REVIEW: A Gathering of Tales- Hermione Lee

A Gathering of Tales Book Cover A Gathering of Tales
Hermione Lee
Teen Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Fairy Tales
August 12, 2023

After sixteen years of being imprisoned in a tower by Dame Gothel, Rapunzel decides she has had enough. One day at twilight, she climbs down and ventures into the forest below. She encounters three new acquaintances, who, like her, are trying to escape their lives. As the quartet navigates the boundless forest and endeavors to find their way out, they form a bond of sisterhood. However, the four girls have no idea the threats prowling in the forest are much more dangerous than they assume, for their fate may be predetermined by someone or something with powers strong enough to dictate their destiny.

Review by Madison Davis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

A Tangle Of Tales is a fairy-tale adaption of Grimm’s Tales, cut and sewn to fit into the Young Adult Fiction.

When I started reading this book, I loved the extensions of the Fairy Tales, the meetings and sisterhood between the main characters, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. They helped each other out wherever it was possible, supported and encouraged each other, and grew very much into a strong group of survivors and warriors.

I liked that the book was written from Rapunzel’s point of view, which made it a personal story report with a collection of emotions and flashbacks, which I loved.

I was curious what the author’s plans were to explain the character’s entanglement and read myself through the first awkward and confusing weaving-in of werewolves. The showing up of them is irritating and turns the young adult tales quickly into an unforeseen turmoil.

Basically ‘in the middle’ of the mayhem, the secret was revealed, on why all this was happening to the four girls and their life.

To be honest: the reason for all the happenings was spun out of whole cloth, and I had the feeling of being cheated into reading a book that doesn’t have a final conclusion and explanation.

I don’t want to go deeper into that part of the book. I understand someone else might not share my opinion, and I don’t want to spoil other reader’s fun.

The very ending of the book finally motivated me to add half a star to my rating, and I think, that’s worth something.

In every one of the books I read, I have a favorite character. In this book, it’s the courageous and brave Rapunzel. She’s fabulous, full of life, of spirit and fighting spirit, which I think, is admirable. The only thing I’d like to add here is, that her extremely long hair could have caused her far more trouble during the story than mentioned. This could have been a wonderful opportunity for a few funny, humorous episodes to make the readers giggle.

There’s also something else I would like to mention… This is a fairytale, mixed together out of several others. To set this book up in the genre ‘Young Adult – physical and mental abuse’ is taken a bit too far. Despite some abuse being mentioned, that is not a ‘problem’ book that centers around the abuse. It’s just a tale. Maybe that could be corrected.

The story isn’t bad – but I have read better from this author.

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