Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review of Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

Title: Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Author: Various
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Source: Publisher/Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon/The Book Depository


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In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

A sucker for fairy tale retellings, this collection peaked my interest immediately.  What could a group of authors come up with using Mother Goose tales for inspiration?

Evidently.... a whole lot!!

For the most part, each retelling was imaginative, dark and some incredibly creepy. These authors really did do justice to the original Mother Goose rhymes and tales, which on their own are quite dark themselves.

Some of the most memorable ones for me:

"The Well" by K.M. Walton - A retelling of Jack & Jill in a post apocalyptic type of setting, where a deadly virus has wiped the majority of other people in the world. Very disturbing and thought provoking.

"Clockwise" by Leah Cypress - Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse is actually a princess! Turned into a mouse through a spell, Amarind turns back into her human self and remembers the reason why she was a mouse in the first place.  The ending left me feeling sad at the injustice of her predicament. Well done!

"Wee Willie Winkie" by Leigh Fallon - WOW what a creepy retelling! Better get into bed kiddies!!! Or something will come get ya! The fact that the author left this monster to the imagination makes it even darker, and I couldn't help but shudder a little bit.

"Tick Tock" by Gretchen McNeil  - As someone who babysat in my younger years, this one certainly made me think.  Though I wish it had been a little longer, and offered a bit more explanation, I can't help but want to forget how creepy these children were. Truly shudder worthy!

This anthology is definitely a keeper. I see myself revisiting this collection of stories over and over, and am almost anxious for a good camping trip to share these stories around a camp fire. 



  1. A lot of times I pass on the retelling of fairy tales, but your post made me stop and reconsider. Thanks for making me stop and check out your great post.

    1. Hey Sherry! Always a pleasure when you stop in and leave a note. This one was fun, and though I do enjoy fairy tale retellings, I usually pass on anthologies because they are hard to rate. This is my second collection of short stories that I jumped into, and was definitely an interesting and entertaining collection.


  2. Thanks - I just added this to my TBR list!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Hey Nicole! Thanks for stopping in. I hope you enjoy the collection when you are able to get to it. :)



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