I always feel inadequate looking for words to describe Vera Nazarian's work - she does words so much better than I ever could! (or, arguably, anyone, ever) This is a collection of fairy tales for grown ups - a lot of them take on classical themes, such as "Swans" (probably my favorite) and "Beauty and His Beast" - and they all carry the ethereal sense of wonder, of something eternally fresh and true about them. The stories carry an sensual romantic undertone, and most of them are essentially about love. The language is lyrical and exquisite, akin to opera in its apparent ability to tighten something in my chest and constrict my throat out of the sheer power of the melody. All that aside...
This is a very strong collection of short stories, entertaining, easy to get into, enjoyable reads. Delicious twists on familiar myths with surprise endings. Recommended for about anyone with an interest in fantasy.
The new revised edition includes several additional stories, including "Demon Slayer."
"Moya Rossiya" - opening story, an old woman visits Russia before the final Closing.
"Swans" - a mute woman is sentenced to be burned as a witch (the old tale, short and poignant)
"The Princess, the Pea, and Absolute Receptiveness" - the young royal scion is stricken with lust for the mysterious visitor. Nazarian writes sensuality so well, it's creepy and memorable.
"Beauty and His Beast" - the old tale, with the genders reversed
"Starry King" - a woman with a well of pain in her eyes searches for the legend who can grant her oblivion
"A Young Woman in the House of Old" - probably inspired by Tanith Lee's "Dark Dance," but until I read the latter, it struck me as completely unexpected and delightful.
"Wound on the Moon" - fantastic story, almost a mini-novel (I'd love to read the novel-length version) - a thief is captured by a prince, and the prince falls in love with her, to her curse or blessing
"Demon Slayer" - about a priest sworn to celibacy, tempted by a demon - is the longest and one of the most interesting of the collection.
"A Story of Love" - Nebula-nominated story
Salt of the Air (英語) ハードカバー – 2009/4/30
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Robyn G. Stephens
Grim, not Grimm.2014年6月5日にアメリカ合衆国でレビュー済み
The thing about fairy tales is that they reflect the human experience with simple stories told in in language clear enough for a child to understand. They may be bloody and cruel, but they're never long winded and complicated - as I found these tales to be. I just didn't understand them. I think perhaps the author was trying to modernise the experience, but lost the plot in the attempt. Not for me, thanks.