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Snow White, Blood Red

(The "Snow White, Blood Red" Series #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,528 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Once upon a time, fairy tales were for children... But no longer.

You hold in your hands a volume of wonders -- magical tales of trolls and ogres, of bewitched princesses and kingdoms accursed, penned by some of the most acclaimed fantasists of our day. But these are not bedtime stories designed to usher an innocent child gently into a realm of dreams. These are stories tha
Paperback, 414 pages
Published December 1st 1993 by Eos (first published January 1st 1993)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  6,528 ratings  ·  261 reviews

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Jan 02, 2009 rated it did not like it

Aside from a few surprising gems, like Neil Gaiman's thing about a troll, and something else that I forget... this book is disappointing. The trouble with "modern fairy tales" is people think that the only way to make a fairy tale "adult" or "dark" is by involving lots and lots of rape and molestation of little girls, and while I suppose that sort of thing works for a while, there's a point at which I have to say, "I'm sorry, your deep inner meaning was lost in the ICK." Get a damn imagi
Heidi The Reader
A very adult collection of fairy tale re-tellings. From Little Red Riding Hood to Snow White, these are not stories that I'd share with my child or any impressionable young mind.

Fairy tales haven't always been exclusively for children as Terri Windling explains in the introduction: "..most fairy tales were never initially intended for nursery duty. They have been put there, as J.R.R. Tolkien so evocatively expressed it, like old furniture fallen out of fashion that grown-ups no longer want. And
Nandakishore Varma
[M]ost fairy tales were never initially intended for nursery duty. They have been put there, as J. R. R. Tolkien so evocatively expressed it, like old furniture fallen out of fashion that the grown-ups no longer want. And like furniture banished to the children’s playroom, the tales that have been banished from the mainstream of modern adult literature have suffered misuse as well as neglect.

- Terri Windling

Many adults dismiss fairy tales as being too childish, too sweet and innocent, but fairy
Sep 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans with slightly twisted minds
These are retellings of classic Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales that we're all familiar with with adult twists and turns put on them, some of them reworked in a modern setting, some not. Some of them are horror stories, some of them are suspense thrillers, all of them are at least mildly creepy. I enjoyed all of them, if only for seeing how all the tales I grew up with were subverted and twisted around. I also enjoyed learning that these tales are probably closer to the or ...more
These are mostly a little too nonconsensual for my taste. Too much stuff in here made me feel really icky, and not in a good, scary horror way. In a "this is practically child porn" kinda way. Not good. Skip it and read a different Datlow collection. The extra star is for the other stories, the ones that were very good and should've been put in a better collection.
Very disappointing first installment, and that was a big negative surprise. In hindsight, it's turned out to be for the better that I got into these fairy tale anthologies picking the books out of order, because had I started with this, the sheer mediocrity of the stories would've probably thrown me off of reading further volumes, and it'd have been a great loss, for there's dozens of amazing stories in this collection's books.

As positives: the short story "I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood"
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those hungry for fairytales with meat, not empty calories
It has been a long time since I sat down and read this book, and so I can barely remember a lot of my impressions and thoughts about it. However, it retains a place in my book case for several reasons.

The first reason why it will never leave my bookcase is because it contains a story called A Sound, Like Angels Singing. This story, written by an author who I had not heard of at the time (Leonard Rysdyk), is pure genius. It is visceral, haunting, and touching -- and outshines every story in this
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Of the various fairy tale anthologies in this series that I've read, it is certainly the darkest and most unsettling. I really enjoyed Charles de Lint's story, The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep, and I liked Patrica McKillip's The Snow Queen, but other than that, I thought that a large number of the stories were too dark for my taste.

Trigger warnings: Little Red contains implied seduction of a minor by a "wolf." In I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood, it is implied that the narrator is intendin
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A terrific collection of fairy tales told and retold in the fashion of the originals. Violent with adult themes of angst and sexuality. This is Snow White before Disney diluted the tales. A fun and exciting read.
The original, or older, or simply "non-Disney" versions of most fairy tales are highly disturbing. It seems that half the authors in this collection took that as a challenge to make modern fairy tales five times as disturbing as the disturbing originals.

This does not mean the tales are bad. These are very good authors, with a highly developed sense of writing, of the magical, of imparting ideas without spelling out every minute detail, of leaving the audience with a good starting point for disc
Dayna Smith
This is a collection of fairy tales re-written for adults. It seems that when the authors, who are fabulous in their own right (i.e. Charles De Lint, Tanith Lee, Patricia McKillip), were asked to do work on this project they were just told to "make them for adults". This book reads like a contest to see how much sex, violence, and gore can be crammed into a beloved fairy tale. While one or two are engaging, most are filled with violence and sexual content. We cannot recommend this collection for ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
As a fan of fairy tales, I had great hopes for this collection of reinvented classics. Sadly, most of the stories in the collection were fairly lackluster, neither inspiring new depth to old stories, nor faithfully recreating them. There are some stunning exceptions, however, most notably the stories by Neil Gaiman, Leonard Rysdyk, and Patricia McKillip, offering their takes on the Billy Goats Gruff, the Pied Piper, and the Snow Queen, respectively.

"Troll Bridge" has a boy who promises his life
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fairy Tale Fans
This collection of short stories are re-tellings of fairy tales. Some are very recognizable, told from varying view points or told in a different time. Others are more subtle but still maintain the fairy tale theme. Most of the stories are good, though there are a few that are a bit hard to get through. Some are funny, most are sensual, and all have been re-done to appeal to adults.

There are several books in this collection, this one being the first. Fairy tale fans should enjoy this collection
Jenni DaVinCat
I have a lot of thoughts about this book, but I'll try to condense it as much as possible.

My theory is that fairy tales and the realm of fantasy adult literature has changed since Neil Gaiman has come to prominence. This book was collected before he came into his own, when Good Omens was his most famous work. Since then, I feel like his take on what an adult fairy tale should be has become the gold standard, so to say. He manages to find that perfect blend of magic, realism, moral storytelling a
May Sun Aung
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads, fantasy
3.2 stars. That's the exact number when I did the maths of the average rating.

My 5 stars stories are
The Princess In the Tower by Elizabeth A. Lynn - a fun and light-hearted retelling of "Repunzel". The romance was cute and has lots of delicious sounding food. Maybe I just gave this story a 5-star because I was bored of other dark and sensual retellings. Who knows?

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman - a retelling of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff". I don't know how to describe the story, so I'm just gonna
Kiki Z
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe back in the early nineties when it was released this was shocking and horrific but it wasn't for me now. It was just gross and vaguely uncomfortable, and it dealt in topics like cannibalism and pedophilia for shock value only. I'm not a huge fan of short stories on a good day with a good anthology, and this wasn't a good anthology. Some stories were better than others but none of them blew my mind. And a lot of them used a weird sexualization of innocence that isn't shocking these days but ...more
Sep 28, 2020 is currently reading it
Like a Red, Red Rose:
I LOVED this story. It read like a true fairy tale. I loved the connection between the witch and the rose tree. It really felt like I was reading something out of a book of Grimm's Tales. 5 stars. The way in unraveled was perfectly paced, and the reveal of what happens to witches in love was so morbid. I was just enchanted by this one.

The Moon is Drowning:
I thought this tale had its merits, but I didn't like it anywhere near as much as the first tale. I thought the dream por
Karen Wapinski
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Like a Red, Red Rose: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Moon is Drowning While I Sleep: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Frog Prince: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stalking Beans: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Snow-Drop: ⭐️⭐️

Little Red: ⭐️

I Shall do the Mischief in the Wood: ⭐️⭐️

The Root of the Matter: ⭐️⭐️

The Princess in the Tower: ⭐️ Didn’t read. I literally couldn’t figure out what the hell the blanks are for? And it just confused me, so I skipped it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Persimmon: ⭐️

Little Poucet: ⭐️

The Changelings: ⭐️⭐️

The Springfield Swans: ⭐️

Troll Bridge: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A Sound, Like Angels Singin
Some days I wish I didn't have a personal policy to not read reviews before reading the book. I was excited to read this set based on the description. Unfortunately, it fell short for me. Only a couple of the stories were slightly interesting. The rest I just had to push through them. I was bored and disappointed. A no-go for me this time.
There was only one story in this collection that I would say was actually good, and it was by Neil Gaiman (no surprise). There were a few others that were moderately enjoyable, but most were trying too hard to be weird, or dark, and they ended up missing the mark.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really should've read the reviews on this one! Adult fairy tales? Yes, it is! I went in blind on this one. I saw it at the library and thought I'd enjoy reading different versions of the fairy tales I grew up on. These are not them! lol

These three stars go largely towards Esther M. Friesner's "Puss", which delivered on every promise of sensual, fantastical horror that most of the others largely failed to keep. Some tantalized, if rather obtusely ("Little Red", "Snow-Drop"), while others were somewhat novel ("A Sound, Like Angels", "I Shall Do Thee Mischief in the Wood"), and second place has to go to "The Glass Casket", wise in its choice of historical fiction to demonstrate blood-bloomed love and sorcerous menace, all wr
Bevin lost in Wonderland
I was really looking forward to this book. I actually recognized a few of the authors (not something that happens much for me), one of which happened to be Neil Gaiman.

Seeing this book went something like this:
Wow, what a neat cover. Oh, fairy tale retellings? That sounds like it would be something I'd real- OMFG NEIL GAIMAN MUST BUY NOW

Yea, that's basically how it went down in the store. Maybe a bit more fangirling and squealing, and clutching of the book. Maybe. I won't admit to it though.
It took a little time for me to warm up to this one--almost half the book, really. A lot of the first stories just felt like rote retellings, without an interesting twist or resetting. But once I hit "The Princess in the Tower," things picked up and I found I enjoyed a greater proportion of the stories. These were the ones I enjoyed:

Snow-Drop, by Tanith Lee
A near-future sci-fi take on “Snow White” from the perspective of the stepmother, in this case the wife of an absent business man whose house
I really wanted to read this book because it was a collection of retold and twisted fairy tales and I'm obsessed with books like that! I felt like that would be no different, that I'd love the stories in this book, but I ended up feeling like most of them were mediocre at best.

I did like how some of the stories focused on the less well-known fairy tales, so even if I didn't know the specifics of those stories I could always see the fairy tale feel of the writing. Yet a lot of it didn't click for
Lacey Louwagie
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lacey by: Keir
This came very close to being a five-star book, and it was easy for me to see why it's garnered so much admiration amongst fans of retold fairy tales. The only thing that kept it from getting five-stars is that there were two or three stories that fell short. But the rest of the stories more than made up for it.

Most of the stories in this collection felt just the right "length" to give fairy tales a deeper exploration without dragging them out more than necessary. As I work on my own fairy tale
I read this anthology a few years ago, but it stays in my mind pretty well. I thought a few of the stories were really creative retellings. Leonard Rysdy’s “A Sound, Like Angels Singing” was especially unique and interesting, even though it was not one of my favorites. Patricia A. McKillip’s “Snow Queen” and Lisa Goldstein’s “Breadcrumbs and Stones” were great stories that also had interesting premises. For the most part I didn’t like the other works in this book very much. It isn’t that I mind ...more
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This was something I had been looking for all of my adult life: darker re-telling of classic fairy tales. It's probably the reason this was a disappointment. These aren't so much as re-tellings as they are alternate tellings to the point where where they where for the most part unrecognizable.
There are a few standouts, such as Neil Gaiman's re-telling of The Billy Goats Gruff (which reminds me I must return
to Gaiman's Sandman comics soon) and Gahan Wilson's take on The Frog Prince, but the rest
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. I really really did. With the exception of a few stories, mostly contributions by Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman, I was over all disappointed. This collection of short stories means to bring dark twists to classic fairy tales for a more adult audience to enjoy. Most these stories just contain very awkward sexual scenes, some of which even include child molestations, which is beyond my comfort zone. I feel most these authors thought adding sexual content would make th ...more
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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

Other books in the series

The "Snow White, Blood Red" Series (6 books)
  • Black Thorn, White Rose
  • Ruby Slippers, Golden Tears
  • Black Swan, White Raven
  • Silver Birch, Blood Moon
  • Black Heart, Ivory Bones

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