Title: Frozen Fairy Tales
Writer: edited by Kate Wolford
Publishing House: World Weaver Press
Date of Publication: November 10th 2015
Rating: 4 stars
“Until the day they died, late at night when the winds moaned, they would swear they heard a voice outside singing lullabies. And once in a while, travelers through the region would stop at the village and speak about a moving light in the snow that guided them to safety in a storm. To them, the light appeared to be a woman and two small boys, glowing with a shine as beautiful and serene as the moon”
Winter is the proper season to curl up with a book while snow is falling silently outside the window. With a soft caramel light to aid our eyes (and ideally, a cat curled by our feet), reading stories that remind us of the beauty and harshness of a season that is strangely beautiful and hauntingly attractive. This collection is not excellent but it is satisfying enough to accompany a cozy winter evening.
“The Stolen Heart” by Christina Ruth Johnson: The Summer princess travels to the realm of the Winter King to save her father. A tender tale of persistence and love.
“Faithful Henry” by Steven Grimm: This is a version of “The Princess and the Frog”, set in the Dark Ages, flavoured with pseudo-feminist themes, ill attempts to appear funny and with a disrespectful portrayal of the Christian Faith. When I respect someone’s religious beliefs, I expect the others to do the same. Grimm should understand that mocking a specific religion doesn’t make him cool or superior. It makes him appear as stupid as he probably is. And yes, this was an exasperated rant. I won’t respect anyone that doesn’t respect all beliefs. Excuse me….
“The Ice Fisher” by J. Patrick Pazdziora: A young fisherman tries to avoid temptations. Very poetic and atmospheric.
“Buffalo Wings” by Lissa Marie Redmond: Winter shows his hardest side in Buffalo, a few days before the Winter Solstice. A story whose roots can be traced in the Celtic and Gaelic Mythology with a fascinating setting. An adventurous tale but, again, the weak attempts to create a humorous read ruined everything. No surprise really…everything the protagonist is an idiot and the dialogue comes straightly from a teen horror film. And what’s the need for the main character to say that he watches Game of Thrones for the nudity? Best be careful when you are a nobody writer and refer to George R.R. Martin…..Ridiculous….
“Cold Bites ” by Tina Anton:A lovely winter tale about kindness and honesty.
“Death in Winter ” by Lissa Sloan: A battle between a mother and Death. A haunting, Gothic tale.
“Simon the Cold ” by Charity Tahmaseb:A bookish girl and a strange man in a fight to save the world.
“The Light of the Moon, the Strength of the Storm, the Warmth of the Sun” by Aimee Ogden:A young woman begins an impossible journey. This story echoes a hundred similar myths from all over the world.
“A Heart of Winter ” by Anna Salonen:A young boy begins an impossible journey to save his sister. A lovely, heartfelt story. Haunting and dark like the Finnish forests.
“Happily Ever After ” by Amanda Bergloff:A story of two brave children and a winter witch where each character leads to the next step and “the happily ever after” takes too long. I couldn’t really see the point of this story and I would characterize it as “cute” at best.
“The Heart of Yuki-onna ” by Alison McBain:A tale set in Japan about a brave girl who tried to stop Winter. Sad and haunting.
“The Wolf Queen ” by Rowan Lindstrom:A tale of revenge and the beautiful bond between a young woman and a wolf. Quite possibly the most beautiful story in the collection.
“What She Saw by Lantern Light” by L.A. Christensen: A French tale that echoes “The Snow Child” and “Midsummer’s Night Dream”.Very atmospheric, true to its title.
“The Shard of Glass” by David Turnbull:This story is an attempt to imagine the life of Gerda and Kay after the events of “The Snow Queen”. It was full of potential but the writing was too blunt, too repetitive, too melodramatic. In my opinion, Andersen’s creations should be left alone if you don’t have the necessary chops as a writer.Highly disappointing.
“How Jack Frost Stole Winter” by Gavin Bradley:A very short but brilliant tale about Jack Frost.
Out of these fifteen stories three were horrible, in my opinion, but the rest ranged from good to excellent. They show the aspects of Winter in all their glory. From the serene, tranquil beauty to the foreboding, menacing, dark cold. Most of the stories were definitely on the darker side which, as you know, is right up my alley. In my opinion, the anthology would have been excellent if Wolford hadn’t acquired such a high and mighty tone in her introduction and the writers had been more careful with their subject. As it is, “Frozen Fairy Tales” is a balanced collection with certain moments of beauty but it isn’t memorable enough if I compare it to other similar anthologies.