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The Woodcutter by Kate Danley
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The Woodcutter (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Kate Danley

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1791066,229 (3.37)13
Member:CurrerBell
Title:The Woodcutter
Authors:Kate Danley
Info:47North (2012), Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Collections:Kindle, Read
Rating:***
Tags:None

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The Woodcutter by Kate Danley (2010)

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» See also 13 mentions

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I wanted to like this. The concept seemed right up my alley-a convergence of famous characters from classic fairy tales and mythology. The plot centers around The Woodcutter, who lives in an enchanted forest connecting twelve magical kingdoms and is responsible for maintaing the balance between good and evil. When he discovers a dead Cinderella on his forest floor, he begins a quest to discover the root of the increasingly gruesome events developing in the kingdoms, threatening the peace and harmony between the fae and man.
But despite the appeal of the general idea of this story, the execution just didn't cut it for me. I felt the plot was muddled and awkward. I often found myself wondering what it was I had just read. Though we may already be familiar with many of them, the characters came off as flat and bland. I think the writing style focused too much on coming off as poetic (and didn't quiet pull it off), largely at the sacrifice of the overall quality of the story. It was hard to feel engaged and I remained pretty ambivalent about what happened.
This definitely isn't the worst thing I've ever read and it is well intentioned, but overall I a bit disappointed. ( )
  LaurenMae85 | Jul 22, 2014 |
Disappointing. I found this simplistic and shallow, leaning heavily on the fairytale sources with little originality mixed in to freshen it up. Probably better aimed at kids / very early teens. ( )
  imyril | May 28, 2014 |
Originally posted at FanLit.

The Woodcutter lives in an enchanted wood. His job, which he inherited from his ancestors, is to maintain peace and the delicate balance of good and evil in the neighboring realms of humans and fairies. One day when he discovers Cinderella lying dead on the forest floor, he knows that something has gone wrong. Further investigation shows other fairytale characters are in danger, one of Odin??s hellhounds has escaped, and someone is murdering pixies so they can sell pixie dust on the black market. The Woodcutter must figure out who is behind these evil events and set things right again.

Kate Danley originally self-published The Woodcutter a couple of years ago and then, after glowing reviews and some awards, it was picked up by 47North, Amazonƒ??s SFF label. Brilliance Audio produced it (read by Sarah Coomes) and sent me a copy. As I can see from reviews at Amazon and Goodreads, most readers like The Woodcutter. Iƒ??m not sure if thereƒ??s something wrong with me, but The Woodcutter bored me to nearly literal tears. My opinion seems to be the conspicuous minority, so this is one of those times where I urge you to try the book for yourself. Youƒ??re likely to be one of the majority who enjoys The Woodcutter. But in case youƒ??re wondering, Iƒ??ll be happy to tell you why it didnƒ??t work for me.

I like the premise of a forest where all fairytale characters live together, but I didnƒ??t think it was highly original and it shortly began to feel gimmicky to me. There is a mystery plot that tries to bind everything together ƒ?? and some of it, such as the pixie dust drug trade, is unique and entertaining ƒ?? but as the Woodcutter walked through the forest and met a new fairytale character every few minutes, I felt like I was watching a parade. There goes Cinderella, and thereƒ??s Sleeping Beauty. Wave hello to Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Rumpelstiltskin. Donƒ??t forget Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Twelve Dancing Princesses. And, hey! Itƒ??s Odin, Titania, Oberon, and Baba Yaga, too! Perhaps this would have been more fun if Danley had not used their names and weƒ??d been able to figure them out for ourselves, but this felt more likeƒ?? well, what I said: a parade.

Itƒ??s possible that I would have liked The Woodcutter better in print than audio because I was irritated by Sarah Coomesƒ?? narration. She reads it with a breathy sing-song voice that is regularly but indiscriminately passionate, almost groaning and straining in places (hear a sample). I think many readers will approve of Coomesƒ?? interpretation, but I couldnƒ??t seem to shake the feeling that I was supposed to be taking this story seriously and oh-so-tragically when I really felt like I was eating popcorn at Disney World and that the characters would soon be tossing me candy as they passed.

Read the rest at FanLit.
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-woodcutter/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
I read this book while holidaying in Cypress. I finished it in two days which is a reflection of how good it is. I can spend months reading a book I'm not keen on and have been known to cheekily take a sneak peak at Wikipedia for the synopsis to bluff my way through a Reading Group evening....

The story was beautifully written and at one point I thought to myself it was like poetry. I'm not a fan of poetry normally but the way the story unfolded evoked emotions and reveries which added to the ambience.

The Woodcutter is the guardian of the Wood. He is a powerful man who doesn't seem to covet power - he does what he must. An evil queen is trying to take over the twelve kingdoms and he is the only person who can stop her.

From Snow White to Baba Yaga to Odin, the tale covers many legends and fairy stories of yore. The main characters are fleshed out, the Woodcutters wife waiting at home the only thing keeping him going at times. It blends them to a perfect mix which I thoroughly enjoyed.

This kind of book is the reason I created the book group in the first place! I'm now looking forward to the next book... ( )
  CeriClark | Mar 7, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful re-write of some of the classic fairy and folk folks, centering around the woodcutter. The only negative was the very short chapters in the eBook version, some not even a page. If you like fairy tales you will enjoy this. ( )
  Silverlily26 | Jan 27, 2014 |
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The darkness settled like wings, blocking out the sun and casting the forest into false night.
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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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