Reading Level: Middle Grade
Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
This was an incredibly well done continuation of the fairy tale retellings Shurtliff has been writing. Shurtliff also wrote Jack (which I enjoyed) and Rump (which I absolutely loved). This is the third book in her series of fairy tale retellings; it can be read standalone but also starts off where Rump left off. There are some characters that are in all three books and some that are new.
Red isn’t afraid of the Deep Dark Woods or the Big Bad Wolf; however she is afraid of her own magic. When Granny gets sick Red realizes that magic may be the only cure and sets off on a quest to save Granny. Along the way she meets Goldie, a girl who can seek and find anything gold and is quite the perky nuisance. Goldie and Red end up on quest to find a dwarf that grants wishes, magical healing wine, and roses that grant immortality.
This was a very fun read. Parts are laugh out loud funny and you never know what crazy magical creature you will run into next. Parts are also very heartfelt as Red and Goldie become friends and Red meets a particularly huge wolf.
I also really enjoyed how the story blended in other fairy tales. This is definitely a Red Riding Hood retelling, but we also run into other fairy tales. The stories of Beauty and the Beast, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Red Rose and Snow White, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all present there in one form or another. All of the fairy tales included have very clever twists to them and I enjoyed how they were woven into Red’s story.
Red is one of my favorite characters from the previous books so I was thrilled to see her get her own story. It really was my favorite of the three fairy tale retellings Shurtliff has done so far. I loved all of the adventure and magic in here.
Overall this is a spectacular middle grade fairy tale retelling full of adventure, magic and lessons about friendship and family. It was fast-paced, hilarious, and heartfelt and I really loved it. I can’t wait to see what Shurtliff writes next!