The three stories in this collection retell fairy tales, some familiar and some not. Each story features a heroine who faces a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. And each heroine, instead of wallowing in self-pity or giving up in despair, fights and struggles even when things seem hopeless.
"Blind Beauty" retells Beauty and the Beast, but the beautiful girl in it is blind. She can't see what the beast looks like, she only knows his words and actions and how those affect her and her family. As a result, she sees the beast more clearly than anyone else.
I'm not familiar with the story "Crossing to Afendia" retells, but I found it fascinating nonetheless. A high-caste family adopts a low-caste girl of a different race, fulfilling a prophesy that might free both their races from bondage if they have the courage to stick together.
"Hart Spring" is a Snow White retelling set in a fantasy version of the pre-Civil War south. A rich girl gets affection and acceptance only from her family's slaves. She possesses a magical ability that others try to exploit for their own gain, and eventually she flees, hoping to find peace and safety in a land where all people can be free.
I very much enjoyed these three stories, especially "Hart Spring." If you're looking for sweet, uplifting fairy tale retellings, you'll likely enjoy them too. They're told simply and sweetly, and would be perfectly fine for tweens -- I plan to let my 10-year-old read this if he wants, as he loves fairy tale retellings.
Particularly Good Bits:
"The fragrance of spring is the fragrance of love." ("Blind Beauty")
"Fairy tales. I know I'm too old for them, but I like stories where evil is vanquished. Birabel's always reminding me that life isn't a fairy tale. I know that, of course, but it's so nice to dream. Those stories give me hope." ("Blind Beauty")
"I feel like a piece of yarn that might break, like I'm being pulled in two directions." ("Hart Spring")
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: PG for some mild violence and frightening imagery. Clean and lovely, with no bad language or questionable scenes.
I received a copy of this book from the author. In no way did I promise to give it a favorable review in exchange. These are my honest opinions.