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Bill Willingham – Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall

January 3, 2009

1. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Esao Andrews, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Mark Buckingham, James Jean, Michael William Kaluta, Derek Kirk Kim, Tara McPherson, Jill Thompson, Charles Vess, Mark Wheatley (2006)
Fables, prequel

Length: 142 pages

Genre: Graphic Novel; Fantasy

Started: 31 December 2008
Finished: 01 January 2009 (!)

How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since Lightheaded reminded me with her review of its existence – but in more concrete terms, it lasted all of about thirty minutes after I picked it up from the library before I started reading it.
Verdict? I’m so addicted…

Characters we love,
stories that we haven’t heard;
Fables fans, rejoice!

Summary: 1001 Nights of Snowfall is a stand-alone prequel of sorts to the main Fables storyline. It’s structured as a series of short stories that Snow White tells to the sultan of the Arabian Fables, when a diplomatic mission goes awry, and she must tell stories, Scheherazade-style, in order to delay her own execution. There are stories of Snow White and Prince Charming’s marriage, of Bigby as a cub, of the exodus of several characters, including Reynard the Fox, Frau Totenkinder, and King Cole from the Homelands, the background of the Flycatcher the Frog Prince, and a few other short snippets of story.

Review: This compilation was published after Volume 7, Arabian Nights (and Days), but since the action takes place at least 100 years before the start of Volume 1, Legends in Exile, it can really be read at any point. Some of the stories (particularly that of Frau Totenkinder) have been covered in some form in the main-sequence volumes, but they’re expanded here. I enjoyed all of the stories, particularly “The Fencing Lessons” and “A Frog’s Eye View” – the latter of which pretty well broke my heart, particularly after reading Volume 10, The Good Prince. The artwork was also gorgeous – each story is illustrated by a different artist, but as a whole, each panel is more like a painting than a typical graphic novel. Basically, this collection was a light read that rekindled my latent Fables addiction, and now I really, really need to get my hands on Volume 11. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This collection should be enjoyable to all fairy-tale fans, whether or not they’re also Fables readers. For Fables fans, this can be read at pretty much any point of the main series, although I think the later you leave it, the more poignant the stories become.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Tripping Towards Lucidity: Estella’s Revenge, Everyday Reads
Did I miss your review? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Once upon a time, as all stories of this type must begin, a lovely woman traveled to a far-off demon-haunted land of magnificent jeweled cities, cast adrift in a sea of wind-tossed desert.

Vocab:

  • p. 14: “Now Snow was a proper woman of demure manners and bridled inwardly at such public declarations from a stranger, even one whose suzerain encompassed thrice three times three dozen kingdoms, city states and satrapies.” – the province or jurisdiction of a satrap, a subordinate governor under the ancient Persian monarchy.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2009 5:12 pm

    I now have all the books until 10, so I’ll definitely leave these for after I’m done with them. I’m so looking forward to it. I’ve looked at it a few times and the artwork is gorgeous indeed.

    That’s cool about the word “satrapies”! I guess that’s also related to Marjane-of-Persepolis-fame’s last name.

  2. January 3, 2009 11:11 pm

    Oh dear, I’ve only read the first Fable book so far. I wanted to read the rest before this one, but you’ve made me want to read it NOW. :D

    I usually don’t buy graphic novels since they’re so expensive (and libraries here don’t stock them), so I’m still not sure if I will be catching up with the series anytime soon. One day, though… one day…

  3. January 5, 2009 10:17 am

    Nymeth – I never would have made the connection to Marjane Satrapi, but I’m sure you’re right. Neat!

    marineko – I’m so grateful that my local library has these, because you’re right about them being expensive! I probably wouldn’t have read them if I’d had to buy them for myself, and that would have been a big loss!

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