Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.
The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.
But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a pixie-dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is a malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
©2012 Kate Danley (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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What happens when someone or something interferes in fairytales? Well, this is not your typical Disney or Mother Goose story but knowledge of the classic fairytales your mother read you is the absolute key to recognizing characters like Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, etc. and identifying their basic fairytale-patterns. Those familiar will appreciate the weaving together of several different tales. In truth, part of the fun is in figuring out the connections and how the author shifts each story from its original telling.
This is a unique book and the twists in Kate Danley’s story of ‘many stories’ take you down dark paths, making The Woodcutter engrossing and entertaining for adults. The plot is well thought out, the writing is fast-paced and there is plenty of action. You can't help but fall in love with the unusual man who is this story's main character and true 'Prince Charming'. Although he does not cut wood he is known simply as the Woodcutter. He understands magic and the balance between the fae and mortals. He is the protector of the enchanted creatures and trees. He struggles to right the many fairytales-gone-wrong, ultimately sacrificing the greatest thing he possesses in order to keep the twelve kingdoms free from the sinister designs of the evil 'Gentleman and Queen'.
It is not hard to see why this book took so many awards, such as the Garcia Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year. It does not disappoint and so I recommend this audiobook as a quick, fun listen for anyone who is grown up but nostalgic for those once upon a time, fairytale days.
I found this book interesting enough to finish, so I gave it 3 stars. I like fantasy and mythology and enjoyed the weaving of traditional fairy tale characters into this mystery in which the Woodcutter plays detective, judge, and executioner based on an eternal agreement between him (and his paternal ancestors) and the Fay, the trees, and the earth. A subtle religious undertone erupts at the very end. The power of the earth, trees, and magic should have been sufficient to effect the happily-ever-after ending without invoking a resurrection. However, regardless of the plot, thematic, narrative flaws, it was the reading that was the worst aspect. This was truly a story to be read aloud, but the characters' voices, especially the woodcutter's, were forced and irritating.
I didn't particularly like the way the book was read. While I thought some voices were beautifully done, overall I found it to be too dramatically read. For almost everything, including the chapter titles, she used a dramatic breathy voice. So I guess the answer to this would be yes, but conditionally.
I liked the way the author played with the different fairy tales and wove them into the story. It was fun to recognize the stories...and yet...not. And to think about some kind of presence in the background making sure everything happens as it should and things don't spin out of control. Except they did...and that is the story :)
The narrator could have chosen her moments to heighten the drama with her voice more carefully.
I don't want to give away any of the good bits. There were lots of moving moments. It is a fairy tale so there is lots of excitement.
Not one of my favorites but it was still very good. To be fair, this is definitely a different audiobook than I usually go for.
She tried but her attempt to do the male voices came off...weird. The Woodcutter's voice was different at times...it had an Irish? accent one minute than it was gone. Sometimes it was scruffy then not. It was slightly distracting. It was more like I was being read to as opposed to immersing me in the story.
I loved how there was a twist to familiar Fairy Tales and how they crossed paths. I mean murder mystery among the happily ever afters?...what's not to like but there were several times that I was confused as to what was going on. I mean why was someone alive that I thought was dead? Without any spoilers, there were several loose ends that I don't feel got resolved. To be fair, I was listening at work and could have missed an important page or two but overall I felt that there was a few holes left to explain.
Irritating drivel and fluff. Terrible exaggerated narration, poorly written, and boring. Avoid this one. Returning it post haste.
I loved how everything tied together, every second of the events that happened just blew my mind more and more every time!
When the hell hound became a puppy! I know its silly but I loved it!
She brings a rare energy to the reading of the book and she captured each character with their own uniqueness.
The ending when he finally gets to go home to his wife. Tear jerker, for sure.
I don't think I would try another book by either the author or the narrator. The story failed as a mystery, a fairy tale, and as just a plain old good story. The narrator also does a poor job. It's a female narrator trying to narrate a male protagonist. She does not succeed.
I am not turned off from books in this genre at all. This is one of my favorite genres, but I will be cautious of anything by Kate Danley in the future.
I would have picked a male narrator. Honestly, I don't know who, but anyone with a deep, manly, woodcutter type voice. Not a high pitched whine.
The premise was good, but the execution was lacking.
I thought that was amazing as Kate Danley managed to bring dozen fairytales with numerous characters combining into many small of the cast along with The Woodcutter as one story. The Woodcutter is a compelling character with great honor, kindness and bravery!
At the almost very ending when all Woodcutter friends join him in celebration after all his troubles.
The two scenes with Oberon and Titania (king and Queen of The Fey) were both beautiful described… I literally could envision in my mind as I listened The Narrator.
Yes I actually did listen during one day. It was a beautiful story and the chapters are pretty short.
I loved Sarah Comes' voice !!! She has such a pleasant voice, plus her accents French and I guess I should Slavic (could be Russian or another slavic country) were really good. Her voice males were also well done. She has done an excellent job, I guess I should look for any of her work as a narrator. Now more about the book: although this is based upon numerous fairytales and a tiny bit of Norse Mythology, the author took her imagination to blend in many well known fairytales: Snow White, Red Ridding Hood, Jack and The Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Rumpelstilskin, Beauty and The Beast and other less famous. I must say this isn't one of those sweet Disney Fairytale either, THERE ARE SOME VIOLENT DEATHS… BUT NO SEXUAL CONTENT. In truth most original fairytales have death or some bad moments.. so in my opinion if your child can accept death in stories this is an excellent book that shows the bravery, generosity, compassion and endurance of the hero, The Woodcutter. Now unless I'm mistaken its never revealed his true name… although some characters do try to find out his name. The Woodcutter plays the part of hero, but also of a detective and in someways of a sort of godmother?!?! I guess its pretty clear I loved the book…almost wish there's a sequel but I'm also happy with the standalone book. I totally recommend it ! Enjoy it !!!
The way fairy tales show up in this story was cute... It was a rambling story and full of people so you needed to keep your mind on the story or you would get lost.
The story itself was interesting - incorporating many "princesses" of the fairy tale dynasty. The Woodcutter - who never chops wood was brilliant.
And I realize that repetition, especially in fairy tales, can be a stunning tool. However, repetition must be used with care. When absolutely everything in the story is subject to heavy repeats it gets a bit dull. A few well placed pronouns would have sped the pace along.
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