Fantasy, Short stories, Uncategorized

Twisted Tales of the Yellow Brick Road (Reviews)

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12 thoughts on “Twisted Tales of the Yellow Brick Road (Reviews)”

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  1. Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.7-Stars

    Twisted Tales of the Yellowbrick Road by A. Yasin is a wonderfully dark take on some old favorites in the Disney world. I like the stark cover, it fits these fairy tales perfectly. This book of short stories delves into some of our most famous and beloved children’s stories and twists them into perfect little nightmares.

    Each tale is wickedly designed to be a stand alone story yet they all mesh together to beome one. A. Yasin has done a beautiful job with all the characters. Each one is delectably flawed and different from the original fable yet you know instantly which children’s tale the character is from.

    I think the writing is fairly well-done. It could be stronger. The second story, Sleeping Ugly jumps around a lot. I thought it could have been better plotted to keep from going into the past back to the present back to the past of the story. I wasn’t that wild about the story Golden Eyes being in italics. It makes it more difficult to read with old eyes. Some of the sentences could have been stronger, but over all that did not take away from my enjoyment. Twisted Tales of the Yellowbrick Road is a good book.

  2. I loved reading this. As a child I always wondered why everyone lived happily ever after, this book takes the old stories and makes them feel more realistic.
    The plot twists are inventive and unexpected and the stories flow together nicely.
    Sleeping ugly and golden eyes were my favourites.
    I loved most of the characters. However, Cornflowers character needs a little work, is she a virgin or a whore?? Also why did Snow White’s Character change so quickly? Cinders story didn’t work for me, as the relationship with the fairy seemed flat and almost like an after-thought.
    By the end I just wanted more!!! I want Cornflowers story from hamlin. I want more golden eyes. There are so many more fairytales, Please rewrite them all!

  3. My thoughts on Twisted Tales Of The Yellow Brick Road
    Let’s start by saying that if you like dark fairy story retellings and being surprised then this book is for you.

    I think my favourite thing about the entire book was how the stories were all woven together, and I can definitely see some potential for more. Non of the plot twists were predictable, my particular favourite was the last…

    That being said, there were a few things that I thought didn’t do the rest of the book justice. I found the relationship between the fairy and Cinder a little hard to believe, their dialogue just didn’t seem to sit right. In fact I thought the bit between when Cinder runs away to getting the potion ready was somewhat long winded and didn’t fit with the pace of the rest of the story.

    And as far as the story line goes there were three parts that confused me. The first was when Golden Eyes goes back it says she forgets the truth but then later there is a reference to her remembering what he had done. Also with Snow Whites ‘Nanny’, at first I thought it meant her grandmother which didn’t make any sense as they were both out of the picture, could I suggest using governess instead, or something similar. And finally who threw Golden Eyes cloak and shoes off? Because if it was the king it’s not very clear. Oh and I think there is a minor typo on page 74 as it says ‘moral life’ not mortal life.

    It’s really difficult for me to pick my favourite character becuase I loved Golden Eyes and her story but Beauty and the Beast is my childhood favourite and I absolutely loved the switch in roles. I think the best line in the whole book is ‘Evil is a matter of personal perspective.’ I need that framed desperatly! I’d like to see the poem repeated one last time in the last Golden Eyes story becuase it was so chilling the way it kept cropping up when the King didn’t seem so bad in the beginning.

    I think the cover is beautiful, the faded old background is an especially nice touch. Maybe lose the circle or square as it makes it look slightly blocky. But other than that it’s perfect and really, that’s only a personal preference.

    I can’t wait to read the next one and find out what other twists have been played on our best childhood stories.

  4. I don’t know how to start reviewing this collection of dark and cleverly written fairy tales without giving too much away. This book is not about the Disney-styled fairy tales that you knew as a kid, so if you like retellings that stay close to the Disney versions this book is definitely not for you. But if you like the more darker Grimm fairy tales, added with a diverse set of characters- then read it.

    There is no black or white character in the book- or certainly no Mary-Sues, it is a story full of villains who are the heroes of their own stories in completely different ways to the original fairy tales. You will either hate these characters, (who you thought you knew), or love them.

    Though the tales written take elements from the fairy tales we know they stray deeper into a completely new, dark and original direction. I did not see any of the twists coming.

    The retold fairy tales are woven together with each other throughout the book in an extremely clever way and finish with a satisfying end which still keeps you anticipating for what’s to come. (And questioning the identity of the main character- you know which tale she’s from but not exactly her role…)

    I love how it sounds as if you’re being told a bed-time story by the narrator- except that the story is anything but a bed-time story!

    The Fairy Tales themselves are diverse, there are Danish, German and French fairy tales, but they are sadly all centered in the Western world- I wish there were other eastern fairy tales, but I’m hopeful for the next book. I’d love to see which other fairy tales will pop up.

    Though I am not a short-story sort of reader, I was still able to read this book because everything was linked. I didn’t have much time with each character but the ending seems to promise more book-time with them! (It almost feels like the main character was introduced at the end which I strangely don’t mind.)

    What I didn’t understand was- and I think it’s been mentioned before- whether or not Cornflower was actually a whore or not? Also were Beauty and Beast actually in love or was it just Lust? I feel like again, this seems like it will be fixed in the second book.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this twisted collection of fairy tales, it’s far from cliche and unoriginal, and I’m definitely excited to read more! I may be even more excited to read the second book because I would LOVE to see how everything ties in.

    Aqsa

  5. How can I summarise what this anthology is about?

    • It’s a beautifully written collection of the most familiar fairytales – only add a lot of crazy, a pinch of dark romance, and mix with the hero protagonists we’ve all grown up with playing the role of the villain.

    • It’s a group of twisted and dark tales that surprise you at every turn, subtly entwined so that it doesnt feel like you’re reading a collection of stories but the povs of a large collection of characters in the same story.

    •including Last second twists in each story which are literally last second and feel like daggers to the heart. Like literally. They aren’t the twisted tales for nothing internally cries

    One of my favourite parts of this anthology was the writing style. I also loved how the stories were interwoven together and how the characters were imagined in a very refreshingly new way (some were ‘gender-bent). On top of that, something very unique which I loved about this anthology was how one character wasn’t just one specific fairytale character. Very interesting! And if you like LGBT characters, then rejoice.

    However, If you know me, you will know that I am not a short stories kind of girl. I feel like these stories were more about the stories than the characters (if that makes sense?). I didn’t get the chance to fall in love with the characters before another story started and I was introduced to new characters. I don’t feel like I ‘know’ the characters. That being said, I still enjoyed this anthology, and can admit that I am someone who is more of a fan of character driven stories which might be why I had this issue.

    Aside from that, something I was a little dissapointed with was with the fairytale collection in this anthology. I wanted a range of fairytales from a range of cultures! (Come on, give me Shehrezade’s tale from a thousand nights!) Although the ending did hint strongly toward a second anthology so maybe this fault will die with the second book. Also, I’m very picky with things like this so there’s also that. #Diveristyandallthat

    Concerning editing mistakes and plot holes, I was left wondering if Cornflower was an actual whore (in which case she isn’t a virgin?) Or if ‘common whore’ was just being used as an insult (which I don’t think is implied). I’m not very good with grammar so if there were any grammatical mistakes then they flew over my head.
    Also the age of Golden eyes wasn’t specified and what felt like a strange father duaghter relationship turned out not be that kind of relationship. I don’t know when that happened.

    I also wondered if Beauty was actually in love with Beast or if it was just lust (it seemed more like lust to me). I also didn’t understand Snow whites sudden change in character and almost felt as if the main character were introduced at the end (or maybe I’m focusing on this too much as though it wasn’t a collection of stories? As I said I don’t read anthologies much)

    I don’t think we saw enough of each character to fall in love with them, but again this might be fixed if there is a book 2. And as I said, these are short stories (and I don’t normally read short stories) so maybe I should’nt expect too much focus on characters.

    Overall, a very refreshingly imagined, extremely dark, crazy and (as the title promises) twisted collection of fairytales. If you like dark and twisted fairy tales then this anthology is definately for you.

    Namra

  6. A review for “What’s This?” –

    Firstly, I noticed a missing word on the first page of this story. The line reads “painful, she by the sounds of it”. I imagine this is supposed to say “she thought”. The indentation of first paragraph is not consistent with the rest of book, and there doesn’t appear to be a title for “What’s This?”

    In terms of the story, I love the image of the sun crying to create her eyes. There is beautiful imagery throughout, especially with the gold in the descriptions of the sun. In fact, the descriptions of tears are very strong in this short story. Golden Eyes is an adept, to-the-point name for this character, and it isn’t a jarring name to read.

    I felt there was the right amount of introduction in “What’s This?” The story is nice and short, and doesn’t dawdle too long in any one place. However, I’m uncertain as to how the intimacy scene tied in with the ending. There didn’t appear to be any other references or implications of sex in the story, unless I missed them.

    I like the last line in particular. I felt it flowed well and ends with finality, but still left the story open. My knowledge of the Goblin King is limited, but I feel this story could read as a stand-alone, without any foreknowledge, quite easily.

    -CM

  7. The biggest criticism I would make is a) the sheer volume of adjectives – though I know that that’s the style fairy tales have, I think at times you go overboard with them; and b) Cornflower being a virginal prostitute? Maybe I’m overthinking it, but to an extent wouldn’t that make her ineligible for the spell? I’d make it clearer why the Queen is so determined to bathe in her blood

    Otherwise, I really liked them! I liked how each story linked to each other, and I’m seeing a nice Roald Dahl-esque story-with-twist-at-end style, which I think really makes a collection of short stories.

    You also had my favourite description of sex ever in the first part of Erl King. Keep up stuff like that and you won’t go wrong 🙂

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