Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BLACK PEARLS by Louise Hawes

BLACK PEARLS

A Faerie Strand

By Louise Hawes (Author) , Rebecca Guay (Illustrator)

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 19th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-74797-9
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Seven classic fairy tales receive mature, magical and sometimes erotic happily-never-after retellings. Rather than update these tales to modern times, Hawes uses heightened, archaic-sounding language to tell classic stories from new points of view. In this sinister, highly sexual faerie world, heroes are often evil and villains are sometimes innocents who simply don’t get to tell their side of the story. In “Diamonda,” a dwarf carries on a romance in Snow White's dreams. “Evelyn’s Song” retells Jack and the Beanstalk from the point of view of the giant’s golden harp. “Ashes,” the strongest story in the collection, is a creepy remix of Cinderella from the emasculated prince’s perspective, in which Cinderella in all her beauty comes across as self-absorbed and amoral, even monstrous. Each tale is rife with the dark sexuality and driving fear usually left out of children’s retellings. A cover blurb from Holly Black coupled with Rebecca Guay’s curvaceous pencil drawings will draw fans to this worthwhile collection of sensuous fantasy. (Fantasy/short stories. YA)