Once upon a time, long before farmboys arose to defeat Dark Lords and even longer before the rise of imagined histories attempting to be gritty in a way that removed most moral compasses from fantasy, there was the fairytale. A simple little literary beast masquerading as a story with a morality play contained within its fascinating bounds. A little creation marketed for children but one which contained deeper adult themes. Fairytales did not need to attempt to be gritty, they simply were in how they conveyed themes that clearly indicated that incest, rape, cannibalism and other heinous deeds were abhorrent and that. Nowadays, as the epic form seems to have merged with fairytales thanks to the meddling of Hobbits, fairytales are becoming less relevant. Yet I still believe that the old classic fairytales are relevant to modern audiences. Except perhaps Rumpelstiltskin. In today's social media environment it makes no sense for no one to know that imp's name. If he were around today the prince would hunt down his name on Facebook or Twitter. Speaking of which can you imagine the tweets?
The fairytales in this volume include the classic: Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderilla and Sleeping Beauty. However they are not the fairytales you may have heard or read as a child. While both Cinderilla and Sleeping Beauty avoid the greater horrors that were part of their genesis (according to other sources in the Cinderilla (or Cinderella) tale the stepsisters attempted to put on the glass slipper by cutting their toes and heels off. As for the real Sleeping Beauty story, apparently there are references to the prince of the tale taking advantage of the sleeping princess. The Little Red Riding Hood story remains in its classic form however, with the wolf ending up eating everyone. There is a reason behind the plots of these stories however, with the tale of the wolf being a symbol for predatory men who would take advantage of a young girl's virtue.
In fact each of these stories is accompanied with a moral at the end. These morals reveal the underlying message as indicated by the author. However, there appears to be room in each story for anyone else to enjoy other messages they can observe. Whether you like fantasy stories and want to see some of the older tales in that format, or if you merely like short stories and fairytales I recommend giving this collection a read. It's not particularly long with around 100 pages and you should be able to get through it in around an hour or so.