Snow White Learns Witchcraft
A young woman hunts for her wayward shadow at the school where she first learned magic—while another faces a test she never studied for as ice envelopes the world. The tasks assigned a bookish boy lead him to fateful encounters with lizards, owls, trolls and a feisty, sarcastic cat. A bear wedding is cause for celebration, the spinning wheel and the tower in the briar hedge get to tell their own stories, and a kitchenmaid finds out that a lost princess is more than she seems. The sea witch reveals what she hoped to gain when she took the mermaid’s voice. A wiser Snow White sets out to craft herself a new tale. In these eight stories and twenty-three poems, World Fantasy Award winner Theodora Goss retells and recasts fairy tales by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Oscar Wilde. Sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious, always lyrical, the works gathered in SNOW WHITE LEARNS WITCHCRAFT re-center and empower the women at the heart of these timeless narratives.

Snow White Learns Witchcraft Details

TitleSnow White Learns Witchcraft
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherMythic Delirium Books
ISBN-139781732644007
Rating
GenreFantasy, Short Stories, Poetry, Fairy Tales, Retellings

Snow White Learns Witchcraft Review

  • Jo Walton
    January 1, 1970
    This is an amazing vibrant valuable collection of real fairytales. When I was trying to think what to say about this book -- I was asked to blurb it -- I kept coming back to that word, real. There are a lot of fairytale retellings out there, and they're reinterpretations, reimaginings, putting in the lost point of view, and they can be good and interesting and I can like them, but they're always versions. Some of what's here are that kind of thing. But the best of these, wow, no, they're real, t This is an amazing vibrant valuable collection of real fairytales. When I was trying to think what to say about this book -- I was asked to blurb it -- I kept coming back to that word, real. There are a lot of fairytale retellings out there, and they're reinterpretations, reimaginings, putting in the lost point of view, and they can be good and interesting and I can like them, but they're always versions. Some of what's here are that kind of thing. But the best of these, wow, no, they're real, they have the genuine thrill of what fairytales are and are about. They're not versions, they're their own thing, alive, perilous and magical and vivid. There's nothing twee here, nothing childish, nothing prettified, nothing safe and wrapped in wool here. What a voice Goss has, what wonderful work she is doing, how lucky we are to be able to read it!I get sent books to blurb all the time, the vast majority of them I say no to unread because it's obvious I'm going to have them, and of the ones I agree to look at I give up on a lot of them, and even of the ones I read all of I actually blurb fewer than half, because "this was a nice instance of what it is" isn't what you want on a book cover. Sometimes I want to review them because then I can look at what a book's doing right and wrong in a more balanced way. But sometimes I am thrilled to get to say something that might persuade people to pick the book up, that I can encourage the tiny number of people who pay attention to me to look at something they might otherwise have passed over. This is one of those times. Sometimes women's art gets dismissed, especially when it isn't in a valorized genre, or a valorized bit of a genre, especially when it can be seen as YA, or for children, especially when it's short stories and poetry. Sometimes it gets patted on the head. Cut that out.Hey, everyone! This is an important book doing vitally interesting things. You might not think you want to read it, but you do.
    more
  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    This is a lovely collection of short stories and poems retelling fairytales. I'd read the vast majority of them before, but still had some new ones to discover.Of the ones I've read before, the short story "Red as Blood and White as Bone" still gives me a good little shiver. I love this story about the power of stories and belief and magic and love. It's magical. Of the poems, "Rose Child" is a continued favorite. I believe it won a Rhysling Award as well.She included a couple from her previous This is a lovely collection of short stories and poems retelling fairytales. I'd read the vast majority of them before, but still had some new ones to discover.Of the ones I've read before, the short story "Red as Blood and White as Bone" still gives me a good little shiver. I love this story about the power of stories and belief and magic and love. It's magical. Of the poems, "Rose Child" is a continued favorite. I believe it won a Rhysling Award as well.She included a couple from her previous collection, In the Forest of Forgetting. While I love those stories, I enjoyed seeing how her writing has changed. Her past stories still showcase her amazing use of language and fairy tale, but I'm drawn to her newer stories now. They're more adult, more nuanced, even when they're from the perspectives of teens, and are actually in a couple cases very teen appropriate. This isn't to say that those earlier stories aren't nuanced, because they are! But not in the same ways.Of the stories I discovered for the first time in this collection, I loved "Blanchefleur," a retelling of "The White Cat," and "A Country Called Winter," a retelling of The Snow Queen. These are so much fun! Blanchefleur is one of the few stories Goss has ever written from the perspective of a male character. It's funny and compassionate and quite enjoyable."A Country Called Winter" is like if Goss decided to write a memoir through a fairytale, except she becomes queen at the end. This isn't the only story in the collection to do this--"The Other Thea" is the most obvious example (which I'd read before, in Uncanny Magazine if I'm remembering correctly). But I just loved A Country Called Winter. It's once again very fun and real and magical. I've been toying with writing memoir/fairy tale essays--I've even written one which I'd forgotten about until just now! Babies really delete a lot of memory! It's fun to see such a master writer play around with the idea too.If you enjoy Naomi Novik, Catherynne M. Valente, and Robin McKinley, you should give this a read.
    more
  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC received from NetGalley*With Snow White Learns Witchcraft Theodora Goss focuses her vast affinity for myth and fairy tales on stories that are both familiar and unexpected. Combining stories and poems, this collection contains characters that are easily recognized--though maybe not quite as we are used to seeing them--and others that are less familiar. In the retellings, Dora finds fresh life and striking power in the insights and presentations that are gathered here. And in the stories tha *ARC received from NetGalley*With Snow White Learns Witchcraft Theodora Goss focuses her vast affinity for myth and fairy tales on stories that are both familiar and unexpected. Combining stories and poems, this collection contains characters that are easily recognized--though maybe not quite as we are used to seeing them--and others that are less familiar. In the retellings, Dora finds fresh life and striking power in the insights and presentations that are gathered here. And in the stories that stem from more original places, Dora proves her ability to craft striking fairy tales drawn from all the rich past of the genre and full of wealth suited to the modern era.In her care and craft, Dora allows fresh voices and perspectives to take the page, painting pictures full of fantasy and mystery--while ensuring that the stories are simultaneously intimate and relatable. With rich language and a fantastic style of her own, Dora's newest collection truly highlights her strengths as a writer, while also providing a collection of stories and poems--retellings and original tales alike--that are delightful to read in their own right.
    more
  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    "Fairy tales are another kind of Bible, for those who know how to read them."Snow White Learns Witchcraft is a collection of poems and short fiction by Theodora Goss, an author probably best known for her mystery/sci fi genre blender Athena Club series. As implied by the title, all of the stories and poetry in Snow White Learns Witchcraft are related to fairy tales. Many of the stories will feel familiar to anyone who grew up with even the tame versions by Disney but she also includes some that "Fairy tales are another kind of Bible, for those who know how to read them."Snow White Learns Witchcraft is a collection of poems and short fiction by Theodora Goss, an author probably best known for her mystery/sci fi genre blender Athena Club series. As implied by the title, all of the stories and poetry in Snow White Learns Witchcraft are related to fairy tales. Many of the stories will feel familiar to anyone who grew up with even the tame versions by Disney but she also includes some that seemed more Eastern European influenced. As a side note, many of these stories and poems have been published in other collections but are collected here in a single volume. I've always loved fairy tales of all kinds and particularly when an author takes known fairy tales and provides a twist that makes the story feel new again. Snow White Learns Witchcraft also has the bonus of having a more feminist take on traditional stories that I really liked. Even better, it does so without feeling gimmicky or like that facet is more important than the story itself. Goss does an excellent job of empowering the women in her stories while still making the story a living, breathing entity with compelling characters. While I enjoyed The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, this collection of stories was much more to my taste. I didn't love all of the stories and poetry but unlike a lot of collections, there weren't any that I disliked or which bored me. Since there's more than thirty stories and poems in the collection, I'll just mention a few that I particularly loved. In particular, Blanchefleur, Red as Blood and White as Bone and The Other Thea were really great. I loved these three in particular because while I'm guessing they're based on stories I'm less familiar with, they felt familiar and old, just what I want out of a fairy tale. Overall, I really enjoyed this collection and it's one that I'll definitely be recommending to others who enjoy fairy tales as much as I do. Thanks to both NetGalley and Mythic Delirium Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Serena
    January 1, 1970
    I requested and received this as a NetGalley ebook.I have tried my best below to say something about all the stories, but I loved quite a few of them and don't want to spoil them! I don't think I missed one, but I might have - if I did, my bad, it was all memorable but I feel a little too full of all the good stories perhaps. I liked that they were set in times that felt fluid, it could all have happened a hundred years ago, or maybe just yesterday.Snow White Learns Witchcraft A short story on w I requested and received this as a NetGalley ebook.I have tried my best below to say something about all the stories, but I loved quite a few of them and don't want to spoil them! I don't think I missed one, but I might have - if I did, my bad, it was all memorable but I feel a little too full of all the good stories perhaps. I liked that they were set in times that felt fluid, it could all have happened a hundred years ago, or maybe just yesterday.Snow White Learns Witchcraft A short story on what plans Snow White makes after looking into the mirror later in life.The Orgess Queen She wonders what each would taste like, Helios, Aurora and the Sleeping Beauty her husband "woke". The Rose In Twelve Petals Madeline casts a spell on another sleeping beauty-to-be Alice, her more modern day tale told in twelve parts like tarot. I like this one and hope there might be more. I like that Madeline was sympathetic and might have waited for her to wake.Thorns and Briars A good girl who knows how to keep her heart safe.Rose Child A sad story of small wild children in a garden, and the gardener who sees them and learns why they can't be tended to.Thumbelina Well...why wouldn't you like to be small?Blanchefleur Ivan becomes a apprentice to Owl, Lizard and Wolf, led by a white cat his dear cousin and his fairy aunt into the dangerous business of Dragon slaying and kingship. More please! Mr. FoxThe many faces of men and the dangerous tools of courting are more alike than you might think.What Her Mother SaidRed Riding Hood's instructions. Snow, Blood, FurWhat if Red Riding Hood's wolf was a werewolf, or Rosie a witch able to make his fur skin turn her own?The Red ShoesThe dancing Red Shoes as a desire to write, or not.Girl, Wolf, WoodsThe girl who meets the wolf is more generous than Red Riding Hood and met perhaps a kinder fate.Red as Blood and White as BoneThe woodcutter's daughter Klara has many tales to tell, of wolves, princesses, war and deals done in the wood. The Gold SpinnerThe beginning of the adventure of the Miller's daughter and her touch of gold. Rumpelstiltskin We can not part the saint from the thief within ourselves, but a look at what might Rumple and Stiltskin do because he could.Goldilocks and the BearShe gets the life of a happy women, our girl thief Goldilocks.Sleeping With BearsRoselie marries a bear and Blanche follows in her sisters footsteps.The Stepsister's Tale What if Cinderella's step sister became a podiatrist, fighting shoe fashions for the sake of the bones and beauty of women's feet.The Clever Serving MaidWho switches places with a princess and walks away free to go where she pleases.Seven ShoesA witch's deal with a girl who wants to write books.The Other TheaA witch must find her shadow in Mother Night's castle in the Other Country or fade, I quite loved it and hope there's more some day!The Sensitive WomanA reminder to have care, that others suffer too.The Bear's WifeA sort of Cupid and Psyche to the Bear and his wife, where the wife, abandoned because of dripping wax, chooses to follow him into the woods, rather than going home and marrying another man.The Bear's DaughterA sort of Hades and Persephone take, where the Bear daughter is a child of winter north and summer south. A Country Called Winter The Queen of Winter grows up in America not knowing who she is. Taking to college life and literature until she discovers she is Queen of Winter, Snow Queen Vera or Veriska, and a part of the balance of the seasons chosen by Lady Moon. I would like to read Rudi meeting Vera, or Kay and Edrik the Ice King of Trollheim meeting, or if they meet Gerda again.How to Make it SnowIHolle, a kind girl, makes it snow for the old woman.Diamonds and ToadsWhat be more useful to come out of your mouth? Diamonds or frogs? Does it depend on who you are? What you do? Or perhaps both are useful in unexpected ways.The Princess and the FrogThey switch places with a kiss, the princess and the frog, and are happier did it.Conversations with the Sea WitchI truly liked this take on the little mermaid, Melusine grown old, and the sea witch who is perhaps wiser to cherish friendship over power. I hope to read something of the story of Eglantine her granddaughter and the Sea witch who is partly octopus.The Nightingale and the RoseThe rewards of art and love and sacrifice, Mother Night and home. Mirror, Mirror Snow White and the winter of old age, or not...
    more
  • Steven Withrow
    January 1, 1970
    The word “charm,” in various forms, appears about a dozen times in this excellent and well-designed book. This is not surprising, given its fairy-tale foundations. I’ve spent more time with Goss’s poems than with her short stories, and it is in the poems that I realize how Goss’s “charm” has a double connotation when combined with her fiction writer’s facility for writing good, sound sentences.First is the positive connotation, and the one that carries through all of Goss’s poems, stories, and n The word “charm,” in various forms, appears about a dozen times in this excellent and well-designed book. This is not surprising, given its fairy-tale foundations. I’ve spent more time with Goss’s poems than with her short stories, and it is in the poems that I realize how Goss’s “charm” has a double connotation when combined with her fiction writer’s facility for writing good, sound sentences.First is the positive connotation, and the one that carries through all of Goss’s poems, stories, and novels. “Charm” here is incantation, conjuration. Verbal magic. What Goss does well she does sorcerously well.Then there is the negative connotation. In a lesser writer this might mark a serious problem, but it has more of a balancing effect in Goss’s work generally. “Charm” here is captivation, seduction. Surface charisma.What I’m talking about is a minor flaw of overwriting—those times when Goss gives in to her fine sentence-making facility without achieving quite the select detail and the compressed expression that uplifts the tight, taut work of Jane Yolen, who wrote the book’s introduction. The book’s strongest poems are one or two pages in length. I believe they expand to the bubble-break without bursting. My favorites are “The Ogress Queen,” “Thorns and Briars,” “Thumbelina,” “What Her Mother Said,” “Girl, Wolf, Woods,” “The Stepsister’s Tale,” “The Sensitive Woman,” and “The Princess and the Frog.”Of the longer poems, “Snow White Learns Witchcraft” is the most successful due to its controlled pacing. Less successful because overlong, though hardly poorly written, are “Rose Child,” “Goldilocks and the Bear,” “How to Make It Snow,” “Diamonds and Toads,” and “Seven Shoes.” “The Nightingale and the Rose,” at eight pages, might work more effectively as a prose story.Unforgettable to me among Goss’s poems are the paired “The Bear’s Wife” and “The Bear’s Daughter.” The ending of the second is sublime:And her daughter, wandering through the empty garden, where the branches of yew trees rubbing against each other sound like broken violins,dreams of the south while a cold wind sways the privet, takes off her gloves, which are lined with ermine, and places her hands on the rim of the fountain, in which the sun has scattered its colors, like roses trapped in ice.
    more
  • Alex Sarll
    January 1, 1970
    I was burned out on them for a time, but I seem to be getting back into reworkings of fairytales – maybe it's just that life has been richer in princesses and wolves lately. Still, the retellings can't be too programmatic in their intent; the old, dark magic needs to be higher in the mix than the agenda, with room left for at least a little whim besides. And these short stories and poems deliver, upending the old notions, but not always along the same axes. The settings shift – what seems at fir I was burned out on them for a time, but I seem to be getting back into reworkings of fairytales – maybe it's just that life has been richer in princesses and wolves lately. Still, the retellings can't be too programmatic in their intent; the old, dark magic needs to be higher in the mix than the agenda, with room left for at least a little whim besides. And these short stories and poems deliver, upending the old notions, but not always along the same axes. The settings shift – what seems at first like the standard neverland of fairytale being revealed as an alternate history of Britain, or the aftermath of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or maybe just down the road from you. Sometimes there's a reader within the tale, to be even more thoroughly wrongfooted than the reader proper, or one story feeds into the next. If the collection has a flaw – and doesn't every gem or enchantment in a fairytale? – it's that with most of the pieces so short, it can be too easy to gobble them in a rush. Thankfully, such gluttony doesn't meet the poetic justice it might in the old stories, but it still feels like it might not have been entirely fair on Goss' work. Almost all of which has the requisite spark of enchantment, though it will surprise nobody who knows me if I especially liked the ones in which pretty girls fall in love with bears.(Netgalley ARC)
    more
  • Katherine Sparkle
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of Snow White Learns Witchcraft from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Snow White Learns Witchcraft is a highly enjoyable collection of reworked fairy tales in the form of short stories and verse. While each story is its own, the collection itself manages to be cohesive--I found myself charging through each story at quick clip, wanting to know "what happens next?" A few of the stories, also, were modernized without pulling me from the fantasy; Goss builds upon the fram I received a copy of Snow White Learns Witchcraft from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Snow White Learns Witchcraft is a highly enjoyable collection of reworked fairy tales in the form of short stories and verse. While each story is its own, the collection itself manages to be cohesive--I found myself charging through each story at quick clip, wanting to know "what happens next?" A few of the stories, also, were modernized without pulling me from the fantasy; Goss builds upon the framework of each tale expertly. All in all this collection is very well done, with gorgeous language, and quite a fun read.
    more
  • Katrina
    January 1, 1970
    Admittedly, I have to say I really didn't expect much going in to this collection having stumbled across quite a few 'modern and twisted' takes on fairy tales that left me rather cold. Happily, that wasn't the case at all here. The verses work brilliantly well, the stories were beautifully told, and still managed to have a fair amount of originality in a genre that - one could argue - has been beaten to death.Enjoyed this title a lot. With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exc Admittedly, I have to say I really didn't expect much going in to this collection having stumbled across quite a few 'modern and twisted' takes on fairy tales that left me rather cold. Happily, that wasn't the case at all here. The verses work brilliantly well, the stories were beautifully told, and still managed to have a fair amount of originality in a genre that - one could argue - has been beaten to death.Enjoyed this title a lot. With thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Corinne Sparks
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, yes, yes! My favorite thing is fairytales for adults, and this collection is everything I love. Goss captures the magic and whimsy and horror and dark, delicious wonder of fairytales, and spins gorgeous snippets that make me feel both a child and a woman at the same time. The eroticism of fairytales is unavoidable, and I can't have been the only one to want to marry the beast instead of the boring old Prince, and Goss proves that by setting up her heroines with bears and trolls, whilst stil Yes, yes, yes! My favorite thing is fairytales for adults, and this collection is everything I love. Goss captures the magic and whimsy and horror and dark, delicious wonder of fairytales, and spins gorgeous snippets that make me feel both a child and a woman at the same time. The eroticism of fairytales is unavoidable, and I can't have been the only one to want to marry the beast instead of the boring old Prince, and Goss proves that by setting up her heroines with bears and trolls, whilst still preserving the delicate and innocent magic of the thing.This was an absolute pleasure to read. If you're a fan of Naomi Novik, or Robin McInley, you'll snap this right up.
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely, thought-provoking takes on fairy tales both familiar and not.
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance review copy of the e-version of this book from NetGalley.This book is a collection of the author’s retellings of both well-known and less common fairy tales The overarching theme is women and witchcraft, so women and their magic abilities are the focus of each poem and story. There is more than one rendition of many of the tales. There are two different poems about Thumbelina, for example, and a story and a poem each about The Snow Queen.I am honestly not much of a poetry f I received an advance review copy of the e-version of this book from NetGalley.This book is a collection of the author’s retellings of both well-known and less common fairy tales The overarching theme is women and witchcraft, so women and their magic abilities are the focus of each poem and story. There is more than one rendition of many of the tales. There are two different poems about Thumbelina, for example, and a story and a poem each about The Snow Queen.I am honestly not much of a poetry fan; I love Poe and I pretty much draw the line there. But the poems in this book read like stories and I enjoyed them as much as I did the actual yarns, so if you're not a poetry fan, don't be intimidated by the fact that there are more poems than short stories in this book.What I didn't pick up from the synopsis is that this is a contemporary collection. In the beginning I really couldn't tell what time periods the settings used, but again and again I found myself reading about bulldozers, Facebook, and iPhones. It probably took me at least 60% of the book to realize the whole thing was actually modern. Once I figured that out, I stopped hoping for a classic setting and was able to enjoy the book more. (Think "Harry Potter" rather than the Brothers Grimm.)I felt the collection started off strong with some easily recognizable fairy tales told with unique spins, but that it started going downhill for me after about the halfway point. Around the middle of the book I realized this was not the historical collection I was expecting and hoping for. There were also a large number of selections regarding girls marrying bears. One was okay, but then there was another and another... I wasn't a fan of that theme to begin with so I didn't care for there being numerous stories and poems on the same topic. But after the middle section, it picked back up and I liked it better again.There were a couple of times when I found myself disappointed at the end of a story. A few of them have open endings, and I'm not a fan of not knowing exactly what happens.But as a whole, I loved this book. The standouts for me were:"Snow White Learns Witchcraft," which tells what happens to Snow White after she is rescued from her glass coffin by the prince. It's not what I expected."Rose Child," a sweet and sad poem that tells the tale of Thumbelina from the viewpoint of a human friend."Blanchefleur," a take on "The White Cat." I was only vaguely familiar with that story before reading this rendition. So while I knew the direction it was going in, I greatly enjoyed the journey, I loved the characters, and was extremely satisfied with the ending. This was my favorite selection in the book."Red as Blood and White as Bone," a shapeshifting version of "Snow White and Rose Red" that was bloodthirsty and lovely both. If you like stories of murder, revenge, and werewolves, you'll love this one. I had hoped the main character, a servant, was actually falling in love with her alleged "princess." Since this is a contemporary collection, I would have really appreciated some LGBT content. I was disappointed to find none whatsoever."The Gold-Spinner," a reinvention of "Rumpelstiltskin" in which the miller's daughter is the one who actually spins straw into gold but doesn't marry the undeserving and greedy prince."The Sensitive Woman." I don't know if this is based on any particular fairy or folk tale; it's just a poem about...well...a sensitive woman! I just loved it because it reminded me of my wife."A Country Called Winter," about the Snow Queen. This is a story about immigrants and foreign exchange students. I loved that take on the story. I especially loved the linguistic aspects that the author went into great detail about. I have studied six languages myself, so it was of personal interest to me. This would probably have been my favorite, but the unresolved love story it contains really left me feeling disappointed. But this story did contain my favorite line from the book: "Then the leaves turn and fall, like a splendid sunset lying on the sidewalks, and the first snows come, white and fresh, as though the earth is putting on her wedding gown.""The Princess and the Frog." This poem contains a familiar story, but a plot twist of an ending."Conversations With the Sea Witch." About the Little Mermaid, obviously. Again we find out what happens to her after her happy ending. And in this version, she is actually good friends with the sea witch. This story really warmed my heart, even if it wasn't all happy. It felt realistic, from the fact that once the mermaid had two legs she never did learn to walk like a human, to the relationship between aged women when their loves have passed away.
    more
  • Elliott
    January 1, 1970
    For as long as I can remember, I have loved fairy tales. Fairy tales were dark and scary places where children could be eaten by witches or even their own mothers. Fairy tales were populated by wolves and goblins and dragons. There was always the possibility that one would have to perform three tasks to decide one’s own fate. Amidst the danger and the darkness, there was also the realization that one’s character was determined by one’s choices: good or bad. Helping a small creature might one day For as long as I can remember, I have loved fairy tales. Fairy tales were dark and scary places where children could be eaten by witches or even their own mothers. Fairy tales were populated by wolves and goblins and dragons. There was always the possibility that one would have to perform three tasks to decide one’s own fate. Amidst the danger and the darkness, there was also the realization that one’s character was determined by one’s choices: good or bad. Helping a small creature might one day help in having that bird or animal return the favor and, thereby, help the hero or heroine survive. Fairy tales were complicated and fraught with dangers. Yet, there was always hope. Hope that one could trick the giant, defeat the dragon, overcome the curse, or outwit Death itself.What I loved and continue to love about fairy tales is that they have been around for centuries and have never disappeared. They have been told and retold and passed on from generation to generation. Each one finding their own voice in the voices of their ancestors’ stories. Like many children of my age, I learned of fairy tales not only through books but also films (particularly those of Walt Disney). Disney sanitized fairy tales even more than the Brothers Grimm did. He softened the sharp edges, lightened the darkness, and filled them with songs. As a child, I loved these films. But as I grew older, I began to believe that I had outgrown the childishness of fairy tales. I was a teenager and, as such, I knew everything and had no more use for magic and fairies and “Once upon a time.” Then I read Angela Carter. She was like an h-bomb whose explosion continues to have ramifications to how I approach and read fairy tales. It was Angela Carter who made me reevaluate and take another look at fairy stories. I also had begun to read authors who wrote about fairy tales such as Bruno Bettelheim, Marina Warner, and Jack Zipes. I discovered that my favorite authors also adored fairy tales: everyone from Italo Calvino to Philip Pullman.It’s always thrilling to discover an author I’ve never read before but with whose work reminds me yet again why I hold fairy tales as something vital and necessary to our culture. One such author is Theodora Goss. Her latest collection is entitled Snow White Learns Witchcraft: Stories and Poems. Like Angela Carter before her, Goss brings a unique and feminist voice to the genre. She takes fairy tales that those who’ve read them are deeply familiar with and makes them unexpected and fresh. Like a child first discovering the fairy tales I now cherish most, I found myself not wanting to put the book down. She weaves her own magic in retelling works by the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, and Oscar Wilde. She transforms these tales and makes them wholly her own.The collection is made of eight stories and twenty-three poems that form a cohesive whole. My favorite of them all was “The Nightingale and the Rose,” which is so beautifully and poignantly written in its reminder that fairy tale, storybook love is not what we often expect it to be. It is obvious from her deft ability to weave such tales that Goss has a real knowledge and love of her source material. She is steeped in the fairy tale tradition and draws from the past while, at the same time, recasting them in a modern and unique way. She has a way of magically turning a phrase or adding a certain slant that makes the reader both surprised and delighted by the change. As I read each story and poem, I discovered once more that fairy tales transcend facts and reach for deeper truths that grapple with the very DNA that makes us human. Goss reminds us again of why we continue to tell such tales and why fantasy sheds a light on reality in a way no other story can.For anyone who truly loves fairy tales, this is a collection they need to have on their shelves.
    more
  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    So I love Fairy tales in any form. Like all short story collections there is always some stories you like more than others which is why I gave this book 4 stars. I enjoyed how the tales were reinvented! I enjoyed that there were links to things from our world like Shakespeare, Keats and Mobile which made the tales feel like they were part of our world rather than separate to it. The stories were quick reads and they flow really well. This is a book I would happily reread over and over again. It So I love Fairy tales in any form. Like all short story collections there is always some stories you like more than others which is why I gave this book 4 stars. I enjoyed how the tales were reinvented! I enjoyed that there were links to things from our world like Shakespeare, Keats and Mobile which made the tales feel like they were part of our world rather than separate to it. The stories were quick reads and they flow really well. This is a book I would happily reread over and over again. It made me smile with the sort of dry humour it had in places.Basically this reinvents classic fairy tales and makes them new classics! There are 31 tales and I wont go though them all but I will list the ones I liked the most and the few I didn't really enjoy. The tales are made to fit in between the 18th and 21st century and they feature magic, cannibalism, talking animals and all the other classic fairytale tropes that I love.My favourite stories are; Snow White Learns Witchcraft - After the classic fairy-tale from Snow's POV. Snow grows old and it asks what should women do when women grow old and useless? Become witches is the obvious answer which is what Snow does, she creates her own story after following the classic one.The Ogress Queen - This one was short and creepy! It still became a favourite of mine though.The Rose in Twelve Petals - retelling Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty so of course I enjoyed it.Blanchefleur - Talking cats? yes please! I love tales about cats, there's also wolves and a dragon in this story.Mr Fox - Moral of the story is to have your own set of Lock Picking tools.Red as Blood and White as Bone - girl meets a magic princess who gets revenge on the Prince. She then goes on to help a resistance in ww2. It mixes fairy-tales and realism really well.Goldilocks and the Bear - The bear helps the girl and then helps her again later in life and it is a wonderful tale with a happy ending. Loved the twists in this. It is my new favourite version of this story.Other stories - The Gold-spinner, The Stepsisters tale (Cinderella) and the Clever Serving Maid were some of my favourites. The Princess and the Frog, What her Mother Said and Conversations with the Sea Witch were also great and had twists on the original tales that I liked better.I found that I enjoyed the stories I have always liked more than the ones I did not know! I still enjoyed all of them but a few I found were just strange or didn't have enough of the original fairy-tale in them. I would still recommend this book for those who love fairy-tales or those who ant to try new fairy-tales. I will reread a few of the tales in this book multiple times.Thank you to the publisher, Mythic Delirium Books , for providing me this advanced copy if the book via Netgalley.
    more
  • Mary Garrett
    January 1, 1970
    Theodora Goss's SNOW WHITE LEARNS WITCHCRAFT is filled with wondrous new works inspired by fine old tales, taking the stories from “once upon a time” to the reality of now. I’ll touch on just a few of the many marvels."The Other Thea" brings a reminder that we need both of our selves, positive and negative, dark and light, to be whole and healthy. Also, I want to visit the Library of Lost Books. “Blanchefleur” is an amazing story, complex, episodic, and full of wisdom and adventure, facing chall Theodora Goss's SNOW WHITE LEARNS WITCHCRAFT is filled with wondrous new works inspired by fine old tales, taking the stories from “once upon a time” to the reality of now. I’ll touch on just a few of the many marvels."The Other Thea" brings a reminder that we need both of our selves, positive and negative, dark and light, to be whole and healthy. Also, I want to visit the Library of Lost Books. “Blanchefleur” is an amazing story, complex, episodic, and full of wisdom and adventure, facing challenges and honing one’s abilities and being kind and true. I enjoyed the exploration of bear-human kinship in “Goldilocks and the Bear” and fox and frog transformations as well. It’s a frequent element in myth, appreciating the qualities of our cousins in nature. The need to achieve balance in “A Country Called Winter” feels very real indeed.Perhaps my favorite, the response from the witch in the woods to “I’ve always wanted to be a writer” . . . “Good . . . You’re ready now.” One old tale tells the danger of leaving tales untold and songs unsung . . . better to share them. By happy accident, I found myself alternating SNOW WHITE LEARNS WITCHCRAFT and Jane Yolen's HOW TO FRACTURE A FAIRY TALE, with one on my iPad for out-and-about and the other at home. It reminded me of storytelling programs at the National Storytelling Festival, complementary turn-taking, each building the other, sharing wisdom from the old tales, each in her own way. You might enjoy a similar pairing, a story or two from each, with time to think and feel deeply before moving to another.
    more
  • Caryn Shaffer
    January 1, 1970
    This collection of short stories and poems contains re-tellings of fairy tales. Many of them approach fairy tales by speculating what happens after the end of said famous tales. Snow White is relieved when she's no longer "fairest of them all" in old age. Goldilocks falls in love with and marries a bear. Rumplestiltskin becomes two separate people after he tears himself in two. The Little Mermaid ruminates on what she learned after she became fully human.There also are poems from different persp This collection of short stories and poems contains re-tellings of fairy tales. Many of them approach fairy tales by speculating what happens after the end of said famous tales. Snow White is relieved when she's no longer "fairest of them all" in old age. Goldilocks falls in love with and marries a bear. Rumplestiltskin becomes two separate people after he tears himself in two. The Little Mermaid ruminates on what she learned after she became fully human.There also are poems from different perspectives, such as a poem written from the perspective of a doctor charged with amputating one of Cinderella's step-sister's toes.The vignettes were set in different time periods, giving the entire collection an odd tone. It seemed the only thing each story or poem had in common was that it was grounded in some sort of well-known fairy tale. Overall, I didn't find it to be a very cohesive collection and some of the stories were unclear and confusing. I don't often read collections of short stories for this reason. I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, which is why this book seemed appealing, but this collection just wasn't my taste.I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Georgette
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a wonderful collection of stories and poetry on what's a dangerously tired subject - retelling of fairy tales. Many stories here seem to take place where the normal world casually overlaps the magical fairy tale world; characters travel between them, if not live in spaces where the workings of both worlds co-exist.While the fairy tale inspirations are fairly obvious. Theodora Goss often approach it from a different perspective, and very often, it is about girls and women taking char This is such a wonderful collection of stories and poetry on what's a dangerously tired subject - retelling of fairy tales. Many stories here seem to take place where the normal world casually overlaps the magical fairy tale world; characters travel between them, if not live in spaces where the workings of both worlds co-exist.While the fairy tale inspirations are fairly obvious. Theodora Goss often approach it from a different perspective, and very often, it is about girls and women taking charge of their own story instead of waiting for rescue. Some of my favourites include Snow White Learns Witchcraft, Blanchefleur, Seven Shoes, The Other Thea, A Country Called Winter, and Conversations with the Sea Witch.Not sure what's up with all the women marrying bears though.ARC courtesy of NetGalley.
    more
  • Stella
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fabulous collection of updated/modernized fairy tales. There are familiar characters - a girl with dark hair and white skin, a girl no bigger than a thumb, a princess who sleeps for 100 years...but they are all reimagined into poetry and lyrical prose that breathes new life into this old stories. Standouts for me: Ivan 'The Idiot" and BlanchefleurSnow, Blood, Fur - A Red Riding Hood with a nice twistThe Red Shoes - which is my favorite ballet and this is a beautiful poem versionConvers This is a fabulous collection of updated/modernized fairy tales. There are familiar characters - a girl with dark hair and white skin, a girl no bigger than a thumb, a princess who sleeps for 100 years...but they are all reimagined into poetry and lyrical prose that breathes new life into this old stories. Standouts for me: Ivan 'The Idiot" and BlanchefleurSnow, Blood, Fur - A Red Riding Hood with a nice twistThe Red Shoes - which is my favorite ballet and this is a beautiful poem versionConversations with the Sea Witch - a older, wiser Little Mermaid tale.Theodora Goss has a talent at making timeless stories different and more memorable than before. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
    more
  • Sarah Z
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I love fairytales, I love Snow White, so I thought I'd really enjoy this collection of poems and short stories. What I constantly forget, is that I don't usually like collections of short stories and poems because they are usually too disconnected for me. This novel was ok for me. I found myself more connected to the short stories and not so much with the poems but I'd definitely pick up something from th I received an ARC of this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I love fairytales, I love Snow White, so I thought I'd really enjoy this collection of poems and short stories. What I constantly forget, is that I don't usually like collections of short stories and poems because they are usually too disconnected for me. This novel was ok for me. I found myself more connected to the short stories and not so much with the poems but I'd definitely pick up something from this author again and give it another go. There were some really interesting interpretations on the fairytales.
    more
  • Tammy Buchli
    January 1, 1970
    I have always loved fairy tales. This volume, filled with fairy tale retellings, original fairy tales and poetry inspired by fairy tales was a real treat. There wasn't a dud in the bunch -- the stories ranged from merely very good to absolutely fantastic. Two standouts for me were The Rose in Twelve Petals, which twisted history and fairy tale into a version of Sleeping Beauty that was no less than brilliant; and Red as Blood and White as Bone which twisted history again, this time with a melang I have always loved fairy tales. This volume, filled with fairy tale retellings, original fairy tales and poetry inspired by fairy tales was a real treat. There wasn't a dud in the bunch -- the stories ranged from merely very good to absolutely fantastic. Two standouts for me were The Rose in Twelve Petals, which twisted history and fairy tale into a version of Sleeping Beauty that was no less than brilliant; and Red as Blood and White as Bone which twisted history again, this time with a melange of fairy tale motifs, into one of the very best stories I've ever read.Many thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy of this wonderful book for my review.
    more
  • Dan Trefethen
    January 1, 1970
    Goss is a scholar of the revised fairy tale - literally. She teaches the topic of fairy tales in college. This book is a compendium of short stories and poems that play with the tropes of fairy tales, not the twee fairy kind, but the Grimm Brothers kind. As with any author collection it's interesting to see the recurring themes (what is it about women who marry bears?), and Goss is enough of a stylist to pull it off even if the theme is somewhat far-fetched. The standout story to my mind is "Red Goss is a scholar of the revised fairy tale - literally. She teaches the topic of fairy tales in college. This book is a compendium of short stories and poems that play with the tropes of fairy tales, not the twee fairy kind, but the Grimm Brothers kind. As with any author collection it's interesting to see the recurring themes (what is it about women who marry bears?), and Goss is enough of a stylist to pull it off even if the theme is somewhat far-fetched. The standout story to my mind is "Red As Blood, White As Bone".And it has a dynamite introduction by Jane Yolen, who welcomes her into the coven of fairy tale revisers, of whom Yolen is the supreme example.
    more
  • BookyCat
    January 1, 1970
    I had high expectations for this book. The description, the cover and the reviews interested me, and it seemed a good one. Unfortunately, in the end it did not live up to my expectations. The concept of the book is interesting. Involves fairy tales but in a different way, sometimes weird but tastes are tastes. I had a bad begging with this book, it couldn’t motivate me to read so it took me more time. The first stories weren’t enough to stick to the book but in the middle, it got more interestin I had high expectations for this book. The description, the cover and the reviews interested me, and it seemed a good one. Unfortunately, in the end it did not live up to my expectations. The concept of the book is interesting. Involves fairy tales but in a different way, sometimes weird but tastes are tastes. I had a bad begging with this book, it couldn’t motivate me to read so it took me more time. The first stories weren’t enough to stick to the book but in the middle, it got more interesting and even If I didn’t like much there were some interesting stories. From far the best story was Blanchefleur, I really liked it! Ivan, the main character was able to learn so many things with different characters, good things. I also liked other short stories and some poems but Blanchefleur was really the best.Maybe was the weirdness or the way some stories were written that in the end made me not like it very much. So, it wasn’t the best book for me but to those who like short stories and poems maybe can be.I received a free copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.https://bookycatbooks.wordpress.com/2...
    more
  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This was a lovely collection of stories and poems that strongly reminded me of Jane Yolen’s work. Appropriately, Yolen wrote the introduction to this volume.Goss puts delightful twists on classic fairy tales such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and the Frog Prince, reimagining them in different settings and eras, tweakin Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.This was a lovely collection of stories and poems that strongly reminded me of Jane Yolen’s work. Appropriately, Yolen wrote the introduction to this volume.Goss puts delightful twists on classic fairy tales such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and the Frog Prince, reimagining them in different settings and eras, tweaking the plots to give characters new choices and opportunities, or extending them to explore what happens to the characters after their stories traditionally end.I’ll admit I’m not usually a huge fan of poetry, but I did enjoy the ones in this collection.
    more
  • Berni Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite writers writing on one of my favorite topics - what's not to love? Goss' lyrical writing shines on these poems and stories, all fairy tale based, as far as I can tell. All have a bit of a twist on them. We have an updated Snow Queen in prose, poetical musings on a middle-aged or elderly Snow White, podiatristic stepsisters from Cinderella, and the nameless maid who just said NO to Rumplestiltskin rather than get sucked into a marriage with a king greedy for gold. Each is a lit One of my favorite writers writing on one of my favorite topics - what's not to love? Goss' lyrical writing shines on these poems and stories, all fairy tale based, as far as I can tell. All have a bit of a twist on them. We have an updated Snow Queen in prose, poetical musings on a middle-aged or elderly Snow White, podiatristic stepsisters from Cinderella, and the nameless maid who just said NO to Rumplestiltskin rather than get sucked into a marriage with a king greedy for gold. Each is a little gem. If you love fairy tales, you have to read these.
    more
  • -RadioactiveBookworm-
    January 1, 1970
    If you're into imaginative short stories that give a new take on old fairy tales, than this is the book you need to pick up next. Though I'm not a big fan of short story books in general, this one really changed my mind about them, and now I'm thinking I'm really missing out by skipping over them. If you're like me, then definitely check this out. Check out my full review here!https://radioactivebookreviews.wordpr...
    more
  • Jeremy Brett
    January 1, 1970
    Theodora Goss' first collection is a beautiful, exquisite group of pieces -poetry and prose. The book showcases both Goss' deep experience with fairy tales (as a writer and a scholar) and her ability to pull forth from these old stories the darkness and passion and sadness and emotional depth that are often lost in modern interpretations. Goss makes it clear through her lovely, measured language that these tales still have things to teach us and ways to touch our hearts.
    more
  • Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea
    January 1, 1970
    I approached this book with some trepidation, as fairy tale retellings can vary in quality perhaps more than any other genre. However, I ended up discovering one of my favourite reads of the year, and making Theodora Goss an insta-buy author.This is a collection of short stories and poems which play with conventional fairy tales. Some have been previously printed elsewhere, and some are original to this collection; some are based on the well-known tales, and some are more obscure. All of these r I approached this book with some trepidation, as fairy tale retellings can vary in quality perhaps more than any other genre. However, I ended up discovering one of my favourite reads of the year, and making Theodora Goss an insta-buy author.This is a collection of short stories and poems which play with conventional fairy tales. Some have been previously printed elsewhere, and some are original to this collection; some are based on the well-known tales, and some are more obscure. All of these reworkings, whatever their influences, have the dark, magical feel of classic tales, and that spark of magic that makes a story feel like it has a life and personality of its own. The language in every story is just enthralling. I devoured the whole book without paying any attention to the time, which I think is the true touch of Faerie.My favourite thing about this whole collection is how Theodora Goss is constantly recentering women’s experiences in each story. Classic fairy tales say so much about being a woman, but they are still fairly formulaic in the roles that they provide: maiden, mother, or witch. These stories explore the grey areas, showing maidens who have grown old, and witches who remember their times as mothers, and women who have hundreds of facets alongside their Grimm-given roles. I loved the multiplicity of each woman in each of these stories – there’s so much power in all these women.To go into detail about any of the stories would spoil them, because I feel like they should be savoured as their own selves, rather than explained. Some of my favourites were “Blanchefleur”, “A Story in Twelve Petals”, and “The Other Thea”, but there wasn’t a single duff note in the whole collection. I generally trust Jane Yolen’s opinion on fairy tale works, but even her glowing words in the preface couldn’t prepare me for how wonderful I found this collection.An obvious 5 out of 5 stars.
    more
  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Some of the short stories and poems were excellent and interesting retellings. But too many focused on weird stuff like marrying bears and having kids with them. Actual bear. Not a metaphor. Creepy bestiality that grossed me out.
  • Greg
    January 1, 1970
    Great collection of fairy tale retellings. The stories have ties to different forms of the fairy tales and have unique twists within which vary from the perspective told, how they end and unique things being inserted.
  • Helen Patrice
    January 1, 1970
    IrresistableI love fairy tales retold, and this collection doesn’t disappoint. Old tales given new shoes and clothes, new stories that sound like old ones. I took my time over this book, a few pages here and there, like rich chocolate.
Write a review