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Unburied Fables

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This collection enlisted talent around the world. From students to seasoned professionals, these writers came together to raise awareness and reinvent classic stories. While they showcase a wide variety of origins, styles, and endings, all the tales in this anthology have one classic element in common: a happily ever after.

Fifty percent of this collection's proceeds will be donated to the Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and other queer youth.

232 pages, Paperback

First published October 24, 2016

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About the author

Rachel Sharp

13 books59 followers
After a decade of touring the country, Rachel Sharp is hiding out in Vermont with several plants and her questionable sense of humor. At time of writing, she is working on entirely too many projects. The previous statement will be true regardless of time of reading.

She also lives with chronic illness, plays ukulele, and tries to save the planet.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 45 reviews
Profile Image for Ace.
435 reviews43 followers
March 29, 2020
I received a copy from Creative Aces Book Box

This is an anthology all about queer authors writing queer retellings of popular (and less popular) fairy tales. And I loved it. Even with some low ratings I had a very positive reading experience.

Overall, I had an average rating of exactly 3.5, so I rated the book on GR a solid 4 Stars because of just how much I enjoyed reading this. Below are breakdowns of each individual short story.

➽Handsome and the Beast by Laure Nepenthes// ★★★.5
"There once was a child who did not wish to be courted. All day, they remained in a world of fantasy and dreams in order to escape their parents' pressure."
This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, with the main character a boy named Handsome, and the Beast, who uses they/them pronouns. I enjoyed this and it did the tale justice, and I loved the friendship ending.

TW// talk of violence, servitude

➽The Grateful Princess by Rachel Sharp// ★★★★

This is an f/f retelling of The Grateful Prince. I've never heard this story, so it was all knew to me, and it makes more sense than some heterosexual story the original version probably was.

TW// servitude, violence

➽Odd by Amy Michelle// ★★★★★
“Your children are not just something to reward a job well done. I’m sure they are marvelous people, but I don’t see the appeal of a relationship.”
This is a Rumplestiltskin retelling and I loved it. I loved Sofia who was aro/ace. I loved how she said no to the deal, and the use of the word vaild. Just,,, this was really well done.

TW// talk of forced marriage, talk of treason, mention of death

➽Expectations by Bec McKenzie// ★★★.5

A collection of many stories, but primarily The Prince and the Pauper. I enjoyed this, however I really wanted more Shireen, Giselle and Rudo. It felt a little like the author chose the wrong MC, but nevertheless. I enjoyed it.

➽Li Chi and the Dragon by Saffyre Falkenberg// ★★★.5

This retelling is based off Li Chi slays the Serpent. I had one emotion after reading this. Pure unfiltered joy. I enjoyed this so much, hence the very high 3.5 Stars

I mean, I would have prefered the girl befriended the dragon, and she got to live a happy life with her girlfriend in a cave with their dog and dragon, but, you know, expectations

TW// sexism, talk of death, talk of sacrifice

➽Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes by Moira C. O'Dell// ★★★
“Never think that you should desire anything, child,”
This is a Cinderella retelling, where a girl who was born to wealth and has been told to marry the King runs away to live with a woman and her daughter as a servant.

TW// mention of abuse

➽Match Sticks by Minerva Cerridwen// ★★★★
"All she needed was here, at home, close to the friends and the village she cherished."
A retelling of The Little Match Girl. I don't think I've ever read a retelling that didn't leave her dead, so this was a welcome surprise for me.

TW// starvation, talk of emotional abuse

➽The Princess of the Kingdom of the Dark Wood by Dominique Cyprès// ★★★

This is a retelling of The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces. I don't think I've ever read this story, unless it's 'The 12 Dancing Princess's' This was fine, with a trans main side character.

TW// misgendering

➽Damma and the Wolf by Kassi Khaos// ★★★
"For in the forest, names are best not spoken to hunters, and words have weight — especially the word no."
This is a Little Red Riding Hood, that's queer, and I definitely enjoyed it, but it was just fine.

TW// talk of death, violence

➽Beauty's Beasts by Elspeth Willems// ★★★★★
“Then we’ll live happily ever after,” he declared.
“The beauty and her beasts.”
This is obviously a Beauty and the Beast retelling. What I wasn't expecting was polyamorous relationship between two friends and the "Beast", the "Beast" and Belle as asexual and Belle's friend and the "Beast" as bi-spec. It made my heart sore, and I think I very unexpectedly cried, so that was fun

TW// homophobia, previous loss of loved ones, talk of violence

➽Glass Mountains by Will Shughart// ★★★

This is a retelling of the Scottish fairytale, The Black Bull of Norroway. I enjoyed this but it was just okay. I will say, that some of the story is told in italics, which can be difficult for some readers, it is just paragraphs, not whole pages (which is hard for me) but that's just something I think you should be aware of.

TW// transfiguration, cheating (I think)

➽Brenna by Emmy Clarke// ★★★

A retelling of Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful. This was fine, I enjoyed it but it was okay.

TW// talk of alcohol consumption

➽The Last Lost Boy by George Lester// ★★.5

This is an m/m Peter Pan retelling, that I thought was cute, but fine

TW// anxiety

➽Dark Matters by Rose Sinclair// ★★★★

Oh my god, I can't believe Rose Sinclair made a Goldilocks and the Three Bears retelling with Goldilocks as a ghost and The Three Bears as gay men.

TW// mention of being kicked out, talk of death

➽The Suns of Terre by Will J. Fawley// ★★.5
"Everyone has their own opinions of what I should be, but no one cares who I really am."
A retelling of Prince Darling, with a dystopian sci-fi twist.

TW// previous loss of loved one, violence

I really, really enjoyed this queer anthology, I'm so happy it exists.

I would recommend:
Dark Matters by Rose Sinclair
Beauty's Beasts by Elspeth Willems
Match Sticks by Minerva Cerridwen
Odd by Amy Michelle


Queer. So queer. Loved it. Rtc!
Profile Image for pi.
215 reviews42 followers
October 27, 2016
I have a soft spot for fairy tale retellings, and I've always thought the queerer, the better, so it's like this book was made for me. Unburied fables is a collection of classic stories reinvented, and each one of them offers very interesting twists.

With several asexual characters, trans representation, and the promotion of so many forms of love (romantic and platonic as well), this compilation has become one of my favourite reads of the year.

I really enjoyed every story in this anthology but my favourite ones are "Handsome and the Beast", "Odd", "Match Sticks", and "Beauty's Beast".
Profile Image for Abi (The Knights Who Say Book).
627 reviews94 followers
June 12, 2017
As with any anthology, the fact that I didn't love all stories equally must be considered here. I felt like some of them just didn't bring anything new to the classic stories they were telling— the main character being ace, gay, or trans, yes, but besides that they didn't really add much. And one story was very original but just plain confusing. But there were some really great stories as well, such as Brenna, the Match Girl, and the Peter Pan retelling. All in all it was an easy, positive read, with good intentions, even if not all the stories lived up to their purpose.
Profile Image for Cecilie Larsen.
96 reviews22 followers
May 26, 2017
The majority of these stories seems like they're aimed at a lower age level. Might be good for a younger audience, but I expected different. I'm not sure if it is on purpose or if many of the authors are just really inexperienced writers.

I know these are supposed to be fairytales, but this isn't old oral tales written down, this is new reinvention. Maybe put some actual effort into fleshing out the stories and characters, so things make proper sense? Or so it isn't just a actual retelling of the fairytales without anything new?

The queer point are often very poorly woven into the story or not even tried to. It's glaring. I expected beautiful stories about queer characters, and got poorly (re)written fairytales with a "you're valid as you are." smacked in the middle. Which, yeah, I agree, but it just wasn't very well executed. Very much telling instead of showing.

This book also really needed a good editor. Both for the basic stuff like typos and missing words etc. - which there was a lot of - but also for the content. A lot of the stories could've improved with a bit of editing.

Honestly, while the length might've been difficult for the authors to work with, I definitely liked how short each story was. It would have been very difficult to get through otherwise. I only kept reading to find hidden gems. Didn't find any. Maybe a few shiny rocks, though.
I don't regret buying this, though, but only because I like supporting projects like this, whether it's just books with LGBTQ+ characters or books that donate.

Handsome and Beast - Laura Nepenthes
Doesn't seem very well though out. Seems like they just took the fairytale and put very little effort into their own story. The message is nice, but the story is a little weak.

The Grateful Princess - Rachel Sharp
Again doesn't seem thought out. The entire story is based on the princess being raised as a peasant, never knowing her identity, but there is no cause for that.
It seems like they were given the prompt of writing a fairytale and just put in stuff from the genre, but didn't bother making it make sense.

Odd - Amy Michelle
Better written than the first two. Almost follows the fairytale exactly except for the end, and some at times very glaring points about identity that doesn't really get woven in until the end either. I suppose it is a twist ending, but I found it predictable.

Expectations - Bec McKenzie
When the strong handsome knight turns out to be a princess who are here to 'rescue' the same princess as you, what do you do? What if you didn't even want anything to do with this whole thing in the first place? Normally in stories like this, the main character would've been the princess who is tired of being told what to do and becomes a knight, but here we get it from a prince who doesn't want to be the hero who gets the girl.

Li Chi and the Dragon - Saffyre Falkenbetg
As far as I can tell, this is an exact retelling of the "Li Chi Slays the Serpent" fairytale told from a 1st-person view and the addition of a female love interest.
I think the author was going for a particular style, but the absence of contractions etc. only makes the narration stiff and stilted, and it's uncomfortable to read. Despite the 1st-person narration it works to keep the reader at an emotional distance from the main character.

Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes - Moira C. O'Dell
Well done fairytale, that made good use of the source material. It worked really well that no one was given names (unlike in some of the first stories where names were given even thought they didn't matter and it felt glaring against the setting) Had a somewhat bittersweet ending that also worked well.
I wish that this had been placed elsewhere in the anthology, though, as it share an exact plot point with McKenzie's "Expectations", and they're only divided by one story.

Match Sticks- Minerva Cerridwen
Really, really sweet.
Ending was predictable though.

The Princess of the Kingdom of the Dark Wood - Dominique Cypres
Well-done fairytale. Beautifully executed sweet story.

Damma and the wolf - Kassi Khaos
Really interesting - especially for working with such a well-known fairytale.

Beauty's Beasts - Elspeth Willems
This seemed a lot more serious? in tone than many of the other stories. It was good. The characters also seemed more like persons rather than fairytale characters.

Glass Mountains - Will Shughart
A really well-done fairytale, but I found myself unable to root for the love story because of how the protagonist treated his former love. The characters seemed to teeter on the edge between being fleshed out and just being flat fairytale characters.

Brenna - Emmy Clarke
Very little about this story makes sense and frankly it wasn't very good.

The Last Lost Boy - George Lester
While all the other stories have been based on fairytales (you could ague about Beauty and the Beast, but none of the stories seems to be based on the novel) this one is based on Peter Pan, a play and a novel.
This story is longer than the others and not like a fairytale at all. I mean it's very good and well written, like a proper short story, but it seems like it belongs to a different anthology.

Dark Matters - Tiffany Rose
I wasn't really into the premise of this story. It was actually well written, but I just didn't find it appealing.

The Suns of Terre - Will J. Fawley
Seems like it belongs in a different anthology.
A sci-fi story about a father who puts a shock collar on his own son and makes a plan for after his death, where the son, after years of pain that immobilizes him at times, has to make the decision between right and wrong himself. Gross premise and not very well executed, really. The prose is good, but there's just things that doesn't make sense.
Profile Image for mirnatius.
735 reviews37 followers
December 5, 2019
This is an LGBTQIA+ anthology that I did not finish because I came upon a short story that I didn’t like. There was nothing wrong with it, I just have to like every short story in an anthology for me to continue. The previous ones were good and some were really great. I love the aromantic representation! This book supports the Trevor Project though, and it has ace and aro rep too, which has very little representation in any form of media. I’m giving a rating since I read and spent a lot of time reading it, it’s just unfortunately I have to like every story in an anthology to continue.
Profile Image for Lorna (lornaslibrary).
122 reviews9 followers
January 31, 2019
+It's so nice to read stories where LGBTQIA characters aren't even questioned
+Portrays some of the lesser represented sexualities and relationship types like asexuality, aromanticism, and polyamory
+Stories based on fairytales from other cultures, not just the most universal ones (Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, etc.)
+They all have happy endings

-A lot of the stories are very simplistic and difficult to engage with. I ended up losing interest and reading something else for a while
Profile Image for Becky Jenkinson.
29 reviews
November 21, 2016
Gorgeous collection of stories! They each had their own voice, and I enjoyed seeing the different interpretations of queer happiness and love - it wasn't all romantic relationships. Favourites included: Match Stick Girl, Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes, and most of all, Brenna! They were the strongest stories that resonated with me and were very well written; some parts of Brenna had me laughing out loud! I tended to enjoy the more fairy tale genre stories, and didn't click as much with the modern tales nearer the end because they were set in a specific time and place, but overall a wonderful book!
Profile Image for Marco.
139 reviews6 followers
April 2, 2017
It has been a long time since I read a collection of short stories that enthralled me so much that I read everything in less than 4 hours.

These tales all have a happy ending and are the kind of fables I will gladly read to any future kids I might have.

Some were new, some were familiar, but most of all, they were amazing!!

My compliments to all the writers, and a special shout-out to Emmy Clark!!

I hope you continue writing!
Profile Image for Keihi.
197 reviews4 followers
November 28, 2016
While my quest for that one trans Cinderella retelling to rule them all still continues, and words like "attraction" and "valid" sometimes look quite awkward in the fairy tale style of writing, I loved this anthology to bits. I loved the representation, I loved the absolute majority of the stories, and I loved the feeling this book left me with.
Profile Image for Andrea .
285 reviews38 followers
November 7, 2016
This was a really lovely read. I'm not too fond of retellings but these certainly add the queer diversity that I enjoy.
Profile Image for Charlie.
90 reviews140 followers
January 1, 2017
A really gorgeous, varied collection of fairy tales with a twist, from across the spectrum of sexuality and gender. I particularly loved Odd, Expectations, Match Sticks and The Last Lost Boy.

Profile Image for RoAnna Sylver.
Author 23 books263 followers
March 24, 2017
"Whatever is spoken in the forest cannot be unsaid, lying can be just as dangerous as the truth, names hold power, and the most dangerous of predators used words that were coated with honey."

* * *

This took me a while to read, but it's not because I didn't enjoy it. These bite-sized queer fairy tale retellings (a lot of ace/aromantic goodness) go quickly; most are easy to get through in a few minutes. So I tried to only read one or two a night to savor/appreciate - this didn't really work, because I read one, I found it hard to stop!

Some of my favorites were "Odd" (Most wonderfully affirming and unexpected twists!) "Match Sticks" (amazing celebration of different kinds of love!), "Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes" (loved the adoptive-family love!), "Beauty's Beasts" (Actual poly ship, and wonderfully warm/satisfying).

"The Last Lost Boy" also hit me unexpectedly hard, with its reflection on long-lost and found-again friends, love, what you leave and what you take with you into a new chapter of life. (I also blame this one for making me pick up 'Peter Darling' next. Which is good.) I also loved "Dark Matters" for its macabre-and-hilarious twists on Goldilocks and the... three bears. And "The Suns of Terre" could likely be its own science-fiction book or series. I'd certainly read just from this small look into that universe.

Really, there was something wonderful in every story, beyond the ones I've named. Every writer brought a unique perspective and interpretation on familiar tales. There's something so amazing about finally seeing yourself included in stories you've known since childhood, but never really been a part of. I'm so glad this collection exists.
Profile Image for André Caniato.
279 reviews46 followers
March 26, 2019
Probably one of the best collections I've read... ever? Each story brought something new and interesting to the fairy tale it was based on. Congratulations to all involved.
Profile Image for Jessie.
1,947 reviews26 followers
September 18, 2017
There's a really interesting mix of stories here -- based on very well known and lesser known fairy tales, traditional fairy tale settings or modern or future ones, a wide variety of kinds of love shown, and lesbian, gay, trans, and ace characters. There are at least four stories with explicitly ace characters and several others where it's either implied or there's no romantic endgame for the MC.

My favorite stories: Expectations, Match Sticks, Beauty's Beasts, Dark Matters.
Profile Image for Helena (helinabooks).
356 reviews275 followers
January 16, 2018
This was a very refreshening collection with loads of diversity and great messages. Although some stories felt a bit weak for me, there were some that I loved and they were:

"Match Sticks", by Minerva Cerridwen:
This was by far my favourite. I've always loved The Little Match Girl, but the twist Minerva gave to the story, making it much more positive, was really original. I also really liked how the writing was reminiscent of the original fairytale.

"The Last Lost Boy", by George Lester:
Despite being completely different from the rest of the stories (it was a contemporary retelling of Peter and Wendy), it was one of the best stories in the collection for me. The writing felt so magical and the way George introduced the little references to the original story was really clever and a cute detail. The descriptions were beautiful and I could picture everything so clearly in my head, plus the relationship between the characters was so adorable it had me dying. I need a TV show about Peter and Will now, please.

"Beauty's Beasts", by Elspeth Williams:
Something that has always bothered me about Beauty and the Beast is that he makes her stay in the castle against her will. Well, this story fixed this. Aside from that, I really liked the complicated but caring relationship between the three characters and how diverse it was (a polyamorous relationship between, if I'm not mistaken, two ace people and a bisexual boy). It was rather bittersweet, but, as all of these stories, had a happy ending.
Profile Image for Haley.
774 reviews67 followers
June 13, 2017
These are the fairy tales we should have all grown up with–where we a prince might climb a tower to save the princess, but then she is given the choice to go with him…or the daring woman who swoops in to maybe save them both. And maybe that prince just stays and hangs out with all those books that princess left because HECK YES I WANT TO STAY IN THE TOWER BY MYSELF! HEAVEN!

Ok, that might have been a spoiler for one of the stories. Oops. But you catch on pretty quick to the theme once you get going. All of them are pretty delightful. These are worlds where the bad guys are those who hate and try to stomp on people for who they are. Wouldn’t that be nice if that were true in real life, too?

And even though this is a book written by some super Creative Aces–don’t think there isn’t love. There is all kinds of romantic acceptance in this book–just not the sexy stuff we see so much of these days. Every story is full of whimsy and happiness, but also the morals that are the intended purpose of fairy tales, after all. You’ll recognize a lot of them, and maybe find a few new ones along the way. I think my favorite was the one about Matchstick Girl. Come back and let me know your fave, after you read these.
Profile Image for Manon.
36 reviews12 followers
December 7, 2016
To be fair, I got this book because my friend authored one of the stories - I'm not involved in the ace community whatsoever and probably wouldn't have read the book otherwise, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I felt some of the stories ended a bit abruptly or could have used more subtle wordings for certain concepts (I agree with another reviewer that notions like 'validity' or 'attraction' don't fit into this type of writing), and I spotted quite a few typos... But it was great to read fairy tales, modern as well as ancient, from a different perspective than what I'm used to. I especially liked 'Handsome and the Beast', 'Expectations' and 'Match Sticks'.
Profile Image for Claire P.
105 reviews12 followers
December 18, 2016
This book was incredibly hard to rate, because there were stories I absolutely loved, while I didn't enjoy others much. I felt that overall, there was a lot of telling vs showing going on, which often disrupted my immersion. That said, I think books like this, that very deliberately retell common stories in unique, diverse ways are incredibly important, which is why, overall, I feel okay giving this 4 stars. I also know that others have enjoyed it a lot more, and I believe it's great to get literature like this out into the world.
Profile Image for Rachel (Rustling Reads).
67 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2017
I am so here for this collection of fairy tale retellings. Some are straight-up (ha!) queer retellings of familiar tales, some challenge the original tales with the inclusion of queerness, and some are a loving reconfiguration of the original tales, with the inclusion of queerness almost incidental to the function of the story.

You can read my full review here: https://rustlingreads.wordpress.com/2...
Profile Image for Tessa.
137 reviews10 followers
January 9, 2017
I liked how many of the stories were recognizable as the famous fairytales I read and listened to when I grew up, but that they were different enough to keep them interesting.
I also enjoyed how they went from set in 'medieval'-ish times, to modern day and even sci-fi settings, it kept it interesting and diverse :D
Profile Image for Jessa Denton.
2 reviews1 follower
November 7, 2016
Honored to know the author

Very well Written. This short story is both intriguing and curious. Certainly not what I had in mind when I set out to read it but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
61 reviews
December 12, 2016
Interesting Twists on Fairy Tales

I have always loved fairy tales, so I enjoyed this collection of gay and ace retellings. My favorites are "Handsome and the Beast" and "Match Sticks."
Profile Image for anna marie.
406 reviews89 followers
April 8, 2017
the last few tales i didnt enjoy very much, but some of these stories were lovely!!
Profile Image for Evren.
183 reviews1 follower
May 19, 2021

This is a collection of works written by, according to the summary, students and seasoned professionals alike. This anthology was set up with the idea of taking fables and fairy tales and adjusting them to fit an LGBTQ+ identity.

There are fifteen stories in this book based on a whole host of stories and fables. I recognized about half of the fables that these stories were based on, but many of them were stories that I’ve never heard of before.

Handsome and the Beast: 4.5/5
This story is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a boy and a Beast who uses gender-neutral pronouns. I thought this was a really nice story and I adored the idea that these two characters would rather read than get married.

The Grateful Princess: 5/5
This is a retelling of The Grateful Prince, a story I never once heard of. I quite enjoyed this book, but I really wish there had been more at the end.

Odd: 4.75/5
This story is based on Rumpelstiltskin and it’s probably one of my favorites in this anthology. I honestly just really liked how this was handle and how the characters were portrayed.

Expectations: 4/5
This story apparently resembles many fairy tales, but is closest to The Prince and the Pauper. I wasn’t thrilled with this story. It’s well-written, but I didn’t care much for the main character. I would have preferred a longer story that diverted to follow Shireen.

Li Chi and the Dragon: 4.5/5
This was a retelling of Li Chi slays the Serpent. This story isn’t bad by any means, but I just couldn’t get into it. It was cute and satisfying, I just wasn’t attached. Personally, I really wish the dragon had been more than just a dragon to kill, but I can deal.

Satin Sheets and Wooden Shoes: 5/5
This is a Cinderella retelling, and I really enjoyed this story. A girl is forced to go to the party by her family, but she has no interest in marrying anyone. When she flees, she winds up at the house of an older woman and her daughter.

Match Sticks: 5/5
This is absolutely my favorite story in this anthology. This is a retelling of The Little Match Girl and I was honestly waiting for something bad to happen. I apparently glossed over the summary mentioning that the stories have Happily Ever After’s. In this story the Little Match Girl is taken care of and the matches are turned into match sticks, sticks that will lead you to your true match.

Princess of the Kingdom of the Dark Wood: 4/5
I never heard of the story this story was based on, so I didn’t know what to expect. I actually really enjoyed this story. It was nice to have a trans main side character that wasn’t invalidated or anything. Instead, the princess was accepted, and it was pure and happy.

Damma and the Wolf: 4/5
This was a Little Red Riding Hood retelling and I enjoyed part of it. It was well-written and focused a lot on words having power in the woods. My issue was that I didn’t enjoy the ending.

Beauty’s Beasts: 4/5
This was a cute story. It is the second Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it had an additional twist. In this story there is the Beast, Belle, and Belle’s friend who happens to be with the Beast. It was a cute story with a polyamorous relationship that included at least one ace-spec character.

Glass Mountains: 3/5
I didn’t enjoy this story very mention. It’s not horrible by any means, but I did not have the attention to figure out what was going on. Some of the story is told in italics and others in plain print, but I just couldn’t get into it.

Brenna: 4/5
This was a really cute story. It was based on a story that I have again never heard of, but I really enjoyed this retelling. Brenna was given a key when she was 7 and she was told that it would unlock a castle door when she was 14.

The Last Lost Boy: 3/5
This is a Peter Pan gay retelling, but I really didn’t enjoy it. It was set in modern times (at least I’m pretty sure it was) and the lost boys seemed to be a group of friends that hung out together. It’s not horrible, but I just really didn’t enjoy any of it.

Dark Matters: 5/5
This is a Goldilocks and the Three Bears retelling where Goldilocks is a ghost looking for a house to inhabit and she comes across the house of The Three Bears (Bears as in the gay term). This was a genuinely cute story.

The Suns of Terre: 3/5
I don’t know Prince Darling, but apparently this is a dystopian sci-fi twist on that story. I didn’t like it. It’s well-written, but I’m not a huge fan of sci-fi and I just couldn’t get into the story.

So, in summary, these stories come from a variety of fables and cover a variety of identities. Some stories were better than others to me. Some stories might be better liked by you. This is an anthology, with all the ups and downs that come with it. The one thing that all these stories have: a happy ending.
Profile Image for Dannica.
699 reviews24 followers
December 14, 2016
I'm giving this book a low rating but not because it was necessarily bad. More because it didn't really appeal to my tastes? I think I've just grown out of the simplistic style and morality of fairy tales, and I wanted something more lyrical and complex here. These are stories that children would enjoy, but that's not really what I expected even though I guess I should have known they are fables.
The best stories, imo, are "Match Sticks" by Minerva Cerridwen, and "The Last Lost Boy" by George Lester. "The Last Lost Boy" I enjoyed as a modern twist on Peter Pan, although some thought the sudden genre change was out of place. "Match Sticks" really explores what it means to be in love and what or who people love the most, and took the concept of that love not needing to be romantic further than any of the other stories.
And that was something that irked me, honestly. Most of the stories would include asexuality in a simple and expected way-the prince saying he couldn't take the throne because he didn't want to marry a princess, friends being declared platonic soulmates without their friendship really being fully developed or believable. I wanted more. I wanted to see what love, deep love is when it's not sexual, what asexual characters sought in life aside from just seeking to not get married or have sex. I don't want to see people giving up their entire lives in order to avoid marriage-surely there has to be a better way than that, especially when your life includes being a king who assumedly can do what he wants!-or friendship being told rather than shown. It was frustrating. I felt that many of the stories, by using stock phrases about sexuality being valid etc, avoided developing what sexuality meant in these settings and avoided exploring the subjects of sexuality, love and identity in general.
That said, I am not asexual. Take all my complaints with a grain of salt. I just couldn't help but feel that many of these stories were somewhat shallow and simplistic and could have been handled with more depth of theme and characterization.
I still would recommend if you want some happy LGBTQIA fairy tales, as long as you know what you're in for. Having a Kindle edition, I can lend this book to one individual for two weeks as per Amazon guidelines. Message me if you would be interested.
Profile Image for Sophie A. Katz.
89 reviews1 follower
August 7, 2020
This is a book of fairy tales, and I would happily read many of these stories to my hypothetical children. Collectively, Unburied Fables is about how there’s more than one definition for “happily ever after” – there are so many ways to live, and so many ways to love. These stories provide excellent examples of the importance of found family, of allyship and solidarity, and of asserting your own identity. And there are so many ace and aro characters!

The writing style for most of the stories is simplistic, giving the feeling that the narrators are telling a fairy tale aloud either from memory or making it up as they go. It’s rather tell-heavy, and the characters’ problems are solved in simple ways. This style was a little off-putting for me at first, but once I got used to it, I liked it, and I’ve had a great time rereading my favorite tales since.

Interestingly, the last few stories in this collection have a more modern short story tone to them, and by that point I was so used to the simple fairy tale language that I didn’t really enjoy the stories at the end! My conclusion is that these “unburied fables” hold more potential for enjoyment when read on their own than they do if read straight through.

If I had to pick a favorite story, I’d choose “Match Sticks” by Minerva Cerridwen – a much happier take on The Little Match Girl which explores the concept of true love in many beautiful directions. My favorite quote from the book, however, is in “Satin Skirts and Wooden Shoes” by Moira C. O’Dell: “Never think that you should desire anything, child. Only you yourself can know what path will bring you happiness.”
Profile Image for Andrea D. McCarthage.
204 reviews4 followers
October 8, 2019
Although I appreciate the attempt to include LGBT representation, I can't say it's been done with any sort of style or sense. With the exception of one or two, each story serves up its queer themes in an extremely heavy-handed and overt manner, bordering on parody. Veritable name-drops occur to make sure we understand which of the fringe characters identifies as what and is entangled with whom, while main characters flat-out state their sexual preferences in casual conversation.

There's definitely room to spare for LGBT-flavoured Fairy Tale anthologies, but I'm afraid this isn't it. Beyond that, editing mistakes abound - sometimes you wonder if the authors simply sent in first drafts and the editor decided to print it as-is.

The Peter Pan story had a little something something going on, though.
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