Monday, June 10, 2013
Poison by Sarah Pinborough
It would be easy to dismiss Sarah Pinborough's Poison as another entry in the growing subgenre of fairy tale fiction, but to do so would be doing this wonderful little volume a great disservice.
There are three of these planned (Charm and Beauty are scheduled for release later this year). The titles give you a hint as to which fairy tale they concern themselves with.
Poison is about Snow White, it also has elements of a number of other classic fairy tales in it. The witch from Hansel and Gretel gets more than a mention as does Aladdin.
Although Poison is set in a very identifiable fairy tale kingdom and it has all the known parts of that old story: the beautiful young princess, the wicked step mother, the magic mirror, the good hearted huntsman, the doughty dwarves and the handsome prince, it is not simply a retelling of Snow White. There's a very modern feel to it and the characters have more depth than you find in the original.
Poison isn't a long book, it comes in at an easily and quickly readable 200 pages, but there's more to it than a page count. This had more impact than many books more than twice it's length.
It has wonderfully lyrical prose, humour and sex.
The best way to describe Poison quickly would be to say that not all fairy tales have happy endings.
For me this book was a great surprise, but I really loved it and am eagerly looking forward to Charm and Beauty.