The Brothers Grimm Tale of Hansel and Gretel is retold in this special edition. The artwork is drawn by Lorenzo Mattotti. Neil Gaiman was so inspiredThe Brothers Grimm Tale of Hansel and Gretel is retold in this special edition. The artwork is drawn by Lorenzo Mattotti. Neil Gaiman was so inspired by his illustrations that he wrote his retelling of the well-known story to go along with the images.
The tale is one we're all familiar with, I'm sure. In this version, Hansel and Gretel and their parents are affected by the war, which leaves them poor and hungry. Hansel hears his mother telling his father that he must abandon the children in the woods. She says that perhaps someone will take them in, and in any case, they can always have more children when they are not starving.
Hansel sneaks out in the morning to fill his pockets with white pebbles from the stream. When their father takes the into the woods, Hansel and Gretel are able to follow a trail of pebbles back to the house.
A little while later, their father takes them out once again, but Hansel is not prepared and leaves only a trail of breadcrumbs, which are soon eaten by birds.
They find instead a gingerbread house covered in cake and sweets. The old, sweet lady living in the house invites them in and feeds them a delicious, drugged meal. When they fall asleep, she locks Hansel in a cage in the stable, and Gretel is chained to the kitchen table. Hansel is fattened to bursting and Gretel is made into a slave.
Even though Hansel is clever and holds out a bone for the woman to feel instead of his finger, she grows tired of waiting for him to fatten up and lights the oven anyway. She tells Gretel to get inside and make sure it's hot enough, but when she acts stupid and says she doesn't know how, the old woman does it herself. Gretel pushes her inside and shuts the door of the oven to kill the old woman. She and Hansel escape, manage to find their way home with no problem, and find that their mother has died. They tell their father that they need never go hungry again because of all the treasure they found in the woman's house, and they live happily ever after.
Neil Gaiman certainly has a way of putting his own spin on things, but really it was the same old story. Whilst this hardback edition has a striking cover, I found the illustrations inside added very little to my enjoyment of the story. It did not feel as special as the edition of 'The Sleeper and the Spindle', also by Gaiman. At the end there was a passage on the variations in the story over the centuries, which was fairly interesting....more
So here, I have come to the end of the currently-published books in A Song of Ice and Fire. Oh the dreadful waiting I shall have to endure :( I reallySo here, I have come to the end of the currently-published books in A Song of Ice and Fire. Oh the dreadful waiting I shall have to endure :( I really enjoyed Book 5. It intrigued me and took the stories in such interesting directions. Characters developed in ways I didn't expect. There was a not-really-meaningful-to-me death and (I think) more than one "maybe death" - you know, when they look like they're dying but aren't confirmed to have expired. There is absolutely no point in my covering any plot points because they won't mean anything to those who haven't read it. I will just repeat what I've said about Martin before - he's a masterful writer and stuns me repeatedly with the way he crafts his novels. I feel like I am a part of them, and I honestly care about each of the characters because Martin gives them such passion and drive....more
Part 1 of Book 5 is very difficult to review because, well, the details are not going to mean anything to you unless you've read it. We come back to cPart 1 of Book 5 is very difficult to review because, well, the details are not going to mean anything to you unless you've read it. We come back to characters such as Daenerys Targaryen, Stannis Baratheon, Jon Snow, Melisandre, Theon Greyjoy, Quentyn Martell, Tyrion Lannister, Asha Greyjoy, and a certain Targaryen who was presumed dead is in fact very alive - and he's plotting to take the Iron Throne. Probably I've forgotten some. We cover a lot of ground in this novel. Some of the events follow on from the end of Book 3, because of how Books 4 & 5 have been structured.
As always, excellent writing from Martin and I am ready to jump into the next one - the final, second part of Book 5. Martin's descriptions and dialogue are phenomenal, and I feel like I'm right there inside the novel. Even the 'bad/evil' characters feel like old friends....more
So much happens in the fourth book of this fantastic series. Obligatory paragraph to explain what’s going on. Skip this one if you just want to know aSo much happens in the fourth book of this fantastic series. Obligatory paragraph to explain what’s going on. Skip this one if you just want to know about the writing and what I thought of it.
-After the War of Westeros, the scars are showing and people are trying to rebuild their lives and their lands. In King’s Landing, King Tommen marries Margaery Tyrell, but is watched closely by the Queen Regent Cersei. She takes it upon herself to change all the council to people who are loyal to her, sends the people she dislikes to go and sacrifice themselves by taking Stannis’ castles, and hatches a plan to implicate Margaery Tyrell in a sordid plot of fornication. Jaime is sent to sort things out at Riverrun after the Red Wedding. Brienne of Tarth is given an order from the King to look for Sansa Stark, but Jaime requests that she keep Sansa away from King’s Landing. Petyr Baelish installs Sansa Stark in the Eyrie as his bastard daughter Alayne, and becomes Lord Protector of the Vale. On the Iron Islands, a Kingsmoot is called to figure out who will next be King. Samwell travels by sea from the Wall with Gilly and an ailing Maester Aemon, with the intention of getting to the maesters of Oldtown via Braavos. In Braavos, Arya Stark wants to become one of the Faceless Men, and arrives at the House of Black and White, the temple of the Many-Faced God. In order to become “no-one”, she acts as Cat of the Canals, selling shellfish. Lastly, in Dorne, Prince Doran Martell is receiving pressure from the bastard daughters, the Sand Snakes, to act with vengeance after the death of his brother Oberyn Martell. Doran’s daughter Arianne thinks he is being too slow and tries to escape with their ward Myrcella Baratheon and make her the rightful Queen of the seven kingdoms.-
Phew! Bored yet? Well I certainly wasn’t. Yes, there were a lot of storylines to keep track of through this 850-page beast, but it didn’t cover all of the stories that are going on at this time. At the end of the book, the author says that he wanted to tell the full story of half the characters, rather than half the story of all the characters. Even though there was a lot to tell the readers, I never really felt like it was overwhelming. I have tried my best to stay away from other people’s reviews of this book. It seems like most other people are quite negative about this one because they say “nothing happens”. I don’t know where they get this idea from. Sure, there’s a lot of talking, plotting, and people are locked up and frustrated. However, this is just reflective of what it takes to do anything - you have to discuss your plans, send your forces all over the place, “treat” with enemies to reach an agreement. The last quarter of the novel was especially exciting, with beloved characters being killed off, plots backfiring and important Lords and Ladies being imprisoned. This left me with a definite need to read the next book(s).
I really enjoy George R. R. Martin’s writing style. I have come across a lot of comments about his writing that say he is boring, long-winded, and rambling. Some people even went so far as to say they were starting to hate him after reading this installment. Again, I don’t agree with these reviewers. I think Martin writes intelligently, with great talent at getting us to be completely absorbed in the world and lives of the characters. There is something about his prose that makes you feel a part of the events. His descriptions are very in-depth, and I definitely felt that I could “see” some of the environments he had us observe. It is as though he carefully and precisely lets us see what the character is seeing - what is important to them. I adore these characters - even the horrid ones - because they are magnificently well drawn and lifelike. I want to know what they’re doing and thinking! This series is the most immersive I’ve read since Harry Potter.
Anyway enough waffling, I’m going to read the next book because I must try to read as much as possible before the TV show is on....more