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Kate Danley – The Woodcutter

July 17, 2015

20. The Woodcutter by Kate Danley (2010)

Length: 280 pages
Genre: Fantasy

Started: 10 March 2015
Finished: 08 May 2015

Where did it come from? Downloaded from Amazon.
Why do I have it? Probably an Amazon recommendation or pick-of-the-month or something, since I generally like fairy tales and meta-fairy-tales.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 March 2014.

In the woods where all
the fairy tales meet, magic
must be kept in line.

Summary: The Woodcutter is the guardian of the Forest, the place where all the fairy tales converge. He’s used to the comings and goings, but now things have started to become strange – the young girl and her grandmother, instead of escaping, falls prey to the Beast, and the Woodcutter is too late to save them. He realizes that something is terribly wrong – that someone is stealing the magic of the forest and killing its inhabitants in the process – so he sets out to determine the cause of the problem, and to stop it, if he can.

Review: I should have liked this more than I did. Stories where all of the fairytales are happening at once should be my bread and butter, but something about this story unfortunately failed to work for me. Part of it I think was the writing style — it was lovely, but I was expecting something more like Alethea Kontis’s Woodcutters books, something a little less lyrical and more snappy, which was not at all the case, so the meandering, lyrical language of this book didn’t entirely connect with me or my mood. I also felt like the various elements of the plot didn’t hang together or interconnect as tightly as they should have. It did capture the feel of a fairy tale fairly well, with lots of short scenes, and fast transitions between the stages of the Woodcutter’s quest, but not a lot of development within each scene, or connection between them. I also felt that every time I was starting to get a handle on what was happening, a new element or a new twist would be introduced, so I wound up never entirely understanding what was going on with the pixies, the magic, the blue vs. red blood, the dust, the woods, the kingdoms, etc. So this was interesting, but ultimately not entirely satisfying. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This one didn’t entirely work for me, but if you’re in the mood for a lyrical, musing fairy tale, and don’t go in expecting something it’s not, you might have better luck.

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

Other Reviews: Capricious Reader, Lucybird’s Book Blog, Stacking Books and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: The darkness settled like wings, blocking out the sun and casting the forest into false night.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. aentee @ read at midnight permalink
    July 22, 2015 6:29 am

    I like the sound of this book as fairy tale retellings are my kryptonite, but sad to hear that it didn’t capture the magic and how disorganised the plot sounds. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • July 22, 2015 10:12 am

      It seems like plenty of other people liked it better than I did, so you still may want to give it a try!

  2. July 22, 2015 7:54 pm

    This was on sale the other day (might still be?) and I was waffling over whether to buy it or not. I love fairy tale stories! But I’m definitely not in the lyrical prose mood too often, unfortunately.

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