Published by Dangerous Press on 18th August 2020
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In a castle adorned with gems, coated in gold, and dusted with luxury, the youngest of the Constantine Family will be introduced to the elite of New York. But the party isn’t all glamor. Villains lurk in dark corners, evil deals are struck, and starcrossed loves are born.
Attend the ball, wear a red cloak, lose your shoe, spin straw to gold, or fall prey to a witch. In these fairytale retellings from bestselling authors, you will find a prince, but you might choose your happily ever after with the beast.
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As an anthology of short stories comprising contemporary retellings of fairy tales, I still feel as though I’m missing something here: there’re huge strings and hints (gossamer threads, really) of a larger plot that ties all these fairy tales together.
Briefly put, they’re all centred around the elusive Constantine family, a birthday party, shady mafia ties, a masquerade ball and some dirty things that happen beneath the sheets – where love may or may not even be involved.
The short stories start intriguingly but mostly end abruptly and as tie-ins or preludes to the authors’ own works, differ in quality and length. Some are more engaging than others, but mostly, they end on a note that is way less than satisfying. Obviously some take more liberties than usual until I had to strain to see the link between the original fairy tale and the contemporary story, so blink, read and think about it lest you miss it. I can’t exactly single one out that I liked particularly, simply because I hadn’t found a truly standout short story.
In short, a mediocre read and I didn’t feel entirely compelled to finish everything religiously because of the bigger disconnect I had with a story arc that I wasn’t initially part of.