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.
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.
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.
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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.
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