Solaris. Jul. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781786188465. pap. $16.99. FANTASY
Jean-Marc Charming Arundel is everything a prince should be: handsome, charismatic, and skilled with swords and saving kingdoms. His bravery earns praise and the hand of the beautiful lady of the land, but his true motives are revealed when he is gone the next morning. Left behind are an empty treasury and broken hearts. When three of his victims—Marie Blanche de Neige, Bella Lucia dei’ Sogni, and Doctor Emilia Rapunzel—meet by chance, they discover the depths of his artifice. Now Prince Charming will face the wrath of women scorned—and their plans for revenge. Minor characters such as dwarves, fairies, and donkeys are given stronger roles to support the leads and create a more robust backstory. The twists in the plot pay respect to the original tales, while creating three-dimensional characters with their own desires.
VERDICT A delightfully twisted mash-up of fairy tales, filled with amusing dialogue and unusual character variations. Fans of Alix E. Harrow’s “Fractured Fables” series or Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson’s “The Tales of Pell” series will enjoy this story from Linwood (who wrote Bad Gods under the name Gaie Sebold).
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