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Book Review: Troll’s Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

Before I begin to speak about this collection of short stories, let me explain why I picked it up. I love fairy tales and I love twisted fairy tales; so when I saw the cover of this book I said “WOW! I have to read this; it looks like it can scare me.”  The cover is perfect for a twisted fairy tale or for any horror book.


With that being said I was disappointed with the book because there was nothing scary or even gross within any of the short stories. The authors range from Wendy Froud, Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, Jane Yolen and plenty more.

I am going to take the time to mention three stories. “Wizard’s Apprentice” written by Delia Sherman was the first story that had a lot of potential about an evil wizard, who wasn’t really evil at all. Mean? Yes, but not evil. The story was well written about a boy who runs away from an abusive uncle and end up at an evil wizard’s bookshop. But the story feels cut short, obviously it’s a short story, but it doesn’t need to feel that way.

Another story called “Rags and Riches” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman and this story was disappointing because it was done before. A princess takes her servant to go a new kingdom in which she is to marry the prince. The servant, when they are alone, forces the princess to swap clothing and horses, so she can pose as the princess and get all the riches and of course the prince.  This is the one story that I thought lacked originality.

Finally, my last short story spotlight wasn’t a story after all but a poem called “Faery Tales” by Wendy Froud. I wasn’t expecting a poem in a short story collection; a cute poem but in my eyes not suited for a supposedly twisted fairy tale.

This collection of short stories was a bit misleading due to the title. Although there were some good stories most just didn’t click. This book gets an

 5 out of 10.