REVIEW: Once Upon a Curse

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About the Book

Once Upon a CurseTitle: Once Upon a Curse

Authors: Yasmine Galenorn, Althea Kontis, Annie Bellet, Anthea Sharp, Phaedra Weldon, Christine Pope, Jennifer Blackstream, Donna Augustine, C. Gockel, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson, Audrey Faye, Devon Monk, Danielle Monsch, Tara Maya, Alexia Purdy, Julia Crane, Sabrina Locke

Series: none

Pages: 360

Dates Read: February 13 – April 4, 2021

Edition Read: Kindle eBook

Blurb: Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumplestilstskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.

Shadows cannot exist without light, however, and you’ll find enough happily-ever-afters to lift your spirits in this anthology full of adventure, dark powers, and ultimately the enduring power of true love.


I will be completely honest – this one was a bit of a struggle for me. I think this is for a few reasons. One, I’ve never really been a fan of short stories as a medium. I had to read a lot of them while I was in college and it always made me feel like something was lacking. There is not enough space to fully explore anything and always feels a little bit flat. Also, despite not going completely into a reading slump earlier this year, I did slide down a bit and really didn’t feel in the mood for this type of story. The main reason that I continued on was because it fit a prompt for the “Beat the Backlist” challenge. I am glad that I did though because ultimately I did enjoy several of the stories in this collection.

Of all the authors in this collection, I was only familiar with Yasmine Galenorn from reading her Sisters of the Moon series (or part of it – it’s a really big series). So it was really nice to get a feeling for a bunch of new authors that I had never heard of. Some of these stories were several chapters long, while others were much shorter. Some were shorter versions or excerpts from longer works. I will say that all of them were very well written and interesting. This is certainly a subgenre that I enjoy and it was nice to see it displayed and experimented with in many different ways.

Of the stories, I will give a few of my favorites. I really liked “The Morrigan” by Phaedra Weldon. It was a bit longer than the others and was about a young man who discovers that he is part leprechaun. I have to say, leprechauns don’t get enough love in the fantasy genre. This story really mixed the modern world with the world of fairy tales really well – I love when authors play with those two juxtapositions! I also really enjoyed “The Final Straw” by Jennifer Blackstream. This was a retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin story. More of a traditional fairy tale but very beautifully told.

GoodReads rating: 3 stars. I enjoyed it but it won’t be a favorite of the year. If you like short stories and fairy tale retellings, I would recommend you check it out.

Categories: Books I've Read

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