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How to Fracture a Fairy Tale

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  303 reviews
“[Yolen is] the Aesop of the twentieth century”
The New York Times

Fantasy legend Jane Yolen (The Emerald Circus, The Devil’s Arithmetic) delights with these effortlessly wide-ranging transformed fairy tales. Yolen fractures the classics to reveal their crystalline secrets, holding them to the light and presenting them entirely transformed, from a spinner of straw as a mone
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 22nd 2018 by Tachyon Publications (first published November 5th 2018)
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Sionna I'd lean more towards adults, but some older teens might enjoy it. …moreI'd lean more towards adults, but some older teens might enjoy it. (less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.33 stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:


One year after Tachyon Publications published The Emerald Circus, a collection of fantastical short stories by Jane Yolen based on various fairy tales and legendary people (both fictional and real), it has followed up with a similar collection, How to Fracture a Fairy Tale. Like The Emerald Circus, this is a compilation of Yolen’s older, previously published stories, spiffed up with new author’s notes in which Yolen briefly discuss each story
Mel (Epic Reading)
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
So I’m a little frustrated. I read an eARC of this that had no linked table of contents and so I didn’t know there were authors notes to go with every story at the back!! I would have liked these at the beginning or end of each story within the book context. Especially because some of the notes Jane Yolen made at the end of the book are key to understanding her decision to include the story or why she changed what she did.

The Tales
There are a lot of fairy tales in this book. Some are multi-sect
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

How To Fracture A Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen is a collection of classic fairy tales retold with added twists.


❇I'm a sucker for retelling's, so of course I requested this because it sounded right up my alley. I loved the writing, and some of the twists I definitely did not see coming.


❇Like any short story collection this one had it's ups and downs. Some of the stories in this were brilliant, but I
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, own, fairytales
Absolutely stunning stories, one of the best collections I've read in years! Jane Yolen knows how to capture your imagination from the first line, and keep it, whether the story is two pages or twenty. I'd read a few of these before, like Sleeping Ugly, and was delighted to have it collected here (I really must get the illustrated edition for my kids!) and there's a shortened version of her wonderful novel Snow in Summer to start it all off. Interesting how well it worked as either a story or a ...more
Carole P. Roman
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wickedly delightful and full of fun, Jane Yolen takes the world of fairy tales and stands them on their heads. No one is safe, whether they are trolls, dragons, or flighty beauties. Cinderella, Snow White, and other iconic folktales are dissected and in some cases, have a new modern spin. Abused princesses are empowered by their brains rather than a saved by a man. Jewish, Asian, and Greek myths and stories are dusted off and given a modern treatment that makes them both ironic and more acceptab ...more
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
3,5 stars
Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warnings Concentration Camps, Rape, Body Shaming, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Incest

I will admit that I have never read anything by Jane Yolen before. But when this cover with that title, I mean how can you pass up How to Fracture a Fairytale as a title, passed me by I knew I had to give it a shot. This book is a collection of short stories Jane Yolen has read over the many yea
The Captain
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this short story collection eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

While I have read many of Jane Yolen's works, most have been her novels.  It has only been recently that I have been reading her short stories.  This collection has 28 varied tales.  In addition, the end of the book has author reflections on how the stories came to be along with some of her poetry.

This collection didn't resonate with me as much as
Jenna Bookish
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this anthology, making it difficult to give it an overall rating that feels accurate. There were a few stories that I really enjoyed, but a few too many that never sufficiently grabbed my interest. I love fractured fairy tales, and think I was looking for more drastic changes from the original source material in some cases. What's the point of writing a retelling without turning the whole story upside-down and making us think about it in a totally new light?


One thing
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed some of these stories a whole lot, but there were some I wasn't as enthused about. The version I read had notes from the author, but they were in the back of the book and didn't mean as much when not read at the same time as the story. My favorites include: The Moon Ribbon, Happy Dens, Great-Grandfather's Dragon's Tales, Sister Death, and The Gwynhfar. I wasn't as enthralled with the following: The Bridge's Complaint, One Old Man With Seals, The Unicorn and the Pool, and The Golden Bal ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Blog Post:

*I was provided with an ARC of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.

This is going to be a very short review as I was deeply disappointed by something in this book, that led me to DNF it, which is a first for a book I’ve been sent for review. I started out really enjoying this, I’d been rating each of the short stories individually and they were either 4, 4.5 or
Faith Simon
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories, ranging from lush to outwardly bizarre takes on classic well-known tales. I liked it a lot more than I originally thought that I would. But as with books consisting of short stories, I find it difficult to review the book as a whole, so instead, I'm going to highlight a few of my favourite stories from this collection.
The Bridge's Complaint.
I really enjoyed this one, and it was unique because of its central point of view, that which is from an
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
~*Check out my blog, The Bent Bookworm!*~

First of all, I'm a complete sucker for fairy tale retellings. All the more when they aren't your typical, prince-rescues-princess-and-they-live-happily-ever-after type stories. I love a good twist and a dark underside to fairy tales (which, if you read a lot of the ORIGINALS...was often the case!). When I saw this book was a collection of short retellings I immediately requested it and was absolutely delighted to receive it just a few days before it came
Steff Fox
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
| Reader Fox Blog |

How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen is one of those once in a lifetime books you’ll probably love but never fully reread. My anticipation of this book was immense, largely due to the subject matter of this book and the introduction written by the wonderful Marissa Meyer. I admit I did squee a bit upon seeing her name. Yolen does a fantastic job of reworking the stories from this world’s past, weaving deeply moving and poignant reimaginings of the tales many of us k
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the concept of fractured fairy tales, so it saddens me that they are rarely successfully done in practice. Jane Yolen’s How to Fracture A Fairy Tale was a refreshing departure from the typical problems that tend to plague fractured fairy tale collections.

Though most of the tales in the book are based on well-known, traditional fairy tales with which most readers will be familiar, there are also a few that have their roots in lesser-known lore. I found it pleasing to read the mix of both,
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
2.5-3 stars

I have fond memories of reading Jane Yolan's books many years ago and so was drawn to this new collection of 'fractured fairytales,' offered to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. I am also fond of retellings of traditional tales and saw several titles right away that made me smile: Happy Days in the Old Wolves Home, Big Bad Wolf stories from another point of view, and Green Plague, a retelling of the Pied Piper with amphibians.

There are about two dozen short stories and
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was provided to me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

For better or worse, fairy tales are ingrained into our society. The ideas of a Prince Charming or a Fairy Godmother, along with hundreds of other character archetypes and tropes, are derived from these classic tales. However, not all of these tales have happy endings or even necessarily apply to today's world.

The point of How to Fracture a Fairy
Cristina Quattrone
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really got me thinking about my Traditional Lit unit where students will read many versions of Cinderella and then create their own fractured version. These stories and poems had me longing for a secondary classroom so I could share some of the deeper meditations with teenagers. A great teaching tool for secondary ELA teachers with rich content.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
How To Fracture a Fairy Tale is a clever and fun read. It's perfect for fans of ya fantasy. Interesting story with great characters. ...more
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, fantasy, retelling
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Tachyon Publications and NetGalley. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. The copy I am reviewing is an Uncorrected Digital Galley.

How to Fracture a Fairy Tale is a collection of twenty-eight revamped, refined, and rewritten fairytales. Before reading these tales, I had not heard of Jane Yolen, though
Brooklyn Tayla
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-reads, fantasy
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an eARC of this book to review, an exciting premise, short stories that are all a twisted, or fractured, reimagining of a classic tale, however, I just couldn't connect to the writing and the stories I enjoyed weren't many. Unfortunately for me, I felt like this was repetitive and followed the same pattern after a while, and it just became tiresome. ...more
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
*I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review*

I liked this a lot! As usual, I rated each story in the collection, and averaging those ratings you get 3.5 stars. I'm rounding that up to 4 stars for the official rating, because some of the ones I rated only one or two stars were super short and so didn't really drag down the collection, plus I like that the book includes some short commentary by Jane Yolen at the end about why she wrote each story and what she chose to change. H
This was a tricky one to rate and I almost did not add it to my Goodreads list as overall I did not enjoy the anthology as well as I expected too.
However, this was due to a conflict of preference and not to the quality of the writing (which felt 4 to 5 stars) so I could not omit it on that.
The other element was that there was one particular story Sun/Flight that I did like at all. Out of all them this is the sole one I would give a 1 star grade to. The writing felt choppier and more staggered
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)
For more bookish content go to:

Yolen definitely has a way of enchanting her audience just like the original tales she's fracturing. When I was younger I used to select fairytales from the library and spend entire days just reading different versions of a story, or huge collections of Grimm, Andersen and Perrault. Yolen's writing gave me those same feelings back but with even darker twists.

I usually select a few favourites when reviewing an anthology, however, despite how
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a collection edition of short stories written over the lifespan of the author. All have the common theme of being fairy tale interpretations. At then end of the book she then talks about how they were written and also adds Poems she wrote on the same or similar theme.

I was utterly charmed by the book. Many of the tales had the feel of a zen koan or, quite appropriately, the ethereal air of a fable or legend. They were more than the stories and in some cases as I finished some of the sto
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of Jane Yolen’s short fiction for many years, so it was a delight to sit down with this new collection of re-told fairy tales.

It can be a bit difficult to review short fiction collections as there will be, inevitably, some stories that connect more with you as a reader than others. I find that a true here as well, but that comes down to personal taste; every story was well-crafted and what I’ve come to expect from Jane Yolen’s writing. The stories vary quite a bit in tone, but th
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, fantasy
This had a nice variety of stories, and the author's notes about how she fractured and why she decided to include each one are very enjoyable. Even though each story is a fairy tale, the tones are very different. We see the Three Billy Goats Gruff from the Bridge's point of view, a non-attractive Cinder-Elephant, and trips to a concentration camp. I liked the creativity of the approaches, and enjoyed reading the book. ...more
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I absolutely love fairy tale retellings, reinterpretations, prequels, sequels, inversions and whatever else writers can come up with. However, it seems like I don't like them fractured.
There were probably lots of reasons why I didn't enjoy this book. The analogies and metaphors always seemed a little too obvious and on the nose. Although it was meant for an adult audience plenty of the stories seemed childish (As an example, the story of the wolves in a retirement house that was supposedly comm
Jammin Jenny
I really liked this collection of short stories. They are retellings of fairy tales, and some are twists of different fairy tales together. I really enjoyed the wolves version of three classic wolf stories - three pigs and the wolf, red-riding hood, and Peter and the wolf. I also really liked the dragon story where the grandfather dragon told about humans. All in all a really fun read. I received this book via Netgalley.
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher-sent
I haven't read a Jane Yolen book in a long time and she is a master at telling stories. I loved the fact that this was a combination of some of her old stories and new ones. Some gripped me more than others. I'll admit some of the lyrical existential ones were over my head, but I loved the other ones especially the ones with a funny twist at the end. Yolen has always been one of my favorites so I'm so happy to see her coming out with another book. ...more
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
Loved it, fairy tales for the modern woman. Those tales you thought you knew didn’t happen the way you thought. These tales were inspired and brilliant. I loved the feminist twists. A great read

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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ACPL Online Book ...: Fantastic? 1 3 Oct 31, 2018 01:25PM  
Lettori sui generis: Antologia - How to fracture a fairy tale di Jane Yolen 28 11 Oct 18, 2018 02:01AM  

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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more

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