Creeping Beauty: Fairy Tales Gone Bad
Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya Hartas
We’re back in the Library of Fairy Tales Gone Bad for the third and sadly, final tale in this cracking series, where the Librarian has found a really frightening treat. Prepare to meet Eshe, the youngest of thirteen sisters, which makes her a tredecimalet. Eshe, like her sisters, is a fairy godmother with the ability to bestow amazing gifts, and thus invited to every christening party in the land. However Eshe has a rather different ability: she is able to to see into the future.
One day she foresees something truly terrible – ‘a world blanketed in thorns!’ endlessly growing vines that defy the sharpest of axes, shears, and even weedkiller. At the centre of all this is a beautiful girl, Princess Rose. It’s to her christening party that the sisters have just received an invitation and whereas her siblings are focussing on suitable gifts for the baby, Eshe’s head is filled with thoughts of the terrible future. She must attend the christening and she absolutely must try to prevent the very worst. This however will required, deep and very powerful magic and the use of her alchemistical Eye of Grimm.
Moreover she will require the help of others …
Dreadfully dark and brilliantly subversive, Joseph’s decidedly prickly twisted take on Sleeping Beauty is, like Zombierella and Frankenstiltskin, absolutely awesome. Long live the power of love and friendship. Freya Hartas’ wonderful black and white illustrations are in turn eerily eye-catching or cleverly comical.