I borrowed The Sin Eater’s Daughter from work as a test of my YA fantasy instincts. I had a feeling from the blurb that it would prove to be one of those books with some interesting ideas but poor execution. Hey, prove me wrong, Melinda Salisbury!
Melinda Salisbury did not do that.
The Goose Girl has always been a strange fairy tale to me. It has some strikingly specific imagery (which no doubt originally carried metaphorical meaning that I’m too lazy to look up for this) which makes it stick in your head, but also seemed to me to be even more narratively disjointed and have less clear characterization than many other fairy tales (certainly, when I read it for the first time it was easily the most extreme example of that I’d encountered). It always seemed to me that there was something there to be teased out or reshaped.
What I’m saying is, the Goose Girl strikes me as an excellent choice for someone who wants to retell fairy tales. Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl unsurprisingly does just that. It also clearly demonstrates that 1- The Goose Girl can be the basis for a great retelling and 2- I need to read more Shannon Hale. Continue reading