My Friday Reads today is Poison.
Yes, this is fortuitous timing, you know, almost like I planned it this way (oh, wait, I did). But, really I’ve been sitting on my hands waiting to write about this book for MONTHS. What can I possibly tell you about Poison? It’s brilliant. Genius really. You think you know the story of Snow White? Think again. Not only does Sarah Pinborough retell a beloved classic, but she creates a stunning fairy tale world that will thrill readers. I’ve read Poison (and Charm—though I haven’t managed to get my hands on Beauty yet) and the minute I read the opening chapter (folks, that chapter is a bit steamy) I knew this was something special. I read the book in a night. I am not a fast reader, but I could not stop reading. At one point I think my husband tried to take the book away, there might have been words.
But in all seriousness, it is impossible to really tell you anything about this book. Not because I can’t. I mean, I have words. They would be able to tell you that Snow White likes to drink beer, ride a horse like a man and hang out with dwarves. That the Wicked Queen has some pretty damn good reasons for why she does some of the stuff she does. That the Huntsman is a bit of a dog, or should I say . . . no wait, I can’t, that would be a spoiler. I mean, I could tell you the plot. But that’s not the fun part of this book.
The fun part (at least for me) was the sense of homecoming you get when you open each of the books.
As a kid my mom bought me collection of illustrated Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales. It was this big massive book. I remember that the pages were glossy. I remember that every time my mom read the opening words (my favourite words): Once Upon a Time . . . that the stage (or should I say page, probably page) was set for an amazing story.
Poison begins with Once Upon a Time . . . but this is not a kids’ tale. I promise you, it’s not a story like anything you’ve ever read before.
And because we’re so very nice, we’re going to give five lucky readers a chance to WIN a proof copy of Poison! That’s right. We spoil you so.
To enter tweet us @Gollancz with the hashtag #poisonfairytale the title of your favourite fairytale. Competition closes at 11.59 12th February 2013.