So, it all starts when Sunday Woodcutter falls in love with a frog, who of course was once a handsome prince because this is about fairy tales. Only it turns out the handsome prince he used to be is someone Sunday's father hates, as do many of her family. But she didn't know at the time who he used to be, she just knew him as her friend the frog.
Also, Sunday has six sisters who are also named after days of the week. And you know that old saying about Monday's child is full of this, and Tuesday's child is full of that? Well, that saying defines the personality of each Woodcutter girl. (I've always found that saying to be complete bunk because I was born on a Wednesday, but I've never been full of woe. I've always been a pretty cheerful sort. Stubborn, but cheerful. But in this imaginary world, it all makes sense thanks to some fairy godmothers and stuff.) Also, she has a brother and an adopted brother and a lost brother. And a mother who is more powerful than you might expect. And a father who is literally a woodcutter.
I'm really hopeless at reviewing this book. Because it's just so different! It doesn't retell a specific fairy tale. It weaves oodles of them together! Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, The Red Shoes... I could go on and on. It's simply crammed with fairy tale references. Kind of dizzying at times, actually. I had to put this book down more than once and let my brain settle down a bit before I could go on.
I hear this is part of a series, but this book ended so beautifully that I'm not sure I want to read more of a series because this really just felt like a perfecly contained story and... I don't know if the next books will please me as much as this one did.
So anyway, yeah, I liked it. That's really all you wanted to know anyway, right?
Oh, and I really loved Velius. Just so you know.
|(From my Instagram)|
Particularly Good Bits:
"We are all made of stars," said Velius. "Not just you, little one" (p. 168).
"The curse of an interesting life: there are either very good times or very bad times" (p. 205).
"My life has been a string of very long days lately" (p. 214).
She had that way of looking at him that made him feel like he'd built the world for her and given it to her as a gift just that morning (p. 237).
"Child, no one is ever ready for anything. I would never doom you to that. What sort of adventureless life would that be?" (p. 265).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG-13. There's a lot of peril going on, violence of the fairy-tale sort, and some scary moments. Also a ghost. Lots of magic. Some talk of vampire-like and cannibilistic behavior. I don't recall there being any bad language, but there might have been some? (That's the trouble with waiting for several days to write a review -- my ideas solidify, but details start to fade.) There's also some mild innuendo, of the sort where people are wondering what happened between a man and a woman, but we the readers know nothing untoward occurred.