Twisted Tales of the Yellow Brick Road by A. Yasin
“Stray not beyond the village wall.
For the woods are dark and the night is long.
Beware, beware, the Goblin King’s call.”
Take a trip down the yellow brick road and revel in the beauty, horror and madness that awaits…four beloved fairy tales with a bonus story inspired by Angela Carter’s The Erl King.
Golden Eyes- A reckless young girl ignores the warnings and is captured by the Goblin King in the mysterious forest of many names. will she ever escape? Will a handsome prince charming come riding to rescue her or a knight in shining armour save her?
Sleeping Ugly– inspired by Sleeping beauty. A case of mistaken identity. A spoilt, murderous prince lifts up the first beauty he sees, and unable to wake her, carries her away and marries her anyway. Little does he know, she’s a kitchen wench.
Cinder- A rat with dreams larger than her front teeth. A fairy gives her an opportunity to live as a human and marry the handsome prince. But the price is hefty. A life for a life. Who will she kill in order to take their place in the human world?
Snow White-. A psychopathic princess with severe Mommy issues. Her mother, an abused Queen-turned-Regent, was a mere kitchen wench when her husband stole her away. Murdering him did not slake her thirst for vengeance and a newfound greed for everlasting life and power. Thus, she asks her daughter to do the unimaginable.
Beauty and the Beast- Beauty became a wizard and the Beast turned green, torn asunder by the crimes Beast committed throughout her life. As the only daughter of the fearsome Erl-King, she carried in her the seed of evil. Will Beauty’s love save her?
And its shadowed claim stretching over these many kingdoms and lurking on the edge of all these tales, lies the great and terrible forest of many names. At its heart, a Goblin King ensnares the hearts of the youth he seduces into his trap, weaving their cages and casting their souls into madness. Until one day, he meets his match in a frightened young girl with golden eyes.
A little about A. Yasin first:
Aneesa Yasin is an author living in Yorkshire, the grandest county in the UK. Just a short distance away is Haworth, birthplace of the famous Bronte Sisters. She credits the auspicious location of her residence and a first time reading of ‘Wuthering Heights’ as one of the strongest reasons behind her love of writing growing up. After graduating from the University of York in 2017, she has turned all her energy towards fulfilling her two life long dreams: becoming an author and adopting a dog, a cat and a kangaroo. (Editor- She says she’s kidding about the kangaroo but I’m not so sure she is)
Diane Anderson’s Review: 5-Stars
Twisted pretty much describes this collection of fresh and innovative (if downright demented) retellings of classic childhood fairy tales. But these stories are not mere child’s play, as the author makes abundantly clear throughout the book. Fair warning is given both with a blatant announcement on the first page and in the quirky dedication to her parents where she warns them not to read these tales. For the rest of the reading population over the age of consent, and not prone to an overtly sensitive nature, these tales are an entertaining and humorous diversion on par with The Politically Correct Fairytale Book, but way darker, and in most cases, characters and archetypes completely turned on their heads.
A male Beauty meets a beastly daughter of the Erl King who imprisons him in her castle. Yet she turns into a seductive beauty herself for their nightly passions only to reveal her ultimate evil intent. Snow White is the sadistic evil daughter — not stepdaughter — of a cruel king and his abused queen who watches with a combination of horror and pride at her child’s antics. Sleeping Beauty isn’t all she seems either as we learn her tale takes a complex connection to the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Each tale weaves together seamlessly with the overarching story, Golden Eyes, told in four separate parts to preface each new tale.
At one point I admit to being a bit perplexed over seeing some beloved childhood favorite become a mash-up mess of those beloved childhood favorites. But the author’s whimsical style mixed with modern themes and deliciously dark plot lines all kept me avidly turning pages. I found I couldn’t wait to get back each night, with kiddish glee, to read yet another demented and twisted bedtime tale.
If you’re wondering what the Yellow Brick Road of Wizard of Oz fame has to do with these classic fairytales of yore, it won’t come as any surprise that a few modern tales make it into the mix, including a nod to L. Frank Baum’s 1904 children’s novel and the more recent book turned Broadway musical, Wicked by Gregory McGuire.
For purists or any sensitive souls looking for happily ever after in squeaky clean Disney-esque tales, these are not for you. But for fairytale enthusiasts looking for a more grown-up spin on fairy tales, be ready for the unexpected to delight, chill, shock and perhaps rethink those original fairytales. Remember, they were actually written for adults — not children — and weren’t always so sweet or happily ever after. Perhaps its time we returned to our dark and twisted past with these tales packaged for a whole new generation.
Sherry Terry’s Review: 4.7-Stars
Twisted Tales of the Yellowbrick Road by A. Yasin is a wonderfully dark take on some old favorites in the Disney world. I like the stark cover, it fits these fairy tales perfectly. This book of short stories delves into some of our most famous and beloved children’s stories and twists them into perfect little nightmares.
Each tale is wickedly designed to be a stand alone story yet they all mesh together to become one. A. Yasin has done a beautiful job with all the characters. Each one is delectably flawed and different from the original fable yet you know instantly which children’s tale the character is from.
I think the writing is fairly well-done. It could be stronger. The second story, Sleeping Ugly jumps around a lot. I thought it could have been better plotted to keep from going into the past back to the present back to the past of the story. I wasn’t that wild about the story Golden Eyes being in italics. It makes it more difficult to read with old eyes. Some of the sentences could have been stronger, but over all that did not take away from my enjoyment. Twisted Tales of the Yellowbrick Road is a good book.
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