Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.
I know, I know. You don’t believe me. I don’t blame you. A little while ago, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. Little girls in red caps skipping around the forest? Awesome? I don’t think so.
But then I started to read them. The real, Grimm ones. Very few little girls in red caps in those.
Well, there’s one. But she gets eaten.

A Tale Dark and Grimm is a fantasy with many fairy tales woven in. Adam Gidwitz’s new book is In A Glass Grimmly, so I wanted to reread this one before I read that. I love the narrator’s voice. There are little asides in bold font, where Gidwitz usually warns the reader to send the little children out of the room because there are bloody bits coming up. They’re really funny. But the book isn’t actually that bloody. I mean, there are some graphic descriptions, but it’s not as gruesome as you might think.

The plot is kind of hard to explain. The main two stories here are “Hansel and Gretel” and “Faithful Johannes”, though there are others. Hansel and Gretel run away from their parents (who happen to be the king and queen of Grimm.) In the big wide world, they encounter all sorts of (bloody) adventures and not-so-trustworthy adults.

A Tale Dark and Grimm can definitely be kind of intense, so if you’re not in the mood for blood and gore, save it for another day. It’s not too bad though. And the writing style is so sly and humorous,  and the plot original. I really love this easy but interesting fantasy. Books with fairy tales are my favorite. It is dark yes, but somehow it’s just so much better than The Rose and the Beast and Lies Knives and Girls in Red Dresses, probably because of the humor added in. You can read The New York Times Book Review’s review here (along with The Grimm Legacy and Reckless, both pretty good books too.)

Read A Tale Dark and Grimm

  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like fairy tales
  • if you like retellings of fairy tales
  • if you like dark fiction (or fiction that purports to be dark)

249 pages.

 
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!
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