The Woodsman And The Rose

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Fantasy: The Woodsman And The Rose - An Enchanting Fairy Tale

Last Free Dates: 8th Oct 16 to 12th Oct 16
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...I skim-read after Chapter 3 for the sake of the review, but it never managed to catch and hold my attention. A good editor would work wonders....

Drawn by the gorgeous cover, I picked this up because I love modern fairytales, especially Tanith Lee’s retellings. This is sadly not on those levels. The writing style seems a little stilted for a fairytale, with modern phrases such as “negative emotions”, “gained loads of magical skills”, and “classic combination of beauty and brains” Sometimes the writing can be distracting. For example it tells us that the two heroes were raised by Guardian Angels, then three sentences later that the guardian angels were pixies. Why not simply say Pixies outright? In chapter two we are told about “the old gardener” when three paragraphs later it reads “the old man who was actually a gardener”.

On finishing chapter one, all I can think it that it is setup. By halfway through Chapter two I was actually struggling. In some ways this reminds me of Chaucer’s The Squire’s Tale – which is not a compliment as the Squire throws everything at the wall in the hope that some of it will stick and eventually gets cut short by the Knight. For older readers references may be distracting, e.g. this is not Thomas More’s Utopia, and it is hardly a perfect kingdom so I’m not sure why that name was used, and the deus ex “Death Spell” on the last page doesn’t help (Is murder really a good deed?). However none of these are the real problem with the book.

That problem is finding an audience. I’m honestly not sure who this book is aimed at. This isn’t really going to appeal to younger children, as the story rambles and repeats and the writing style and vocabulary is too old for them. I suspect it is not going to appeal to older readers, because of the repetitive style and themes that are slightly too simple. (And personally, the name I give some one who knowingly stands back to let evil run its course is not hero, it is accomplice).

I skim-read after Chapter 3 for the sake of the review, but it never managed to catch and hold my attention. A good editor would work wonders.

Rating: DNF
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