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The Woodcutter by Kate Danley

The Woodcutter (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Kate Danley

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2201552,892 (3.39)14
Title:The Woodcutter
Authors:Kate Danley
Info:47North (2012), Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Collections:Kindle, Read

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The Woodcutter by Kate Danley (2010)



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Summary: The Woodcutter is the guardian of the Forest, the place where all the fairy tales converge. He's used to the comings and goings, but now things have started to become strange - the young girl and her grandmother, instead of escaping, falls prey to the Beast, and the Woodcutter is too late to save them. He realizes that something is terribly wrong - that someone is stealing the magic of the forest and killing its inhabitants in the process - so he sets out to determine the cause of the problem, and to stop it, if he can.

Review: I should have liked this more than I did. Stories where all of the fairytales are happening at once should be my bread and butter, but something about this story unfortunately failed to work for me. Part of it I think was the writing style -- it was lovely, but I was expecting something more like Alethea Kontis's Woodcutters books, something a little less lyrical and more snappy, which was not at all the case, so the meandering, lyrical language of this book didn't entirely connect with me or my mood. I also felt like the various elements of the plot didn't hang together or interconnect as tightly as they should have. It did capture the feel of a fairy tale fairly well, with lots of short scenes, and fast transitions between the stages of the Woodcutter's quest, but not a lot of development within each scene, or connection between them. I also felt that every time I was starting to get a handle on what was happening, a new element or a new twist would be introduced, so I wound up never entirely understanding what was going on with the pixies, the magic, the blue vs. red blood, the dust, the woods, the kingdoms, etc. So this was interesting, but ultimately not entirely satisfying. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: This one didn't entirely work for me, but if you're in the mood for a lyrical, musing fairy tale, and don't go in expecting something it's not, you might have better luck. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Jul 16, 2015 |
The Woodcutter lives in the Wood connecting the Twelve Kingdoms, keeping the peace between humans and the fae. One night he comes across the body of a princess with glass slippers, and shortly after those of a little girl in a red cape and her grandmother; all of them didn't have a mark on them but had been mortally afraid. Knowing that something terrible stalks the Wood, he sets off to defeat it, and uncovers a terrible conspiracy.

This short novel reads very much like an old-fashioned fairy tale, with Kate Danley's economic yet poetic prose taking you back in time to your childhood when the stories of princes and princesses and true love's first kiss, enchanted woods, witches and evil queens were as familiar to you as the back of your hand, giving you a first taste of good and bad, right and wrong, love and death. She takes all those stories and mixes them together into something new, and half the fun to me was recognising old friends. Her characters have true emotional depth, in particular the titular figure of the Woodcutter himself, and I warmed to him immediately. Even though it's impossible not to read the final few chapters without thinking of religious symbolism, by the end I was in tears, and if the story doesn't move you, then you truly have a heart of stone and deserve no better. I believe this is one of those books that gets better at each re-reading as you discover references and nuances you missed before. ( )
1 vote passion4reading | Mar 13, 2015 |
This is a story that weaves elements of many of the classic fairy tales together through the evolvement of the protagonist "The Woodcutter." Even a few classic nursery rhymes are included. So of course you see, Snow White, and Aurora, but you also see Jack from the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, and even the characters from "Three Billie Goats Gruff," and several other classic tales. It was wonderfully entertaining.

The Woodcutter emerges in each of these stories assisting the characters to find their true love and true loves first kiss without actually retelling those stories. This is not a repeat of the classic fairy tales, more of a behind the scenes kind of thing.

I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a relapse into childhood adventure from time to time.

I would further recommend this story to anyone who has a dark book list. Now and then, something a little uplifting is a good thing.
( )
1 vote jlsimon7 | Mar 1, 2015 |
What an amazing project it was to tie together so many varied and differing fairy tales into one consecutive tale that even has a logical flow to it. While not quite my style, I can still appreciate the beauty of the work. ( )
  jason9292 | Jan 30, 2015 |
This had potential but ended up being kind of a mess. ( )
  Lucifey | Jan 10, 2015 |
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To my family
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The darkness settled like wings, blocking out the sun and casting the forest into false night.
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retelling of familiar,
well-loved fairy tales.

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"Cinderella is dead and one of Odin's hellhounds as gone rogue. The Woodcutter, protector of peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of Faerie, is charged with finding the beast and returning him to the Wild Hunt. Unfortunately, it seems the forces of evil have other plans. It is a race against time as the Woodcutter travels east of the sun and west of the moon, up beanstalks and down to the bowels of the earth, to unravel a mystery that can only be described as Grimm."--p. [4] of cover.… (more)

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Average: (3.39)
1 1
2 8
2.5 2
3 15
3.5 2
4 13
4.5 3
5 6


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