YA Review: Tales from the Hinterland

Title: Tales from the Hinterland
Author: Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood (reviewed here) and the sequel The Night Country (reviewed here) feature a world where fairytale characters are trapped in their stories, living out their plotlines over and over. The stories are collected by Althea Proserpine, the grandmother of the protagonist, into a book called Tales from the Hinterland, filled with twisted, dark plots and fascinating characters. Readers of The Hazel Wood and The Night Country hear about the characters in the stories, but never see the contents of the book – until now.

This is Althea Proserpine’s book. Twelve new fairy tales with all the raw edges, cruelty, and darkness intact – no Disney princesses here. Love, death, revenge, terrible mistakes and fairytale justice combine to give shape to the Hinterland and its residents. Most of the stories have female protagonists, and many dwell on the expectations and realities of marriage and parenthood, and the determination of the characters to overturn these expectations. The stories are at times dreamlike, beautiful, and unflinchingly horrific – dark, twisted, and deeply satisfying. Stand-out stories were ‘Hansa the Traveler’, ‘Ilsa Waits’, and ‘Twice-Killed Katherine’. If you’ve read The Hazel Wood and The Night Country, reading this book is like meeting old friends, and discovering who they really are.

Have you read Tales from the Hinterland? What did you think of the stories? Which was your favourite tale? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

Review cross-posted to GoodReads.

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