The Wicked Wood gathered by Isobelle Carmody and Nan McNab

cover image

Tales from the Tower: Volume 2. Allen and Unwin 2011. ISBN 9781742374413.
(Ages: 15+) Highly recommended. The Wicked Wood accompanies The Wilful Eye; both volumes described as collections of 'tales of enchantment from six writers of modern fantasy'. Most striking, at first glance, are the covers designed by Zoe Sadokierski. With the books placed alongside each other, the hands of two rather amazing winged female creatures meet, giving the collection unity and continuity. A valuable introduction by Nan McNab begins the journey for the reader and each of the contributors is given space at the conclusion of their particular story to explain its origin. Fairy tales carry great insights into everyday life and the same stories are told the world over. Analysing these tales can be a fascinating exercise and having new interpretations of well-known stories presented in this way makes for interesting and memorable reading. The length of each story differs, as does the familiarity of its plot. Each of the stories stands alone well, with a link to a traditional fairy tale being somewhat more obvious with some than with others. All are exciting tales of fiction, full of mystery and imagination. As with the previous volume, most stories in this collection will be of interest to the teenage reader with some obviously referring to more adult themes. Of interest, too, are the various writing styles of each of the chosen authors, and how they choose to retell their tale. This collection is highly recommended.
Julie Wells