Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Official Summary: “In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.”
Two and Twenty Dark Tales offers a fresh, and dark, new take on traditional Mother Goose rhymes that will make readers look at these rhymes in a completely different light. Each author has selected a single short rhyme and has given it a dark back story that fleshes out and explains the details in the original verses. The stories vary greatly in terms of setting and style, meaning that readers are sure to find something that catches their fancy amongst these collected works. Some stories go for a modern and more realistic setting with only subtle fantasy tucked into the story, while others are clearly set in another time or even another world.
While each story has the unique voice and perspective of its author, the anthology has a consistently dark tone and a focus on strong characters and, for the most part, strong heroines, that bind the tales together and make this a cohesive collection. Most of the stories are fairly short, making the entire collection an easy read and also meaning that individual stories make for a nice and quick reading break. While all are dark, they nevertheless vary in style from merely unsettling to downright creepy and terrifying. I don’t read many anthologies, but this one is a good option even for readers who typically shy away from short stories because each of the stories reads as though it could be a novel with very well-developed worlds and hints of a fascinating backstory. More than one of these short tales felt as though it could be the basis for an entire novel. This anthology is a perfect choice for fans of nursery rhymes and fairy tales who are looking for a creepy read as Halloween approaches.
Check it Out: Two and Twenty Dark Tales is now available.
Readalike: Fans of this anthology who are interested in more dark retellings should try My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me or There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, which are both anthologies of dark retellings of classic fairytales.
Note: Review based on ARC from publisher.