Bryony and Roses (2015): T. Kingfisher

★★★★

I thoroughly enjoyed T. Kingfisher’s retelling of the Snow Queen legend in The Raven and the Reindeer and was unable to resist this reworking of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a fairy tale I’ve always loved, ever since I was six years old and went to see the animated Disney film at the cinema for a friend’s birthday treat. There’s much to love about the traditional version, but Kingfisher’s story is delightful in a different way, offering a no-nonsense heroine, a Beast with a dry sense of humour, and brooding dark magic.

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The Raven and the Reindeer (2016): T. Kingfisher

★★★★

As 2017 simply hunkers down in the bitter cold of winter, I find myself drawn to fairy tales and fantasies: the kind of stories you could tell beside a fire with the storm raging outside. This novella was my first encounter with T. Kingfisher (the pseudonym of Ursula Vernon), an author whose books have often been recommended to me by Goodreads. It’s a retelling of The Snow Queen, which I’ve read many times in my much-loved childhood copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. Smart and knowing, The Raven and the Reindeer delivers up all the magic without any of the piety, a marked glint in its eye.

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