Friday, October 14, 2011

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Reader: beware. Warlocks with dark spells, hunters with deadly aim, and bakers with ovens retrofitted for cooking children lurk within these pages.
But if you dare, turn the page and learn the true story of Hansel and Gretel - the story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses and outwitted witches.
Come on in. It may be frightening, it's certainly bloody, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart, but unlike those other fairy tales you know, this one is true.

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like this book or not. It is aimed at a younger audience than the age group I normally read books for. I thought it would just be an OK, quick read. But I was SO WRONG! I LOVED this book! It was just brilliant! It was witty, and fun and AWESOME! 

I liked the way that there was all these fairy tales all beginning with 'Once upon a time...' or 'Once there was a...' and so on, but there was still one big plot throughout the book. It was done fantastically, the way all of the story connected together! I haven't read Grimm's Fairy Tales, so I don't know how much of A Tale Dark and Grimm sticks to the original stories, and how much came from the author's imagination. But it doesn't matter because it's all brilliant anyway! 

This is really the full story of Hansel and Gretel, and I loved reading about all their adventures. The witch-that-tries-to-cook-the-kids  story, the one that we all know, takes up barely one chapter! My favourite story has to be the one about the Hansel and the Devil, which is called The Three Golden Hairs. It's so funny! And sort of terrifying...

Which brings me to this - the book is actually quite scary! At the start of the book, and nearly every chapter, the author warns the reader that it's going to be bloody, and scary, and that all the little children should be sent to bed before we read on. Which of course makes the reader want to read on even more! But anyway, I was actually kind of creeped out by this book! Not in a bad way though! It takes serious writing skills to make a reader feel scared, so good one Mr.Gidwitz!

Hansel and Gretel had many different parents and families throughout the story, and one of the best things about the book, along with the humour, the writing, and the way the authors talks to the readers, was the relationship between the two siblings. They had a strong brother/sister relationship, and went through years of tough but adventurous lives together. They were very close, and I thought their relationship was portrayed well.

A Tale Dark and Grimm is just amazing. It is a humorous, entertaining, addictive, scary and all round brilliant book! And if my review hasn't convinced you to read it yet, how about the first line...? 
'Once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.'

Oh yeah.

                                               Rating: 5/5

Source: For review
Pages: 296
Age Group:'s a bit scary, so 10+!
Official Publication Date: 
4th August 2011
Publisher: Andersen Press
Author Website:


  1. That is an excellent first line for a book!

    I don't usually read too many books outside of YA, but this one is definitely tempting me. It's probably down to my love of fairy tales and this awesome review :) I love it when a book surprises you into liking it

  2. Ooh, brilliant review! I think I might get this one for my son...

  3. AMAZING review! This sounds good, you really made me want to read it!

  4. This book sounds awesome!! I was pretty skeptical when I saw the cover but now that I read your review I really really really want to read this!! TO THE LIBRARY!!

  5. This sounds so cool! :) Great review! :D

  6. Ooh, love the sound of this one! Fairy tales are so boring nowadays - what happened to the Brothers Grimm?! Great review Cliona! I'm definately tempted!! :D

  7. Thought you might like to know that Lucy from My Cute Crazed Life is having a giveaway where you can win a bottle of Juicy Jules Nail Polish :D


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