The Flutterby Room

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Review: Rags & Bones

Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales - Melissa Marr

RAGS & BONES is a collection of short stories that are retellings of works which mean something to the author. The collection contains re-imaginings of fairy tales as well as stories inspired by works of literature like Kipling’s THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING or Spenser’s THE FAERIE QUEENE. Each contributor adds an interesting twist to the work that inspired them. Contributors include the editors Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, as well as Neil Gaiman, Garth Nix, and Kami Garcia.


By its very nature RAGS & BONES is a book you can dip in and out of, and choose the order in which you read the stories. Fairy tale retellings have been a common trope in Young Adult books for a while now, so it was interesting to see RAGS & BONES take this idea a step further by including not only the retellings but also stories inspired by other works of literature. The anthology also included notes by the authors at the end of each short story, as well as for the less known books that inspired the stories brief summaries of the original tale.


Most of the stories in the collection are quite dark, and there is a definite dystopian feel to some of them. I love the way that the collection allows you to travel from the colonial past to dystopian futures, by way of gothic horror. The stories are as varied as the authors involved, but somehow they work together and the collection moves seamlessly from one story to another.


The collection of stories in RAGS & BONES felt cohesive, and on the whole I really enjoyed reading it. There was only one story which I disliked – though it was one I was reduced to skim reading. I thought that all the authors involved employed great creativity with their work. There were a couple of stories in the collection which I really enjoyed reading, and not necessarily by the authors I thought.


If you are a fan of short stories and a fan of retellings then you should definitely consider giving RAGS & BONES a try. There is something in RAGS & BONES for almost any reader.


Originally posed on The Flutterby Room.