Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fierce Fairytales - Nikita Gill

Title: Fierce Fairytales
Author: Nikita Gill
Publisher: Hachette Books, 2018 (Paperback)
Length: 156 pages
Genre: Adult; Poetry
Started: October 1, 2018
Finished: October 6, 2018

From the inside cover:

Traditional fairytales are rife with cliches and gender stereotypes: beautiful, silent princesses; ugly, jealous, and bitter villainesses; girls who need rescuing; and men who take all the glory.

But in this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds. In this book, gone are the docile women and male saviours. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains. You will meet fearless princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle, and an independent Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

Complete with beautifully hand-drawn illustrations by Gill herself, Fierce Fairytales is an empowering collection of poems and stories for a new generation.

I'm back on a poetry kick, so I'm working through my list of poets and their collections I wanted to tackle after finally reading Rupi Kaur earlier this year.

Nikita Gill caught my attention purely for this collection focusing on fairytale retellings since I'm a sucker for those. If you're expecting some woke, feminist retellings, you'd be spot on. Not that that's a bad thing, it's just that when there's a whole book of poem after poem of the same thing, it does get a little predictable after a while.

Some of my favourites include a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (which includes the poem excerpt below) that I would actually read to my daughter, a poem about Hercules and toxic masculinity, and a little myth-inspired story about why the leaves change colour.

If you're a fan of Rupi Kaur and other similar poets it's well-worth the read, though the lack of variety with the subject matter may irritate some readers.

Thoughts on the cover:
The blue and silver line drawings really stand out here and look quite appealing.

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