How do you like your fairy tales? Sugar and spice and everything nice? Or with lots of sharp teeth?
I think we all know what side I’m on.
I was thrilled to get a copy of Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani. This book is filled with sixteen dangerous stories, giving beloved fairy tales much needed twists and adding some serious teeth.
“Whatever happens from here, her life will be different. But a different life comes with a price. It takes walking the path between life and death.”
Those familiar with the original Grimm fairy tales will love the way these stories veer back to their darker roots while distinctly being tales of their own. The characters are distinct and the stories diverse. Gone are the narrow societal structures and European tendencies typically presented in these type of stories. Instead, we get a multitude of cultures and no damsels in distress.
There are twelve stories in this collection: Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel, Beauty and the Beast, Bluebeard, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Rumpelstiltskin, and Peter Pan. Each one is recognizable at their roots but only on the surface. These are stories that have depth and bite, clawing their way out of the rigid confines of expectations.
Chainani gives us girls and boys who fight and take control of their own destiny. Witches who are saviors, monsters with heart. These are stories meant to empower, not control, and the lessons they teach are unexpected but full of heart.
“A girl should fight her own battles against a monster. Not call in a prince.”
Accompanying each story are gorgeous illustrations by Julia Iredale. At the end of every story are gorgeous full page color artwork, with smaller pieces woven throughout the pages of the stories. They are a beautiful addition to the book, giving lovely definition to the sharp prose.
One of the things I loved about this book is how modern and classic they all felt. They felt like fairy tales and yet, they didn’t. I could see sharing these with older children and engaging in vibrant discussions about human nature, love, loss, grief, possession, individuality, and more. They are stunning, relatable, and timely.
“Usually the stages of a hunt rise on the tides, but here they come together, like keys on the same ring, deal, threat, punishment, one, two, three.”
Some of my favorite stories were Rapunzel, Bluebeard, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and Sleeping Beauty. That’s not to say I didn’t love them all, but those stories just grabbed my heart in very specific ways.
In all, if you love fairy tales that are unexpected, surprising, and tend towards the darker side of storytelling, this collection is a must.
Thank you Turn The Page Tours and Harper Collins Kids for sending me this incredible copy.
You think you know these stories, don’t you?
You are wrong.
You don’t know them at all.
Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death.
A prince has a surprising awakening . . .
A beauty fights like a beast . . .
A boy refuses to become prey . . .
A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again.
New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare.
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Soman Chainani’s first novel, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been translated into 26 languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Studios.
The sequels, A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES and THE LAST EVER AFTER, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List as well. Together, the books of the series have been on the print and extended NYT lists for a total of 33 weeks.
As a writer and film director, Soman’s films have played at over 150 film festivals around the world, winning more than 30 jury and audience prizes, and his writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, New Draft, the CAPE Foundation, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film executives.
When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Now he loses all the time.
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Julia Iredale is an artist who works as a freelance illustrator for clients around the world. Her work is informed by her love of mythology, dark fantasy, and human psychology, weaving these together to create beautiful, mysterious characters and worlds. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Enter for your chance to win one (1) finished copy of BEASTS AND BEAUTY: DANGEROUS TALES by Soman Chainani! Open USA only.
Giveaway starts: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Giveaway ends: Tuesday, September 28, 2021