Thursday, February 13, 2014

Review: Nine Witch Tales ed by Abby Kedabra

Synopsis: A collection of nine short fairy tales, all centering on witches. Also included is the Witches Cauldron Poem from Shakespeare's Macbeth. The book was published in 1968, although many of the stories are from long before that.

Review: I purchased this book after reading about it on LibraryThing, in my Fairy Tale group. I enjoyed it, but reading it made me aware of something I hadn't realized before. I'm a modern fairy tale girl. All these stories had a similar theme; the witch was bad. This bothered me, and it took me a minute to realize why. Modern fairy tales often cast the witch as good or neutral (Think Wicked). It seemed strange to me to read stories where the witch was always evil. Another thing that was clear was the lack of strong female characters. More accurately, the strong female character (the witch) was evil and could only be vanquished by the male (the prince) who was there to rescue to helpless maiden. Not all the stories featured helpless maidens. One had a helpless old woman and one had a plucky young girl. But on the whole, strong women were deemed evil, curious women had bad things happen to them, but obedient, sweet, docile women were rescued by the prince and lived happily ever after. This reminded me again why I favor retold fairy tales. However, I don't think it's the books fault. It a product of it's time. If you enjoy older, classic tales about witches, this is an excellent collection.

Bookmarks: 6.5 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: None
Date Published: 1968
Date Finished: 2-21-2014
Pages: 112

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