Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Woodcutter - Kate Danley

The Woodcutter
Title: The Woodcutter
Author: Kate Danley
Publication Date: 11/6/12
Pages: 346
Genre: Fantasy / Fiction
How I Found It: Heather over at Capricious Reader loves this book.
Date Completed: 2/25/16

Summary: Something is going terribly wrong in the Wood. The Woodcutter, charged with keeping the peace and balance between the twelve magical kingdoms, tries to put the stories back together while an Evil Queen seems to block his efforts at every turn. 

What I Thought: This book caught my attention when Heather posted about it back in 2014. I, too, love fairy tales and adaptations thereof. It's been on my TBR since then and I only just now have finally read it. Classic case of things languishing on the list because there is just so. much. to. read.

While I cannot say I adored this book on near the same level Heather did, I did really enjoy it. Danley brings a freshness and creativity to the genre of fairy tale adaptations that is often lacking. There sometimes seems to be only so much you can do when adapting. She, brilliantly, takes the characters and their baseline stories and then mixes them all together, turning everything on its head. The whole plot is that the stories are not going as they should and the Woodcutter must stop it before things get too far out of hand.

The book is dark. Classic Grimm brothers dark. These are not the cheery Disney tales so many, including myself, love. Danley is pulling from the original stories; she's mixing traditions while she's at it, as well. Mythological creatures and characters from around the world show up in the Wood as the Woodcutter travels around trying to fix the unraveling magical world. 

The book contains all the traditional elements of fairy tales: true love, family dynamics both good and evil, magic, faeries, evil queens, innocent princesses, etc., etc. It's beautifully written and so imaginative. 

I did struggle to really immerse myself in it at times. It did not grab me the way I expected it to. Of course, I had such high expectations it would have been nearly impossible for the book to actually live up to them. It's a great book; no doubt about it. I definitely recommend it to those who love fairy tales, even at their darkest.  

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Doubtful

A Reduced Review: Classic fairy tales take on their original darkness as the Woodcutter tries to put them back together again in this beautifully written fantasy. 

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