Thursday, 26 May 2016

Book Review: Tales From the Kingdom by Sarah Pinborough

Read: May 24-26  Verdict: 4 Stars

Tales From the Kingdom is a set of three 200-300 page retellings of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Let’s just call it the overall idea of Disney, with a terrifying touch of Grimms Fairy Tales and the drama and spice of Once Upon a Time. i felt like all the stories had a really great mix of the idea of ‘happily ever after’ with the stark realities of real life and the idea of monsters hiding in the closet. There was some romance, lust, sex as well as friendship, danger and lunacy. 

I think my overall favourite of the three was Charm which was Cinderella’s retelling. Cinderella was a complex character with ideas above her station and she wasn’t a simpering, charming girl the way I always thought to be. She had unkind thoughts as well as kind and was a bit selfish in ways her step-sisters were not. That brings me to Cinderella’s family and the backstory of her family which was great. There was a real history there that I loved and I really liked that the step-mother and step-sister weren’t these ugly and wicked people like they’re always portrayed. Cinderella’s character development was the best out of all the characters in the tales (frankly I feel like the Prince learnt absolutely nothing but thank goodness he married someone who could give him the kick up the bum he would need now and again) and I really saw her grow from a selfish girl with selfish ideals into a young woman with a better idea of the world and that sometimes dreams should stay as dreams.

I really loved the inclusion of other fairytales within the three tales such as the mention of the gingerbread house, Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Robin Hood and even Rapunzel. They were all wrapped up as part of the story really well and I enjoyed the subtle way they were connected.

I would definitely recommend reading the three tales one after another as they read as one big book with three different parts and they are all connected to each other in a way that may be confusing if you read them out of order. 

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