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TROLL’S-EYE VIEW by Ellen Datlow


A Book of Villainous Tales

edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-670-06141-9
Publisher: Viking

Fifteen authors, nearly all well known to fantasy readers, move to the folktale villain’s side. Jane Yolen’s “Troll” develops a taste for goat only after a lightning bolt cooks one on his bridge; Rapunzel is portrayed not as a witch’s captive but “An Unwelcome Guest” by Garth Nix; the giant’s beleaguered wife happily sees off both Jack and her oafish husband in Peter Beagle’s “Up the Down Beanstalk.” In one of the collection’s three poems, Neil Gaiman gives Sleeping Beauty’s wicked fairy voice as she insists on the importance of “Observing the Formalities.” Several supposed baddies—most notably the Bluebeard figure in Nancy Farmer’s “Castle Othello”—turn out to be victims of bad press, and despite his appetite for human babies even the helpful sprite in Michael Cadnum’s “ ’Skin” might earn some sympathy. Well, maybe not—but there’s still plenty in this all-new collection to please, challenge and amuse fans of the editors’ earlier gatherings, A Wolf at the Door (2000) and Swan Sister (2003). Brief author bios follow each selection; a list of further reading rounds it all out. (Fantasy/anthology. 10-13)