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Troll's-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,121 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the villains in fairy tales - evil, no two ways about it. But the villains themselves beg to differ. In Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling's new anthology for younger readers, you'll hear from the Giant's wife ("Jack and the Beanstalk"), Rumplestiltskin, the oldest of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and many more. A stellar lineu ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published April 16th 2009 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  1,121 ratings  ·  166 reviews

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3 stars...but a pallid, sickly, sadness-laced three stars blocked from shining its brightest by the unfulfilled promise of all that might have been.

I liked this and don't intend to sound too berating, but given the talent level assembled, and the subject matter being explored, I was really hoping to a discover a sparkling pot of gold at the end of this anthology. Unfortunately, what I found was mostly tarnished silver, with a few 24k pieces and one brilliant diamond of a tale that made the entire collection worth reading (thank you,
Familiar tales are viewed through fresh eyes when well-known storybook villains step up and relate their versions of classic stories.

Sorry to say, most of these are pretty forgettable. Even looking back over the titles listed in the table of contents, I'm having trouble remembering what they're about . . . and I just read them a few days ago. I do remember feeling rather cheated as many of the villains I was rooting for did not come out on top.

The big standouts for me were Jane Yolen's Troll, a story told by the son of a famous bridge
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Troll's-Eye View is a book of short stories and poems edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (who've worked together previously in collecting other anthologies). The collection of creepy and sympathy-garnering stories hosts stories for some of fairytales' most famous villains, from the Big Bad Wolf to Rumpelstiltskin.

The book includes works from the following authors: Delia Sherman, Garth Nix, Wendy Froud, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Peter S. Beagle, Ellen Kushner, Joseph Stanton, Holly Black, Jane
Amanda Kratz
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
So I picked a thin book I could bang out in a few hours so I could hit my reading challenge.

This is a collection of 16 short stories or poems. I was really excited to see Neil Gaiman as an author and sadly his piece is a very simple 3 page poem. Holly Black also has a short story included and I don’t feel it measure up to her other works.

There are some fun stories in there Gabriel Nix has a bratty Rapunzel who locks herself in the tower as an unwelcome guest that the witc
I have a weakness for retold fairy tales and for short stories, so this collection of fairy tales told from the villains' point of view was a must-read for me. Also, Datlow and Windling consistently helm the best anthologies out there, for kids and adults, and I read every one I can get my hands on. This collection has 15 stories by well-known fantasy authors for children and adults, almost all of which I've read at least something earlier, whether it be a short story or two or a novel or two, a ...more
I've been slightly p.oed even since Datlow and Windling stopped editiing thier adult collections and focused on YA collections. Now, I understand YA is hot (though most of it seems slightly silly), but still. Anyway, with this collection I think I understand why they did it or perhaps I figured out a plus side to this.

This collection has stories told from the villian's point of view. Most of the stories are very good; in particular Peter S. Beagle's story stands out as does the endin
Jun 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
There are times when I think the marketing and product descriptions of books do them a disservice. Troll’s-Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales, is a perfect example. The Booklist review lists the intended audience as grades 5-8. However, editors Datlow and Windling are best known for their yearly anthologies of science fiction and horror for adults. I’m not saying that the book is inappropriate for younger readers: anything but! As we know, though, children have a pretty high tolerance for the ...more
Fantasy Literature
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fairy tales were my first love when I was a child. My mother introduced me to the joys of stories with The Golden Book of Fairy Tales long before I learned how to read. My early reading included the first three volumes of The Junior Classics and Andrew Lang’s colorful fairy tale books. When Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling started editing anthologies of new takes on the old tales for adults with Snow White, Blood Red, I was delighted. And when Datlow and Windling started editing a series of origi ...more
Quick read with some lovely stories inside the opening story Wizards apprentice by Delta Sherman was really good, as well as the fun and twisted Girl in the tower rapunzel by Gareth nix.
I'd read holly Black's great take on The boy who cried wolf but the ones that blowned me away was A delicate architecture by Catheryne m valente. I wondered so what story until the last page and I understood. The story Rags and Ritches by Nina Kiriki Hoffman was great and such a great story.
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it
My boyfriend and I purchased this book from the local Borders that was going out of business. I found it very enjoyable to read and well worth my time. My favorites were 'Faery Tales' by Wendy Froud, 'A Delicate Architecture' by Catherynne M. Valente, and 'The Cinderella Game' by Kelly Link.
'Faery Tales' is a poem about "what happened to the young women who find their heart's desire at the end of the fairy tale. What do they become? Perhaps in the end they become those dark characters-the stepm
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditional-lit
Are you tired of reading similar versions of the same story? Would you like to get a new variety, especially in point of view? Well, Troll’s Eye View is for you! This is an exciting and interesting book where fairy tales are told from the villain’s perspective. After reading several versions of Rumpelstiltskin, I think my students would be thrilled and excited to hear this version of the story and compare. In this book, the Rumpelstiltskin version is titled “Skin”. It is a bit dark, and more for ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
Are the villains of the fairy tales we all know and love really as bad as they seem? How would things appear to be from their perspective?

That's the question that this short story and poem collection seeks to answer - with varying degrees of success.

Overall I liked the stories well enough, but none of them really wowed me. It was an entertaining diversion, but I suppose I was something more than you could glean from a short story collection.

That said, some of
Aug 09, 2011 added it
I feel strange reviewing this, because adult readers like me are not the book's intended audience. But this anthology is so deliciously fun that I want to tell everyone. Do pick up this collection of fairy tales written from the villains' points of view!

I chose the book because it contains a story by Neil Gaiman. Unfortunately, Gaiman's two-page offering proved to be disappointing (perhaps my expectations of him have become too high!). As with any anthology, the stories here are hit or miss. De
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
**I've read the original

Up the Down Beanstalk: A Wife Remembers
** I think I enjoyed this version a lot better. The story came to life easily and I felt like I was listening to a recording more than I felt like I was actually reading a story.
5 Stars

Wizard's Apprentice
I've never read the original so I can't say which version I prefer. I really enjoyed this story, especially the ending. Super cute.
4 Stars

Faery Tales
I really enjoyed this poem. It helped me rea
Miss Ryoko
(pre-reading comment)The cover to this book is so awesome! I just HAD to check it out when I stumbled across it at the library!

(post-reading review)
Well, I wasn't overly impressed with anything in this book. This isn't to say this book was bad, but with such an awesome cover and a sub title of "A Book of Villainous Tales" I was expecting something much more amazing.

Some of the stories were good, others were kind of blah. My favorite one was "Up the Down Beanstalk: A
This is a nice collection of retold fairy tales focusing on fairy tale villains. It features stories and a few poems written by many excellent fantasy authors such as Delia Sherman, Garth Nix, Peter S. Beagle, Holly Black, Jane Yolen, Nancy Farmer, Neil Gaiman, and a few others. As I expect with short story collections, there were some stories I enjoyed much more than others.

Probably my favorite story was "Up the Down Beanstalk: A Wife Remembers" by Peter S. Beagle. It is a retelling of the Jac
It was only a matter of time before I got around to reading this. I mean, come on, there's more than a handful of authors that I quite enjoy in it.

With that being said, it IS short stories (and two poems) and the intended audience is considerably younger than what I am. So, there are hits and misses.

I adored Catherynn M. Valente's piece - a bit of backstory on the witch in Hansel and Gretel. This one, by far, is my favorite story in here.

Jane Yolen's story about the Trol
Oct 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Troll's Eye View edited by Datlow & Windling will delight children. Every kid loves a villain and the dozen stories and three poems in this beautifully designed little book have a hilarious, chilling assortment.

But there's plenty here for anyone of any age. Some of the finest fantasy writers currently working contribute and reading this book I found myself thinking of Saki and Thurber and Mrs. Lovett from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

There's not a dud in the bunch but my favorites were Peter S.
Eva Mitnick
Apr 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya, children
Terrific collection of original stories by children's and YA fantasy authors, all starring the villains of various traditional tales, from Rumpelstitskin to the troll under the bridge. There isn't a dud among them, and two (Kelly Link's The Cinderella Game and Holly Black's The Boy Who Cried Wolf) are intensely creepy. Gaiman's poem "Observing the Formalities" is good enough for the New Yorker magazine, in my opinion. Fans of fractured fairy tales and of these editors' previous collaborations sh ...more
May 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Fairy tales and poems retold or reimagined through the eyes of the villains? I'm game. And with a cast of contributing authors that includes no less than Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link, I was certainly interested in checking out this anthology--regardless of the target demographic. Kids and kids at heart should all enjoy some very fun stories that look at those old fairy tales through a new lense and new angle. Two favorites for me among this collection include Kelly Link's "The Cinderella Game" and ...more
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
A clever conceit: all of the stories in this anthology are fairy tales told from the villain's point of view. Many of them are just misunderstood. I'm glad it's a collection for children, since I would be scared of the adult version of many of these stories. Great lineup of authors putting in fine contributions of poetry and prose: Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman. Wendy Froud, etc.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
This has a lot of nice stories, and the premise is interesting: new takes on fairy tale villains. Also, the visual design of the book is gorgeous. (There are shadowy plants on the corners of most of the pages. Sadly, this probably won't be preserved in the paperback version.)
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 more likely but still quite enjoyable!
I loved some of the stories others were just not my cup of tea.
Overall this is an atmospheric book with an interesting idea of how the well known fairytale would look like if told from the "villain's" point of view.
Dec 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: forest_2015
Very cute stories from the villain's viewpoint.
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Valente’s story was the best by far. Her’s and Snyder’s were the only ones really worth reading, and Valente’s was the only worth re-reading. Detailed opinions below:

Wizard’s Apprentice - It was fine. I don’t recall the original story and this version seemed fine. Not bad, but not remarkable. 3 stars

An Unwelcome Guest - It doesn’t seem to fit with the title of the anthology; not so much a villain’s viewpoint story but a wholly different version altogether. Not what I had
Erika Powers
Oct 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is an incredibly easy, fun and engaging short story collection. It takes some brilliant authors who take you on journeys through well known fairy tales. The fact that these retellings all focus on the villains of the stories just made me love it even more. I always love the highlighting of grey areas and alternate tellings.

Troll’s-Eye View is a collection that is written for a very young age group. It’s simple and quaint. Easily accessible and fun. But, that doesn’t mean that as
Blood kin are hard to hide from.


Weird! It was odd to recognize Rags to Riches as the Goose Girl fairy tale! I just finished Shannon Hale's version of it (on audio with a full cast) and recognized several elements of it - though I had never heard of the tale before I read Shannon Hale's book.

I'd really like to meet Holly Black. Hers was an interesting story. And I loved her bio:

When she was a child, Holly's parents forced her into long vacations on their sailboat, where she dreamed of turning into
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really a kid's book, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
Excellent cover and and excellent premise. Sadly not really very well realized as most stories were lukewarm at best.
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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
“I hated and loved him in turns, as witches will do, for our hearts are strange and inexplicable.” 3 likes
“Blood kin are hard to hide from.” 1 likes
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