Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Woodcutter's Grim-Karen Wiesner

Woodcutter's Grim
Karen Wiesner
Whiskey Creek Press, Sep 2008
ISBN: 9781603132565

"Papa". Six months ago his children died in a car accident when his ex wife's vehicle for no apparent reason went off a bridge. Still mourning, Rand takes his second spouse Amy to Woodcutter's Grim. Amy quickly realizes that Rand's dead children greet them with plans to escort them into the Gingerbread House so Papa can be with them forever. A delightful tale

"Blood of Amethyst". Over the last few days Amethyst's beloved father has acted very strange until he entered Woodcutter's Grim and never came home. The local sheriff Gabe is worried about his beloved pregnant Amethyst, who has acted strange since her dad vanished in the woods. He fears the woods wants her blood like he believes it took her father's blood. Incredible Storytelling

“Dancing To the Grave”. After a trial separation music teacher Diane and her husband Kurt have reconciled their differences. However, heeding her concern over children behaving oddly, Kurt, a Guardian and his peers investigate only to learn the kids are turning into feral rats. A deliciously spooky tale

“The Amethyst Tower”. Prince knows his mission is to save Rapunzel, incarcerated in a tower in Woodcutter's Grim Woods; he also knows once you enter these woods, you never leave. Still he must perform his quest even if the evil seems overwhelmingly insurmountable. A beautiful adult fairy tale

Retelling classic fairy tales (Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Rapunzel) has been done many times over the years. Few authors keep them classic yet scarier like Karen Wiesner has achieved with this collection; the audience will feel they are entering the woods of Woodcutter’s Grim and sense they may not get out. The key that makes this quartet superb is the feeling everything starts of normal like a second chance at love (“Papa” and “Dancing to the Grave”), a concerned lover (“Blood of Amethyst) or a hero rescuing his damsel in distress (“The Amethyst Tower). Then Ms. Wiesner deftly changes the venue in each into frightening fantasy novellas. This is an excellent anthology in which the readers will want more stops in Woodcutter’s Grim, sort of like a Hotel California adult fairy tale location.

Harriet Klausner

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