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Friday, October 18, 2013

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Book Review: The Woodcutter

Set in the land of fairy tales, The Woodcutter by Kate Danley, is a different type of fantasy. It's dark and ominous, filled with almost every fairy tale character you can think of.

When I started it, I honestly didn't think that I was going to like it very much. But slowly, The Woodcutter pulled me into the Wood and on an adventure.
The Woodcutter follows, obviously, the Woodcutter, a man who has been given the responsibility to keep balance and peace between the humans of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Fae of the Wood. Clearly these are no ordinary kingdoms or woods. They are magical and filled with fairy tale characters and creatures like Rapunzel, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, and so many more.
But something terrible is happening to the people of fairy tale lore. Something is hunting and killing them without leaving a mark, a mysterious mansion appears in the woods, and the strange Gentleman and Queen who reside within may be behind it all. 
The Woodcutter must solve the mystery to keep balance, prevent war, and have the fairy tales come to their happily ever afters.

It sounds a little corny. And at first it kind of is. It took me a while to really get into it and accept that Snow White and Cinderella exist in the same world and that Red Riding Hood's mom snorts fairy dust. Yes, that's a thing.
And I also found the Woodcutter to be a rather dull character. When the book starts, we don't know much about the world or the Woodcutter, and he seems to just be going through the motions dealing with yet another crisis like his father before him and his father before him and so on.

But, it didn't stay that way. Slowly but surely, I too became curious as to what was going on within the realm. And as the mystery of the Wood unfolds, so too does the personality of the Woodcutter. His feelings are so guarded at the beginning that he does seem one dimensional and dull, but as the plot thickens and discoveries begin to worry him, we start to see he is more multi-fascited then we originally thought. It took me a while, but I eventually was swept away into the world of fairy dust and hell hounds.

I really did enjoy fairy tale references, and this book has more than even I could recognize. So if you are not a fan or have very little fairy tale knowledge, this book probably isn't for you. It's an interesting story, but without at least a base level of exposure to Grimm and other fairy tales, you're going to be pretty lost, and you definitely won't get the full experience.
But if you do have a good base in fairy tales and fantasy, and enjoy darker fairy tale movie and TV adaptations, you will probably really enjoy this book. It definitely has it all along with the bonus of not having the angst of Y.A. which many fantasy books unfortunately come with.

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley was a pleasant surprise. It's not a book for everyone, but for those in its niche, it's going to be a good read.
[The Woodcutter] knew they no longer needed him, for wild magic does not meddle with the hearts of those who have tamed it with love true. For true love conquers all.

Have you read this dark and strange fairy tale? What did you think? Head over to the forum to discuss!

Title: The Woodcutter

Author: Kate Danley

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Recommendation: Yes

Best Reader Audience: Female readers from Y.A. level and up

Final Rating: Three out of Five mugs of hot chocolate 

Want to venture into the Wood? Use the link below and your purchase will also help fund the Lone Book Club.

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