First Night: Four Fairy Tales Retold

First Night is a compilation of four fairy tales that are retold for an adult audience. Caroline Aubrey selected Beauty and Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Robber Bridegroom. She put her own twist on the classic tales while turning up the heat between our well-known characters. Is Beauty’s beast really a beast in bed? Why did Cinderella’s stepmother really hate her? What did Beauty do when she wasn’t sleeping? And what exactly did Robber Bridegroom do to all those women?

This author had the near impossible task of adding more depth to our beloved childhood tales. I commend her for aging these stories for mature levels. In the end, I was left wanting more, much more as the book is too concise. The length is great for one story but she explores four stories and there are not enough pages to do them justice. All the stories were unfortunately rushed to their conclusion. However, there are fanatic well-written scenes that will capture the readers but not enough pages to fully satisfy our interest.

This a great intro piece for readers who want to know what else could have happened, especially in the evenings. I hope she is able to write longer adult tales to showcase her literary skills and fill the caps of our imaginations.  

Book Blurb for First Night: Four Fairy Tales Retold

Dressed head to toe in fine wine-colored velvet, her luxu-rious, deep black hair pulled back in jeweled combs made from sea shells, Beauty found her appetite was ravenous. She ate spiced meats and drank sweet wine. The Beast entertained her with stories of magic and myth, of brave men and warrior women from other lands, with tales of fairies and witches and enchantments far older than time itself. Beauty found herself growing accustomed to his gentle manner, which was in sharp contrast to his terrifying appearance. The Beast had even per-suaded her to sing for him, and she cradled the golden lute in her soft hands, and sang a song about a lonely man whose chil-dren had left him to die in the craggy rocks. Beauty’s tear-stained voice shook when she finished the haunting melody, her voice fading to nothing. When silence fell around them like snow falling on trees, Beauty began to think about her fa-ther and her brothers and her sisters, and in a small, choked voice, asked the Beast if she might retire.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2008 3.50