I was intrigued by the Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales from the start. While I’m not steampunk inclined, I do enjoy some steampunk based stories and have always been a Jules Verne fan. Steam Pig is still my all-time favorite ArtPrize entry.
No, it wasn’t the steampunk entity that dragged me headlong into this book, it was the retelling of fairy tales. I am a fairy tale junky – since birth (I think). I’ve been working on a retelling or two of my own, am obsessed with Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories series, and don’t we all dream of being a fairy tale princess at some point in life? (I wore shiny silver heels for my wedding as my Cinderella glass slippers and Dorothy’s OZ slippers – they looked like they were made from a disco ball).
Once I started reading this book, it was hard to put down. The seven stories within are captivating. They are relevant enough to the originals that you know where the idea came from, but different enough that you don’t feel at all like you’ve heard the story before. Some of them are more gruesome than others, which is true in the world of fairy tales anyway.
I loved something about each story, but I have a few favorites, and I don’t want to spoil the entire book for you by telling you about every story.
The opening tale, ‘The Clockwork Nightingale,’ actually brought me to tears. The imagery in this story is absolutely divine. ‘The Marionette’ read like a horror story, turning the story of Pinocchio into something I hadn’t expected (but loved immensely). ‘Treasure’ gave a complete steampunk revamp to Snow White, as did ‘The Little Wind-Up Mermaid’ for The Little Mermaid.
Each author showed their talent for creating fantastical stories, recreating our favorite fairy tales, and writing stories that you just can’t help but enjoy. This is a must-read for steampunk lovers and fairy tales addicts alike.