Once Upon a Curse: Stories and Fairy Tales for Adult Readers
Ebook, $6.95 on Amazon at time of review
I want to start this review by saying that the title is a little misleading. It’s not ‘adult’ in the ‘don’t let your kids hear you talk about this or you’re going to be having conversations about birds and insects’, it’s ‘adult’ in the, ‘this isn’t Disney’ sense. I would give this a solid middle school or higher rating; these aren’t necessarily happy stories but there’s little to no blush worthy material.
That being said, if you’re the type of person who likes your fairy tales to wrap up with perfectly happy endings this isn’t going to be your type of book. Several of the stories actually do have pleasant endings, but how they get there isn’t necessarily happy-and it’s true that several aren’t happy endings in the sense that everyone lives happily ever after. However, I have to say that even those stories have twists to them that makes one wonder if it’s not a happy one after all, albeit not a traditional one.
I did enjoy this anthology. Each story in this book is a reworking of a traditional folk tale or faery tale with a fairly wide range of countries represented. There is one story that doesn’t really fit the traditional faerie tale theme, but with vampires being a solid part of the modern faerie tale world I think it’s a fair inclusion. Impressively, while some stories are more solid than others, there is a pretty consistent quality level throughout.
If you’re like me and like your faerie tales a little darker than Disney, then this is a pretty good addition to the modern faerie tale library. If you’re one to really need a clean wrap up and a completely positive ending, this isn’t going to be the anthology for you.
Very slight violence and sexual content. Potentially mature themes; not necessarily young reader inappropriate, tween and older readers should be okay with this anthology with parental screening.