through wanting to know how each character would get their happy ever after – or even if they all would! The style might not be to everyone’s taste, but I appreciated the different method of storytelling.
A fairy tale gone awry, Wisdom’s Kiss is a fast paced, amusing tale of true love, magic and a suspiciously clever cat. It was a great distraction for a few train journeys, much like an ice lolly on a hot day – tasty, light and doesn’t last long enough. This is a very modern take on the fairy tale world where magic itself has fallen out of fashion and is considered more luck and fable than real. My one disappointment was Trudy herself – her role in events is peripheral at best and she seemed a little weak – never really taking charge of her own life. But this was a minor niggle in a book full of fun.
Recommended for fans of fairy tales and the Princess Bride. 7.5 out of 10....more