79. Black Apples- An Anthology of Dark Fairytales.

(I have no idea why but for some reason, all my wordpress account stuff is coming up in another language today- whut is going on)



Title: Black Apples

Author:   Sarah L. Byrne, Maigen Turner, Alison Littlewood, Pat R. Steiner, David Turnbull, Angela Rega , Rose Williamson, Caren Gussoff,Alex Petri, Nadia Bulkin, Nicki Vardon,, Kate O’Connor,Martine Helene Svanevik, Elin Olausson, Ephiny Gale, Molly Pinto Madigan, Natalia Theodoridou, Karen Heuler , Liv Lingborn (Editor) and Camilla Bruce (Editor)


On the Shelves: Fiction> Anthologies>Retellings


Strip the fairytale princesses of their petticoats and tiaras, and what you have left are the Black Apples. These are stories of trials and survival, strength and defeat, exploring the bones of fairytales. Carolyn has stolen from the temple and is on the run, the mistress of the Gingerbread house is out of control, Bluebeard’s child collects hearts on her wall and a horse is not a horse… 
This collection offers eighteen new dark and delicious fairytales, some exploring the classic tales, others presenting brand new ones.” (Goodreads 2014)

First, of course, I need to thank Liv Lingborn (Editor who contacted me), Camilla Bruce (Editor), the many co-authors of this book and all others involved with Belladonna Publishing, for allowing me a copy of this wonderful anthology in exchange for a review!

Liv contacted me at the start of may, asking if I would be interested in reviewing “Black Apples”, and as you all know, I love me some fairy tales. My reply was an instant “hells yeah”. I received my paperback copy and I just need to say, it is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, wow. This thing is going to hold a place on honour on my bookcase!

Now, onto discussing the actual book.

“Black Apples” is an anthology of old and brand new fairy tales. While many of these can fall under “re-tellings” of the older, traditional tales, such as the twelve dancing princesses, and cinderella- they certainly take their own spin on the events within the story. Whether it is through adding elements of their own, or by telling the tale from an entirely different perspective. Another element that makes this anthology stand out, is that the tales in here run much more akin to the violent, and gorey Grimms tales. I do not say this lightly, for those who believe in “Trigger warnings” for books (I kind of hate that phrase, personally), this book/anthology does include: rape, murder, incestuous tones, blood, gore, abuse, and occasionally, romance. But as usual, what makes all of these dark themes readable is that the tales are about how the heroes or heroines overcome these struggles and emerge victorious- mostly.

What is great about collections of short stories like this, is that you can pick it up and put it down and not worry about falling out of the story, which took a lot of pressure off. But it turns out this book was exactly the break I needed after being in a reading slump and despite being “able” to put the book down, I simply did not want to.

The tales were inventive, creative, beautiful and sometimes got very theatrical reactions from me! My favourite tale was definitely “Deux et Machina” by Caren Gussoff. It actually made me swear loudly, which caused my dad to shout up to check I was okay. HA! There was, I think, only one tale I didn’t enjoy, but out of a book of eighteen tales, that is still pretty impressive.

The writing amongst these stories sucks you in completely, they are so well executed and my god, I just thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of fairy tales, and to anyone who is wanting to read more anthologies.

Publication Date:- Out Now!

8 thoughts on “79. Black Apples- An Anthology of Dark Fairytales.

    • thebookheap says:

      there are two or three which reference it. Nothing graphic but enough to guess hints at it. I’ll look them up properly and let you know asap (away from the bookcase atm)

      • thebookheap says:

        Ah okay. Sorry I should’ve been more specific then. Some of the tales refer to rape but nothing is actually graphic/in detail about the actual event. It’s hinted at/referred to but nothing more.

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