the woodcutter – kate danley

The Woodcutter – Kate Danley

“The Wood did strange things to humans, especially humans who had a distant touch of the fae within. It turned them from ordinary people into mad hermits, cannibals who ate children thinking they were made of gingerbread, and people who swore thay had been asleep for one hundred years.”

I am an admin for a wonderful (extremely popular) book lover’s group on Facebook, and I decided to ‘use’ the members the other day.

I wanted a book that was whimsical, fairytale-like. Something escapist and reminiscent of the Grimms.  I couldn’t have got a better recommendation from a member – and even better, it was listed in Kindle Unlimited , so no extra cost!

A young woman is found dead in the forest by the Woodcutter, only her chipped glass slippers hinting at her identity.  The Woodcutter is the Keeper of the Peace, and guards the Wood which acts as a barrier between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm Of The Fae.  He needs to find the maiden’s killer and ensure that there are no other murderous plots afoot.

This book was exactly what I wanted – a tale of faery and whimsy. Beautifully written, the prose was evocative and could have been written any time in the last few hundred years – apart from perhaps the crack whore in the night club – although she was still handled very delicately and didn’t seem to clash with the style of the rest of the story!

The tale purposely played on the fairy tales that everyone is familiar with – Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack & The Beanstalk, Rapunzel etc. It became fun to try and work out who each character was before it was made obvious.  The murderous plot could have just been another fairytale wound in amongst the others – and indeed it was.

I think many people forget just how violent and gruesome the actual Grimm’s tales were before they became Disneyfied.  Danley manages to make her story beautiful, yet violent and cruel, showcasing the best and the worst of people.

I know that this wont be for everyone, but if you’re prone to a bit of whimsy, a bit of magic and a bit of the fairy dust with your murders, this is a fantastic yet easy read – and look how gorgeous that cover is!


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