Top positive review
A good collection of Romantic Faerie Tales
Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2020
A collection of (mostly) sweet romances. One or two cross over into something I wouldn't pass to a teen, but for the most part this leans to sweet. Rumpleimpskin crosses the line into erotica, whereas some of the others remain in the YA realm.
As several of these tales also are sold as stand alones (this anthology was first brought out in 2017, so the authors have their rights back) - I'm going to review them individually.
The Glass Mountain by Alethea Kontis - A retelling of Old Rinkrank. Princess Sabine learns to temper her reckless habits and privileged past when she falls into a natural prison with no way out and finds a fellow prisoner who has been there far too long. Can two overcome where one failed or will they forever be locked in the Glass Mountain? (great story - five star)
The Bakers Grimm by Hailey Edwards - Their mothers are next door rivals in the baking business. Can two star-crossed cooks overcome the family feud and find love, while working day and night, creating cookies and cakes? (I could have handle an entire novel of this one - five star)
Galatea and Pygmalion by Kate Danley - Artists and their art - the mistress that rules their souls, and their only love. It was only a commission - two statues for the local temple. Then Galatea asks Aphrodite to guide her hands. (As an artist who has lost days to a project, this timeless tale always haunts me.)
Red by Sarra Cannon - City folk are so cute in the woods, but they need to be careful when they go off the path and find a wolf. This romantic retelling is set in Ms. Cannon's greater world. (Solid fantasy romance of shifter and witch.)
Princess Charming by Yasmine Galenorn - A young-adult flavor FF retelling of Cinderella (and Beauty in the Beast) via an exchange of correspondence between two females. Clever and moves well.
Mad About You by Jennifer Blackstream - A retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Are you crazy when you are crazy in love but denying it? Or crazy when you worried you are crazy but fighting it? Alice has more than the Mad Hatter to contend with when her heart is involved and the Cat comes visiting. (A fun read and romance.)
The Sea King's Daughter by Anthea Sharp - A retelling of the Little Mermaid that keeps well to the original tragic love story, yet Sharp adjusts it just enough to make it her own.
Romeo and Juliet: The Afterlife by Julia Crane - Romeo and Juliet have been done to death .. very literally in this case. Read it for a fresh take on their romance. I would love to see a followup story to this.
Soot and Stone: A Fae Tale of the Otherworld by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson - Another Cinderella version story, crossed with art and Herme-like creatures. Layers and nuanced. I loved the visuals of this story. It would be beautiful to make into a video.
The Huntsman's Snow by Mandy M Roth - A Snow White retelling. Since reading it, I've been wanting to write my own version along these lines. Roth makes shifters come alive.
RumpelIMPskin by Debra Dunbar - This is the story that kept me from going - oh, this is a great bunch of YA romances. I could recommend this to older teens. And, nope. An imp tale that bashes through a Rumpelstiltskin retelling. I think it would work much better as a stand-alone or related to Ms. Dunbar's IMP world, than as part of this anthology.
The Glass Sky by Alexia Purdy - My least favorite story of the lot - heroine is too-dumb-to-live, escaping her saviors. Has a very Hunger Games feel, but crossed with the Matrix, and a Faerie Tale. Nothing really works, lacks internal consistency and tries to be too many things at the same time.
Rush by C. Gockel - When is a love story not a romance? Misogynistic Rush gets a curse to find true love in two weeks. Returning home he runs into a half-dozen of women (or thereabouts); can he find a woman of worth and be worthy of her in time? (Perhaps the most complicated story of the lot; worth a read)
Perchance to Dream by Pahedra Weldon - More false trails and cross-purposes than a Shakespeare Comedy, this Sleeping Beauty retelling has a villain. The question is who is he? And will our heroine defeat him to wake her love?
The Toad Prince by Nikki Jefford - This YA retelling of the Toad Prince follows Isabel dealing with unwanted suitors. Well, unwanted by her. Her stepfather (and now king) would love to use her for treaties. (I did not Isabel and kept wanting her to group up a bit more. Very Young Adult story.)
Crafted with a Kiss by Shawtelle Madison - A retelling of Pinocchio/Pygmalion. One of the better stories from a stand-on-its-own-merits. A wooden doll is slowly becoming more human, but like most miraculous things, the ruler of her country is using her for war. When captured, can she escape intact, or will she lose her heart? (The character development of the hero and heroine was engaging.)
A Small Magic by Devon Monk -A retelling of the Princess and the Pea. Now, I've always hated this story because of the complete lack of agency in the princess. Her only value is her prettiness and her daintiness and her inability to handle even the smallest hardship. The creator took this story in a very different direction, while still remaining true to its faerie tale origins. A story worthy of the "clean-up" position, leaving readers happy and excited about the anthology. (One of the most creative variations of magic in the book.)