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.
If the author had developed an internal storyline more than just merging a collection of fables, it would have been intensely more commanding. Unfortunately, I found myself groaning at the "introduction" of each expected character.
No, fables/fairy tales/folk lore is such a rich and imaginative form of literature. I cannot imagine missing out on great extensions of the classics just because this was such a mash up.
I found myself distracted by the attempted character voices.
Irritating drivel and fluff. Terrible exaggerated narration, poorly written, and boring. Avoid this one. Returning it post haste.
I simply did not care for this. I felt it was formulaic and suffered some internalized misogyny. For example, the woodcutter (detective) finds the body of a dead princess and remarks out loud, "What did you get yourself into, girl?"
I did not like the narrator. It was very breathy and forced almost as if it was a fake English accent. I don't know if she really is English, but it sounded like a college freshman who just landed the part of Wendy in a stage play of Peter Pan.
I actually missed my junction because I was so focused on turning this book off. The good news is that I got back on the right highway and also remembered how much I liked the Dresden Files. I listened to Dead Beat for the rest of the five hour car trip. Excellent.
Books make the world a better place
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.
I would recommend this book to fairy tale fans. Danley plays with fairy tale elements and characters in a creative, sometimes surprising way.
Sarah Coomes did a great job bringing the characters to life (especially the accents!).
I haven't listened to many fiction books on Audible so I enjoyed feeling like a child being read to before bedtime.
I liked the style of the narration. Instead of giving every detail about the fairy tale world, the author just takes us along for the Woodcutter's adventure and we discover information about the world as it is introduced.
I liked that the story allowed for an escape to a magical world where good conquers evil, but also revealed some truth regarding the problems of the real world. I appreciated the juxtaposition of the cliche, frivolous "love conquers all" theme (and not just romantic love) with a touch of some harsh realities of the real world including drug abuse, prostitution, corrupt pursuit of power and even the incarceration and exploitation of an entire 'race.' For a few hours I could pretend that the troubles of the modern world might be fixable with the help of a the Woodcutter.
I have not listened to Sarah Coomes before, so I cannot compare. Once I got used to her larger-than-life accent choices and breathiness, I enjoyed her performance because it added some extra drama to the characters and helped me visualize them in interesting ways.
The combination of performance and story made me want to curl up by the fire place with a cup of cocoa and just appreciate the familiarity and simplicity of classic fairy tales with a modern twist.
This isn't a masterpiece, but I didn't expect it to be and so I thought it was enjoyable.
Her pauses, anguished tones, she made the Woodcutter seem like a real man not a country dolt.
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