Book Review: Tapestry of Tales: Classic Fairy Tales Retold by Sarah Deckard

Tapestry of Tales   Tapestry of Tales

Book review by Sarah Hayes

A young woman cloaked in red visiting her grandmother is warned to beware of wolves. A prince and his aide venture through the countryside to free a sleeping princess from a castle surrounded by thorns. For the love of a human man, a mermaid sacrifices her tail and her voice. At night, twelve princesses dance so much and so long that their shoes fall apart on their feet. These may sound like the typical characters of your everyday fairy tale – but they are not. In fact, with a little twist of the words on the page, the heroes and heroines of stories long past turn into something brand new but just as enthralling.

As Tapestry of Tales shows, even the oldest of stories can be looked at in a new way. Sometimes, when you change the perspective of the story, the heroine doesn’t seem so fair or the hero so noble and sometimes the villain comes out looking rosier than her detractors. Like in real life, every story has two sides and more than one way to tell it. When you see the witch holding the beautiful princess captive isn’t evil at heart and the woodcutter lending a hand to the little lost girl in the woods isn’t innocent – well, it makes you wonder what other fairy tales hide another facet to them.

With this book, Sarah Deckard has put some creative and decidedly dark spins on classic fairy tales – from Sleeping Beauty to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Her writing style is lavishly descriptive and thick with vivid imagery that seems apropos for her rehashed fables, which have all taken on a somber (if not outright sinister) accent. Some stories have an effective punch, while others get lost in their own detailed prose and lack impact. Having said that, the stories with the most striking affect are the ones that linger in the mind long after that particular tale is done; I found the retakes on Little Red Riding Hood (Beware of Wolves) and Sleeping Beauty (The Prince and the Thorns) the most effective of the collection. Deckard has shown, as illustrated in the final tale of this volume, that new things can spring up out of things old and forgotten – and that out of the fairy tales of olden times, new ones can still be dreamt of and told to generations to come.

One Response to “Book Review: Tapestry of Tales: Classic Fairy Tales Retold by Sarah Deckard”

  • Amber Stults says:

    I’ve noticed the three women who’ve reviewed this book have all mentioned “Beware of Wolves” in our reviews. lol Deckard must have hit a nerve or two with that one.

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