Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
Remember Fractured Fairy Tales from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show? They took a standard fairy tale and mixed it up a bit, often with hilarious results. Jon Scieszka does the same kind of thing for kids with his The True Story of the Three Little Pigs or The Frog Prince, Continued.
Beauty by Sherri Tepper is not a fractured fairy tale so much as the tale of Sleeping Beauty told through a dark and sometimes bizarre and mysterious lens. Beauty is able to escape her wicked aunt’s curse, set for her 16th birthday, but that escape does not lead to happy-ever-after. Beauty is the half-daughter of a fairy queen herself, and the rest of the book explores the world of Faery and what it means to be “special.”
As Beauty searches both for her mother and for answers to the mysteries that surround her, we move, not only through Sleeping Beauty, but also glimpse elements of Cinderella, Snow White and even meet a frog prince. The land of Faery is not a place for the naïve and unaware, and Beauty’s journeys are fascinating and dangerous.
Beauty is a fairy tale for adults and even if you are not a fairy tale or science fiction fan, I highly recommend it. Meg
A note about the author: Sheri Tepper is a fairly prolific author of science fiction, horror and mystery novels. Beauty won the Locus Award for 1992.