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REVIEW: Fables Retold Anthology

Fables Retold Anthology

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Tony

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About The Book

Tales as old as time…reimagined.

What if your favorite fairy tales…kicked some serious, urban fantasy ass? 

Fueled by magic, steam, and scorching men, this MM romance anthology has just the thrill you’re looking for.

6 paranormal and urban fantasy authors.
6 fairy tales retold in modern day.
6 gorgeous couples to fall in love with. 
Over 1,200 pages.

A limited edition anthology you don’t want to miss. 
Comes with happy-ever-afters guaranteed!

Grab your copy of Fables Retold today!

Stories included:

  • Blake & the Beast by Rhys Lawless (Beauty & the Beast)
  • The Cat Returns to Adderly by Sam Burns (Puss in Boots)
  • The Seventh Ring of Bertram Bell by W.M. Fawkes (Bluebeard)
  • Gruff by Morgan Brice (Three Billy Goats Gruff)
  • The Demon’s in the Details by Meghan Maslow (Rumpelstiltskin)
  • Spirit of Snow by Richard Amos (Snow White)

The Review

Fables Retold brings together six authors to retell fairy stories in an MM urban fantasy context. There’s a lot of fun to be had here, but maybe not quite as much as the authors had. You win some, you lose some.

Blake and the Beast by Rhys Lawless is a Beauty & the Beast retelling that may well work for you if you like super-powered protagonists in an X-Men type setting. The mutants here call themselves fae for some reason not explained, but that’s their choice. There is a distinct X-men Last Stand feel here, which the author owns up to. You’ll meet Archer and his team of terrorist-cum-freedom fighters as they strive for justice. They come up against Blake Bennet, who has developed a ‘cure’ for fae. Unbeknown to Archer, Blake is having more than second thoughts about his discovery, and is in the process of destroying all his research when the facility comes under attack from Archer and company. The story follows what happens when Archer takes Blake captive, and finds out that there is a lot more going on than he realised. It’s a lot of fun and few people die, which works for me. Nothing world shattering, by any means, but there is a nice interplay between the main characters.

The Cat Returns to Adderly by Sam Burns is a Puss in Boots Retelling. Luke Miller’s parents get killed in car accident and his two older brothers kick him out of his home and leave him nothing but an old book, and that grudgingly. So there you have it, a homeless orphan with only his cat for company. Hah! There is so much more than that here, though. The cat, called Dub by Luke but Wentworth by the cat itself, is no ordinary cat. I’m not going to give any spoilers here. It’s a brilliantly told tale that’ll have you cheering Luke and Wentworth on. Read it and enjoy!

The Seventh Ring of Bertram Bell by W.M. Fawkes is a Bluebeard retelling. Elio Peralta’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a magician’s apprentice in his younger brother’s place. He leaves his home, his family, and his childhood best friend Dutch, to pursue a possible dream career. Dreams can so easily become nightmares, as Elio finds out as he slowly uncovers the fate of the previous six apprentices. There are a number of secrets and surprises to be revealed along the way, as well as a black dog to be petted. Good fun read.

Gruff by Morgan Brice is a Three Billy Goats Gruff retelling. Two goat shifters are heading towards Fox Hollow on a collision course plotted by the fates. Adiel and Joel, two guys disappointed in love, are about to discover via dark fae, dangerous ghosts and a deadly fight on a bridge that love has not forsaken them. Who’d have thought a goat could be sexy? I think I need counselling. Suspend disbelief and just enjoy it.

Demon’s in the Details by Meghan Maslow is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling. Raven shifter Poe Dupin is one good guy. Okay, he’s a burglar too, but he does it to protect his roost. Protect them all from the no-good alpha, his stepfather and his gambling addiction. He is thrown into making a number of deals with Tommy Tittoti, a demon hairdresser. No one makes a deal with a demon lightly, but Poe has no choice. It’s anyone’s guess if he’s going to lose his soul, his heart or both. This is a really exciting ride with numerous magical creatures making a play for power.

Spirit of Snow by Richard Amos is a Snow White Retelling. Alec Snow, an ex-policeman and book shop owner, is the most unlikely hero I would want to spend my time with. He is snarky, irrational and tiresome. In his favour, he has a good heart. There is a lot going on in this tale or, to put it another way, too much going on, what with Anne Boleyn making an entrance at some point as well. Not really my thing. this one. but that could be just me. I made it to the end. so I’m giving myself a pat on the back. What the heck, Alec gets his cake, smothered in apple sauce, and eats it. Good for him.

As a collection there are some very high points and a couple of lower ones, with some very memorable moments along the way. Four out of six is a good score here. 

The Reviewer

Tony is an Englishman living amongst the Welsh and the Other Folk in the mountains of Wales. He lives with his partner of thirty-six years, four dogs, two ponies, various birds, and his bees. He is a retired lecturer and a writer of no renown but that doesn’t stop him enjoying what he used to think of as ‘sensible’ fantasy and sf. He’s surprised to find that if the story is well written and has likeable characters undergoing the trails of life, i.e. falling in love, falling out of love, having a bit of nooky (but not all the time), fending off foes, aliens and monsters, etc., he’ll be happy as a sandperson who has just offloaded a wagon of sand at the going market price. As long as there’s a story, he’s in. He aims to write fair and honest reviews. If he finds he is not the target reader he’ll move on 

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