The Woodcutter Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.
The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.
But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a pixie-dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is a malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 41 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 10, 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #160,833 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#5,050 in Classic Literature (Audible Books & Originals)
#15,518 in Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#22,942 in Classic Literature & Fiction
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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If you are at all inclined to read fairytales, you should give this book a try. It reimagines so many of your favorite well known and more obscure fairytales and legends at a honeyed paced.
I liked it and was moved, but I didn't like his female characters much. His wife is central to his story but rarely talks, and the other female protagonists are either subordinate to someone or evil. Otherwise, a great story for lovers of fairy tales
One of the best things about this book is its suitability for young adult readers. I would recommend it to any parent of an avid reader who reads at 5th grade level or above. The author accomplishes this beautifully, with out dumbing down the story at an adult level.
I am disappointed that I can't lend the book! I have some younger relatives who would really enjoy it.
For the first 90%, it's a dizzying and sometimes stretched tour of pretty much every western fairy tale you can think of. Baba Yaga and her house. Odin at the head of the Wild Hunt. 12 Dancing Princesses in a house that wanders. All that times a dozen.
The central character, the Woodcutter, is charged with maintaining order and balance in the 12 Kingdoms, and he is stalwart and tough about it, and I really enjoyed watching him problem-solve his way around fairytale troubles. He is deeply in love with his wife, and they are very happy together, except when he has to go out and keep the peace.
The chapters are tiny, but once I got used to that, I kind of enjoyed it. Like each one was a story-morsel. And I enjoyed the fantastic breadth of the fairy tales that got included.
And then it all kind of fell apart at some really clumsy Christian symbolism. I am not against Christian allegory in fantasy, but it has to be more subtle than this was, or better integrated. Or something. I think it's possible that someone less steeped in Christianity would not be troubled by two women preparing a body and the spirit waiting three days and the other tics, but I was.
Read if: You want to see a virtuosic review of western fairy tales. You love cop stories in all their varieties.
Skip if: You hate a clumsy ending.
Also read: A Sorcerer's Treason: A Novel of Isavalta, Book One (Prologue Fantasy) by Sarah Zettel. This is a trilogy that moves through several zones of fairy tales deftly and engagingly.
(Kindle book is currently cheap. You'll thank me!)
Top reviews from other countries
From ‘Odin’ to ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ to ‘Baba Yaga’, and everyone in between, this is none stop from the first page to the last. And somehow Kate has managed to make it all work in this wonderful story about a Woodcutter — who doesn’t actually cut wood.
If you like fairy tales, folklore, or are maybe looking for something different in a fantasy story, then i don’t think you’ll be disappointed with ‘The Woodcutter’.
My first Kate Danley book, it won’t be my last.
It reads like a milder version of "The Book of Lost Things", with a multitude of fairy tale elements and characters all inhabiting the same world, but without the horror that is seen in The Book of Lost Things. Overall, a good read. I liked it. Four stars because while the simplicity of the plot worked to its advantage with so many characters around the protagonist, I do like a bit more "meat" on the bones of a story.
This short novel reads very much like an old-fashioned fairy tale, with Kate Danley's economic yet poetic prose taking you back in time to your childhood when the stories of princes and princesses and true love's first kiss, enchanted woods, witches and evil queens were as familiar to you as the back of your hand, giving you a first taste of good and bad, right and wrong, love and death. She takes all those stories and mixes them together into something new, and half the fun to me was recognising old friends. Her characters have true emotional depth, in particular the titular figure of the Woodcutter himself, and I warmed to him immediately. Even though it's impossible not to read the final few chapters without thinking of religious symbolism, by the end I was in tears, and if the story doesn't move you, then you truly have a heart of stone and deserve no better. I believe this is one of those books that gets better at each re-reading as you discover references and nuances you missed before.
The Woodcutter hates to leave his beloved wife to venture into the forest, he knows the danger that lies within. But he has been charged with a sacred duty and he must obey the call. He is the one who keeps the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Men and the Realm of the Faerie and something wicked this way comes. A maiden lies dead in a forest glade, only her glass slippers hinting as to who she might have been. Having won three magical axes from the River God, the Woodcutter does his best to set the kingdom to rights, but there are dark figures who have agendas of their own. There are small golden-headed children traipsing off into the woods who the Woodcutter is not always able to save, a deadly drug trade in pixie dust and there are those who are ready to break all the rules to get what they want.
I read criticisms of this book that stated that it was predictable and its subject matter repetitive but I felt that those people had missed the point somewhat. The beauty of The Woodcutter came from the way it used the familiar tales and fitted them together to make a wider whole. At each fresh stage of the drama, it was a delight to recognise another old story shuffling onto centre stage. The twelve dancing princesses were used to great effect by the wicked lady, there was much to-ing and fro-ing up and down the Beanstalk and the Woodcutter uncovered all kinds of magical mayhem as he went. It was Danley’s prose though that really elevated this novel above the ordinary; her sentences had such a graceful feel that The Woodcutter felt like a steady-paced dance with not one step out of place. So many re-workings of fairy stories focus on jazzing up the action and adding extra sex and violence and it was strangely refreshing to read a story with the courage to retain the patterns and poetry of the mythology without worrying about boring the audience. So true love’s kiss really can save the young couple from the woods, the naming of a thing has incredible power and the sound of a pixie touching the ground can make the whole world stop.
Reading The Woodcutter reminded me of an intricate woodcut (appropriately enough), it was stark and solemn and beautiful. Even though we were in a fairy tale, the Happy Ever After ending at times seemed far off and unlikely. The Woodcutter does not skip and sing through the woods, he is a being with worries and disappointments of his own but still, there is a safety in the sense of him as the guardian of the woods, the keeper of the trees. We may take comfort in him being there in the shadows but just the same, I wish him an easy return to his wife.
The nearest description I can manage is that it is similar to a text-based computer game of the Sword and Sorcery group (You are standing in front of a cave labelled 'dragon's den' - there is a sword on the floor <pick up sword>).
I'm no expert on "Fairy Stories" but I don't think there is anything original in this book. The style is aimed at children but it is commendably free of patronising or "twee": it could possibly be read aloud as an extended bedtime story or given to young children as an alternative to Harry Potter (with only very minor editing - I'm not sure how seven or eight year old children react to prostitution but the reference is vague).
In sum: I found it a bit heavy going and could wish more thought had been given to the publisher's blurb (with especial reference to the target age group): but it cost very little and was probably worth the price.