Short Take: “The Halcyon Fairy Book,” T. Kingfisher

Pros: hilarious, fascinating look at fairy tales
Rating: 5 out of 5

T. Kingfisher’s The Halcyon Fairy Book mostly consists of reprintings of a handful of fairy tales together with Kingfisher’s biting, humorous, insightful commentary on the same. Fairy tales are known for taking bizarre left turns and leaps of logic, not to mention having ridiculous plots and characters. Kingfisher both appreciates them for what they are and skewers them at the same time. She clearly pokes fun from a place of love, and it shows. I’d gotten so used to the weird facts of fairy tales that I’m not sure I really approach them critically any more, and it’s nice to be reminded of how to apply modern thought to fairy tales without losing an appreciation for them.

Kingfisher also includes a few of her own fairy tales, and they’re wonderful. She clearly puts to use some of her insight in order to create tales that retain that fairy tale feel yet incorporate insights that give them new and fascinating ground to cover. In particular I love her characters, human and not. They possess a great deal more depth and sense than typical fairy tale characters while remaining magical and weird.

I love all of Kingfisher’s work so far and highly recommend reading whatever you can get your hands on!

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