Many people don't realize that the fairy tales we grew up on were not always stories aimed at children. As is discussed in the forward of this book, the original fairy tales were frequently much darker and disturbing than the ones we are familiar with today. Sleeping Beauty, for example, is not brought awake by the chaste kiss of Prince Charming but rather the suckling of the twin babies she has born, having been impregnated by the less-than-charming prince while she slept. It was only during the Victorian period, when realism became the fashion, that these stories were relegated by men to the domain of women and children, being sanitized in the process so as not to upset the more delicate sensibilities. This anthology, along with its companion volumes, returns the fairy tale to its roots. In doing so it strikes a chord deep within us. The stories contained within are both familiar and strange at the same time. Because of this they are sometimes eerily disturbing, sometimes heart-wrenchingly poignant, always entertaining. The one drawback of this collection, as with any anthology, is that style and quality vary according to author. The good news is that most of these stories are very well written and if you run across one you don't like, you can always move on to the next. If you're looking for something enjoyable to read, you could do far worse than this collection. Overall I strongly recommend this book.
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