Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales

Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales

Fairy tales take a weird twist in this anthology compiling stories from an all-star cast of fantasy writers, including stories from Neil Gaiman, Charlie Jane Anders and Alison Littlewood.Here in this book you'll find unique twists on the fairy tale conceit of the curse, from the more traditional to the modern - giving us brand new mythologies as well as new approaches to w...

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Title:Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales
Author:Marie O'Regan
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Cursed: An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales Reviews

  • Eleanor

    This anthology collection is brilliant. I really enjoyed all of these stories, however, a few stood out to me in particular:

    - As Red as Blood, as White as Snow by Christina Henry

    - At That Age by Catriona Ward

    - Wendy, Darling by Christopher Golden

    - Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie by Charlie Jane Anders

    - New Wine by Angela Slatter

    If you love fairytale retellings and short stories this is a must-read. I love stories like this when with a little twist they are made dark and creepy.

  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    Last year, this editing duo released the

    anthology, which

    It was a gorgeous collection and I had so much fun with it that, when I had the opportunity to read and review this new anthology, I jumped at the chance. I’m an absolute sucker for dark fairytale retelli

    Last year, this editing duo released the

    anthology, which

    It was a gorgeous collection and I had so much fun with it that, when I had the opportunity to read and review this new anthology, I jumped at the chance. I’m an absolute sucker for dark fairytale retellings and many of the authors in this lineup positively excel at the craft.

    kicks off, after a quick poem from Jane Yolen, with the story

    by Christina Henry, and if you know me, you already know Christina is one of my favorite retelling authors of all time. She has designed a solid portion of her writing career around taking old stories and giving them new life — typically complete with some sort of social commentary that is always so eloquently woven in — and this was no exception. It was easily my favorite story in the anthology and I would honestly urge you to pick this book up even if only for this story’s beautiful prose and ruthless examination of the evils of “Prince Charming” types.

    Luckily, the good times didn’t stop there; while nothing else in

    was quite able to beat out that first story for me, I was so happy to see how many incredible stories this collection contained! A lot of anthologies are severely hit-and-miss, but Marie O’Regan & Paul Kane clearly know how to choose ’em when it comes to short stories. Among others, I loved Catriona Ward’s incredibly unique twist on one of my favorite tropes (but I can’t tell you what it is!) in

    , the gorgeously melancholy, haunting vibes of Jen Williams’ necromancing

    , and James Brogden’s grotesque, horribly unsettling

    .

    While these were the stand-out favorites of mine, I genuinely enjoyed almost every single story in this collection. I will admit that the stories grew a little less interesting for me in the end, with the last few not catching my eye as well, but they weren’t enough to hinder me from being wholly blown away by the overall caliber of

    ’s offerings. I have so many new authors on my reading list thanks to these short stories, and I know this is the sort of collection I’ll be recommending for a long time — and revisiting time and time again.

    for

    (no specific story spoilers)

  • Annette

    How to make sure Annette buys your book: One - invite Christina Henry and Neil Gaiman to write a story for your book. Two - make the theme Fairy Tales. Three - make them dark. This book kind of screamed my name. Well, not literally that would have been weird. I was therefore kinda disappointed that it took this long to reach me, even though I had pre-ordered it months in advance. But, I got it and I hadn't read any spoilers yet.

    It's always hard to rate a collection of stories. Like with every An

    How to make sure Annette buys your book: One - invite Christina Henry and Neil Gaiman to write a story for your book. Two - make the theme Fairy Tales. Three - make them dark. This book kind of screamed my name. Well, not literally that would have been weird. I was therefore kinda disappointed that it took this long to reach me, even though I had pre-ordered it months in advance. But, I got it and I hadn't read any spoilers yet.

    It's always hard to rate a collection of stories. Like with every Anthology there were stories I loved to pieces and will carry with me and will tell my friends and family and everyone who does and doesn't want to listen. But, there were also stories that didn't grab me or stories I might have to read again to fully understand their meaning. I guess that's normal. Not every story is for everyone and not every writer is for everyone.

    However, all these stories had one thing in common: They were all beautifully written and really atmospheric. There was not one story that I hated or had to force my way through. They all embraced the theme of the anthology and went wild with it. If you think you know what Dark in this title means, you will have to think again. Some of those stories were much and much darker than anything I could ever imagine. And I loved them for it.

    It's hard to pick favorites, but the stories that impressed me the most are the Snow White/Bluebeard/Beauty and the Beast mash up Henry wrote, the story slightly based on the Red Shoes, the story of the man who lost his popularity, the spin on Wendy Darling and the story of the demon box that fulfills wishes. I'm certain I will re-read quite a few of those stories quite often. Just because I can.

  • Runalong

    Fascinating collection of short stories based around the theme of curses running from horror, comedy and epic fantasy with stories from some of the best names in the genre

    Full review -

    Fascinating collection of short stories based around the theme of curses running from horror, comedy and epic fantasy with stories from some of the best names in the genre

    Full review -

  • Zoë ☆

    Review to come on Friday!!

    Thank you so much to Titan Books for sending over a review copy! :)

  • Kristy

    On the whole, I really liked this anthology. There's a lot of great stories in here filled with originality and fun ideas. Some shine brighter than others, and you can see a more detailed review of my thoughts in my percentage updates. But I'd definitely recommend to anyone who likes fairy tales, urban fantasy, and just weird stuff.

  • Alex (PaperbackPiano)

    Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Kicking things off with one of my favourite authors! And she did not disappoint me. Christina Henry’s writing was fabulous as always and I loved the mix of elements within the story. It was a fantastic twist on well-known fairytales and had a very satisfying conclusion.

    And another of my favourite authors! Can you

    Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Kicking things off with one of my favourite authors! And she did not disappoint me. Christina Henry’s writing was fabulous as always and I loved the mix of elements within the story. It was a fantastic twist on well-known fairytales and had a very satisfying conclusion.

    And another of my favourite authors! Can you see why I was so excited for this anthology? 😉 This was classic Gaiman with great scene setting and wonderful themes. The only problem was I wanted it to be longer!

    I liked this story more than the author’s contribution to the Wonderland anthology. It was very dark and ominous for the duration, but I enjoyed it!

    I loved this one! It had a fantastic concept and gorgeous writing, plus it was musically themed which you know is always a winner with me!

    This was an interesting story that gave me Good Omens vibes. I appreciated the humour but things didn’t quite feel fully developed.

    Wow, this was DARK. It was an uncomfortable story to read at times, both thematically and due to some long clunky sentences. But it definitely packs a punch!

    This one was very enjoyable. It felt well developed, like a proper story with a beginning, middle and end. Plus it was wonderfully Gothic!

    The writing in this story felt a bit repetitive; a lot of the sentences felt the same length which made for a quite monotonous tone. However, the twist at the end was very interesting!

    Ok, what an amazing take on a well-known tale! This was both harrowing and unexpected.

    Unfortunately, this is my second experience of Anders’ writing and I don’t think it is for me. This story was just a bit too weird and I felt like it was trying way too hard to be cool.

    I kind of liked this one? But I found the end confusing. Not too sure what to make of it.

    This was another ambiguous story. I liked it but it should definitely have a trigger warning for self-harm so please take care if you decide to read.

    This was the only story in the anthology that I couldn’t finish. I just didn’t understand what was going on or what the point was. It felt dull and meandering. I will give a disclaimer though: I was in the middle of this story when the Covid-19 situation really took a downturn so my mental health may have had an impact on how I read this one.

    This was an interesting take on the story of Hansel and Gretel. There was some gorgeous writing but it was another super dark story.

    Now, this one was fantastic. It was gripping from the outset and the plot progressed perfectly to a brilliant ending.

    This story was good but felt a little underdeveloped. I liked that it was ‘told’ in the way of traditional fairytales but I wanted more from it.

    This was a bit gruesome at first but I settled into it and found it to actually be an interesting story that was quite poignant.

    The final story in the anthology was a bit disappointing to end on. I didn’t really get it. The writing was too flowery for me (and you know that’s not something I say lightly because I normally love a bit of purple prose!)

    The anthology, like

    , was book-ended by two poems by author Jane Yolen, both of which were great.

    Overall, this was a mixed bag, as all anthologies are. However, I feel like there were far more hits than misses in this collection! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of dark fairytales.

  • Ben Truong

    is an anthology of twenty short stories collected and edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane. These twenty short stories are retellings of fairy tales with darken edge written by some of the best storytellers.

    For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions.

    is an anthology bring together twenty new and re-imagined fairy tales in this spellbinding anthology, bookended by poems. The anthology's

    is an anthology of twenty short stories collected and edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane. These twenty short stories are retellings of fairy tales with darken edge written by some of the best storytellers.

    For the most part, I rather like most if not all of these contributions.

    is an anthology bring together twenty new and re-imagined fairy tales in this spellbinding anthology, bookended by poems. The anthology's original stories also draw not only from fairy tales, but folklore as well. These stories are by turns eerie, grotesque, and delightful, ranging in tone from the broadly humorous fantasy to the visceral body horror.

    Like most anthologies there are weaker contributions and

    is not an exception. Comparatively, there were a couple short stories that were not written as well as the others, but it didn't detract my overall enjoyment of the anthology.

    All in all,

    is a dark retellings of popular fairytales and folklore done by the best folklorist in the industry.

  • Lauren

    I just wanted to state even though I gave this book as a whole 3 stars. There was 4 stories within this collection that I would whole heartedly give 4 stars each and they are: As Red As Blood, As White As Snow by Christina Henry, Wendy, Darling by Christopher Golden, Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie by Charlie Jane Anders and New Wine by Angela Slatter. These four stories in particular I loved and definitely feel they deserve 4 stars.

  • Marquise

    A very mixed bag of an anthology, as some of the stories seem to shoehorn the "dark" aspect in a bit too forcefully, and others are simply not well developed.

    For me, only one of the stories stood out: Christina Henry's

    , a flawed retelling of "Snow White" that quite misses the point of this tale and reads more like a retelling of "Bluebeard" with borrowed costume from "Snow White;" the stepmother and the apple, namely, which isn't enough to claim it's a retellin

    A very mixed bag of an anthology, as some of the stories seem to shoehorn the "dark" aspect in a bit too forcefully, and others are simply not well developed.

    For me, only one of the stories stood out: Christina Henry's

    , a flawed retelling of "Snow White" that quite misses the point of this tale and reads more like a retelling of "Bluebeard" with borrowed costume from "Snow White;" the stepmother and the apple, namely, which isn't enough to claim it's a retelling and are there more for effect than anything as they serve no purpose. The rest of the stories didn't make a lasting impression, unfortunately.

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