Monthly Archives: December 2021

Fairy tales, shaken, stirred and turned upside down


One of my favorite kinds of books to read are those based on fairy tales of old that have been drawn out, embellished, and made new. Robin McKinley, Rosamund Hodge, Juliet Marillier, and Holly Black are just a few of my favorite authors who have mastered the art of retellings. I must now add Sarah Prineas to this list. Ash & Bramble takes one of the most beloved fairy tales, Cinderella, and turns it on its head in every conceivable way.

The Godmother is all powerful. She rules everything she touches with an iron fist. No one escapes her will. Well, that’s not precisely true. Pin is a seamstress. Godmother told her she was even though she can’t sew a straight line to save her life. Day in and day out, she toils under the baleful eye of the Overseer, crookedly stitching, pricking a finger, knotting a thread. One day, though, something strange happens and it all starts with a glass slipper, a shoemaker, and a tiny spark of hope. What follows is horrifying, exhilarating, and dangerous but, if Pin and Shoe want to escape the Godmother, they must face what comes with bravery and wit.

I am telling you, this story will make you think you’re in the Upside down. Good is bad, bad is good yet love will win the day. Pineas’s story provides a new perspective on stories and what is good/bad. If you’re a fellow fairy tale retelling fan, this is a must-read!