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The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen. Book review.

December 16, 2017

Book Cover The Emerald Circus

This is the first time I have encountered Jane Yolen’s work and it was an interesting experience with regards to how to rework fairy tales in a novel way. Or maybe I should have said subvert, because there is a sense of an initially straightforward approach to some of the stories which turn into something wonderfully not right. In other tales the setup leaves you in great suspense (or anxiety) trying to work out where the words might be taking you.

My particular favourites were a retelling of Peter Pan and that righting wrongs has consequences that you might need to take responsibility for, and Hans Christian Andersen’s creative life.

Some of the stories feel huge in scope, because they take place over years, but fit into a relatively small word space. Yet the reader is not left feeling as if there is any urgency in this apparent lack of room for the writer to express herself creatively.

These stories will have a wide age range appeal and an older YA reader might find these stories a great transition into more conceptually complex adult fantasy/sci-fi books because there is a great deal about relationships within them, and a depth to the stories they can really get their teeth into.

This is a book to go back to for a writer so you can pull it apart and learn technique. For a reader, The Emerald Circus is just to be enjoyed for the clever way in which an old story can be presented anew, and just because the book is a good read.

One to keep.

The Emerald Circus was courtesy of Tachyon Publications via NetGalley.

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