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Search tags: fairy-tales
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review 2017-04-27 22:57
Lost Cantos of the Ouroboros Caves: Expanded Edition - Maggie Schein,Jonathan Hannah,Pat Conroy

5 out of 5 stars.... Is it possible to give more stars? I'd like to. Having said that, I'm not sure how, precisely, to review this marvel. It's a collection of stories quite unlike anything I've read before, and that's saying something, my friends, since I read a great deal.

 

Schein holds a Ph.D. in Ethics and teaching at the University of South Carolina. Her philosophical training serves her well here, as these stories are certainly philosophical. Peter S. Beagle said of her stories, "They are genuinely philosophical in a way which is very rare, frightening in a way far removed from scary, and, most impressively, they are often philosophically frightening — which is almost unheard of." Even he says he hasn't read anything remotely like them in a long time.

 

Yes, that long time... it brings to mind old tales, myths, sacred stories of ancient cultures, and those are precisely the tales Schein draws from. Her understanding of myth and folk tale is impressive, but so, too, is her understanding of the yearnings, fears, passions of the human (and at times non-human) heart.

 

Medicine men, monks, immortals, witches, seekers, wise talking animals, all make their appearances. In fact, the world Schein creates is one in which everything, everyone, from tree to priest, vibrate with life and the sacred power of story.

 

Truly, I feel these are stories with the power to transform. HIGHLY recommended.

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review 2017-04-19 20:41
Book 18/100: Of Mice & Magic by Ursula Vernon
Hamster Princess: Of Mice and Magic - Ursula Vernon

Just as much fun as Harriet the Invincible.

I recently re-read the 12 Dancing Princess (which this story retells), and was struck by how, even though the story is named for the titular women, all of whom presumably have their own lives, the story really revolves around the guy who creeps on them trying to figure out where they go at night. The story is about him, not the cursed princesses.

In Vernon's version, Harriet stands in for the gardener who saves the day -- so while she still takes center stage, at least a story ostensibly about 12 women doesn't inadvertently end up being about one man. Also, the princesses in the story are given some real "page-time" and personalities and desires of their own, all of which are improvements over the original. Prose is funny and smart and artwork is charming.

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review 2017-04-19 20:35
Book 17/100: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible - Ursula Vernon

This book was super fun -- a retelling of Sleeping Beauty featuring a sturdy, sassy princess who figures out how to use the curse to her advantage. It's funny and subversive without being heavy-handed, equally suited to be enjoyed by kids or adults. I love that Harriet acts like a REAL 12-year-old (even if she is a hamster :)), and of course, the artwork is exuberant and expressive. Will definitely keep reading this series, and would recommend them as read-alouds, too.

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review 2017-04-18 01:26
The Green Fairy Book - Andrew Lang Ed. The Green Fairy Book - Andrew Lang Ed.

One of the classics. Read all the colours!

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quote 2017-04-10 04:07
"Tell him language is a virus and that religion is an operating system and that prayers are just so much fucking spam." - Technology Boy, pg.71
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