Once Upon A Winter Review & Blog Tour!

I’ve never read an anthology before, but after being contacted and asked if I would like to be on the blog tour for this book I knew this would be the perfect one to start with. I’m a big Winter fan & a lover of fairy tales/retelling’s so I loved reading the stories contained in this book. I didn’t manage to get through them all, but I will highlight which stories I read and review them below.

A shape-shifting spirit haunts a family in England during the depths of winter.

A woman must locate a snowflake for a magical trickster to save her frozen true love.

A witch knocks upon a young man’s door to take his life on Christmas day.

A small boy meets a faerie housed within a snow drop.

Once upon a time stories travelled from place to place on the tongues of merchants and thieves and kings alike. Under the blanket of night they were exchanged between children, and passed on to their children, and their children after them. Details were altered from one generation to the next until thousands of tales existed where once there were few.

In the spirit of these age-old stories comes Once Upon a Winter, a seasonal anthology of folk and fairy tales from 17 authors across the globe. It covers the Gothic, the romantic, the whimsical, the frightening and everything in-between, and features both intriguing twists on classic tales and exciting original stories.

The first of four planned seasonal anthologies from Macfarlane Lantern Publishing, Once Upon a Winter is sure to have a story for just about everyone. Grab your copy in time for Christmas today!

Inside this anthology:

The Biting Cold by Josie Jaffrey

The Match Girl by Rebecca F. Kenney

Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Bharat Krishnan

A Pea Ever After by Adie Hart

The Snow Drop by H. L. Macfarlane

Silverfoot’s Edge by Ella Holmes

The Storm Hags by Caroline Logan

The Boggart of Boggart Hole Clough by Jake Curran-Pipe

Around the Hawthorne Tree by Jenna Smithwick

The Best Girl this Side of Winter by Laila Amado

The Snow Trolls by S. Markem

Lord of the Forest by Katherine Shaw

Queen of the Snows by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Long Meg and the Sorcerer’s Stones by M. J. Weatherall

The Frost of Mercy by A. J. Van Belle

Wintercast by R. A. Gerritse

You Can’t See Me by Kate Longstone

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59531353-once-upon-a-winter

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Upon-Winter-Fairy-Anthology/dp/1914210034/

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/once-upon-a-winter/h-l-macfarlane//9781914210037

The Biting Cold by Josie Jaffrey was a chilling and intense tale that showed the symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature. The story follows a young girl who, after loosing both parents runs away into the wild to escape living a life of penance for her fathers sins. One night she witnesses a creature of magic, one made from branches, berries and bugs, a creature who spends the night devouring the natural world, only to return to it’s slumber. But the next time it awakes she notices something different, alongside the branches and bugs there are candy wrappers, bits of metal and plastic and when she awakens the next morning it is to find the world outside changed. The plants have grown with a metallic sheen, the water once pure is now tainted and slowly but surely, year after year the creature gets smaller and smaller and nature becomes more toxic, until the only thing left to do is give herself up to the creature in the hope that it will help nature to heal itself. It highlights how much of an affect we have on the natural world, and how our pollution of it is changing us alongside it.

A Pea Ever After by Adie Hart was a fun and feminist retelling of The Princess and the Pea where none of the Princesses are really that interested in marrying the Prince. Elsie is a District Witch, someone that goes around investigating magical incidents. One night, she knocks on the wrong door and finds herself unwittingly drawn into a competition to win the Princes hand, a competition that neither Elsie, nor her competitors really want to win. This had everything I love in a story, fun and sharp female characters, magic & a hint of romance. For such a short story it certainly packs a punch with the strength of characters, and I love how The Prince was shown as a central character instead of being shoved to the side. It shows that, even when pitted against one another, women have the ability to change their fates, and Elsie is a character who’s story I would love to hear more of.

Silverfoot’s Edge by Ella Holmes Everyone knows the three rules when it comes to the good folk: do not disturb, do not displease, do not dispel. Maeve is desperately searching for Matthias, her one true love, only to find him frozen inside a pool of Ice, the good folk who trapped him tells her that he will be freed if she can find the the smallest of snowflakes. Maeve agrees to this seemingly impossible task and her search leads her to find there is more to the task than she originally thought. Brinae, the good folk who has set her this task needs the smallest snowflake to dispel her own curse, one that the little folk of the woods, the people who have become Maeve’s dearest friends, desperately don’t want to end. Maeve will have to use her strength and cleverness if she is to save both the boy she loves, and the creatures she see’s as friends. This was such a brilliantly written fairy tale, and I loved that it was the Princess saving her one true love and not the other way around. It really managed to get me into the Winter/Christmas spirit and I loved all the little folk who helped Maeve on her journey to save Matthias.

Overall this is the perfect collection of stories to cuddle up with this winter season. There’s a story in here for everyone, whether you’re looking for something a little creepy, wishful, fun, romantic or emotional &I’m really looking forward to working my way through the the others in the collection. Make sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour & check out everyone’s reviews!

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