Review: Fable - Short Story Collection

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Illustrations by Ricardo Jorge
Fable by Kate Forsyth, Lucy Balmer, Hoofr J.L. Baldock, Gareth Brierley, Michelle Madsen, Eli Lee and Krisham Coupland
Series: Staves 1-8
Released: 15th May 2015
Published by: Pigeonhole Publishing
Genre: Fairytale/Folklore short stories
Source: Publisher
Pages: 320
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read Stave 1
Talking badgers and salacious pixies. Impossible promises and broken hope. Exploring the fairy-tale evolution, Fable brings new tales formed from old skin with original inventions to boot. Spanning across three continents, Fable draws together some of the most beloved, or even feared, fairy tales while bringing to light those lesser known.
Thank you to Pigeonhole Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Fable is a collection of short stories in eight 'staves', incorporating a mix of old an new, fairytale and folklore, modern day and historical settings. In this engaging anthology, there's a seamless blend of different cultures and plotlines which all combine beautifully to produce a work which is both enchanting and captivating.

The text opens with two existing stories, Ashenputtel by the Brothers Grimm and The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. Having these well-known tales at the beginning drew me right in, and is a reminder to how much the original versions differ from the Disney interpretations we've seen. Cinderella as it turns out had step sisters who were willing to go much further to get that shoe to fit than we may have first thought, and though Andersen's tale did have more of a resemblance to the simplified version children are told today it was still fascinating to read what it actually was back when it was first published. In all, having these two examples of classic fairytales at the beginning set the tone well. However, different from what I expected - things did actually get more and more modern and whimsical.

In the second stave Kate Forsyth's writing is introduced which I found particularly intriguing with the story The Three Sons of Ada. I have loved both Bitter Greens and The Wild Girl, both of which draw on fairytales and their origins, so it was interesting to see her writing skills once again come through here. While there are a few more stories which draw on a more traditionalist style, there are also instances where the stories take a very modern stance. Rumpelstiltskin for example gets a creative twist put in, as well as a story that does herald some of its roots from Sleeping Beauty. While towards the end things took quite a strange turn and I couldn't quite see where things were going, on the whole I found the stories to be both innovative and refreshingly different with a dash of the old.


From dark cottages and forests to out modern world of today, Fable is an anthology quite unlike anything I have read before. If you're looking for a glimpse into fantasy both then and now with the perspective of lots of different authors then this is for you.


  1. This sounds absolutely amazing. I would love to have a reintroduction of our precious fairy tales so our newer and more recent generations can easily access them and I guess, relate more? I've always found that making it like this always motivates the people to check out the original even more. Makes me wonder what else the stepsisters did to ensure THEY get the prince XP

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. It is Faye - such a great way to bring fairytales back to the forefront of literature, especially with the modern twist. As for the stepsisters, you'll have to read it to find out ;) Thanks for stopping by!


Feel free to leave a comment below - I love reading them!