Greymist Fair

Greenwillow. Mar. 2023. 336p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063161696.
Gr 7 Up–Death is at the door of Greymist Fair, a town deep in the woods on a road most travelers never find. The witch in the woods keeps Death and its wargs at bay, but that doesn’t make the village safe, because sometimes the worst monsters are people. Zappia has crafted eight interconnected stories that take place in Greymist Fair, though at different points in time, painting a vivid picture of life in a town where magic is real, but mostly unwanted. Zappia’s stories call back to the lessons classic fairy tales were meant to teach young children, while finding ways to subvert expectations and keep readers glued to the pages, including Red Riding Hood knocking on Death’s door, a prince granting wishes, and the wolf living next door. Greymist Fair comes to life as an intricate knot of love and death, while touching on all the different ways people abuse power. Zappia’s writing is sharp and accessible, populating a town with a large, unique cast and braiding together different fairy tales to create a world that prioritizes acceptance and love. The book is great fodder for book club discussion, while the short stories break the novel into manageable bites for less proficient readers.
VERDICT Unique yet recognizable, these tales are a solid addition to any collection.

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