Who this book would not appeal to:
Chronic realists (those who look for real-world examples and applications) and general haters of beautiful fairy tales.
I wasn’t sure what to think of this book when I first picked it up. It was
recommended to me by a website, and when the internet tells you that you’ll like something, the results are a mixed bag. Mostly a mixed bag of poo. Poo that wastes your time. Pleasantly, however, I enjoyed this wonder-filled tale from page one.
The Woodcutter was in one word … charming. I’m not talking about the book (well, the book too) but the main character: The Woodcutter. He is of the fables that I read when I was little, made of faithfulness, discipline, honesty and meaning. Those traits, and more, were required throughout his adventures. The reader follows him through ballrooms, kingdoms on clouds, and haunted (in every sense
of the word) houses. Each decision he makes has the ability to devastate the woods that so many call home.
After I finished the entire book I flipped back thorough to each introduction to a new character. Almost every one of them is from a Grimm or Andersen or other famous story. Cinderella? Check. Red Riding Hood? Check. Evil Queen? Check. But knowing this doesn’t spoil a thing. All of these beloved characters are a familiarly-different reincarnation. All are part of something bigger.
After reading so many stories, a side-effect of “oh I know what’s going to happen now” starts to occur. I can say I had no clue where this Woodcutter was about go. The only hints you get are the only ones you know (Cinderella had glass shoes, “magic” beanstalks come from “magic” beans…) and the tales are so intermixed that all the reader can do is watch. And, in some ways, learn something new from tales you’ve heard so many times.
Point being, if you are looking for an adventure to sweep you off your feet and whisk you away to a magical ballroom of pretty words and not-so-well-intentioned monarchs, this is the one book you have to read.
Also, the cover is beautiful.