Cover Image: Cinder the Fireplace Boy

Cinder the Fireplace Boy

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately I completely misunderstood the blurb for this book. For some reason I thought this was a collection of ADULT LGBTQ+ retellings, but what it actually was was retellings of the classics to include LGBTQ+ in a way that introduces the terms to children. Honestly, I love the idea! But the book just wasn't for me.

Thank you to the author and Netgalley for providing a copy.
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An amazing anthology written that seeks to retell familiar and well loved stories from an angle free from the stifling biases of the original Grimms Versions. Cinder the Fireplace Boy and other Gay Grimm Tales is a fresh and inclusive take on fairytales. The inclusion of content warnings, pronouns and neopronouns pronunciation and list of characters and their respective pronouns are additions I welcome and enjoy. A book I'd recommend to anyone regardless of age, who looks for themselves in books.
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A lovely collection of fairytale retellings. This was a well done digestible book that I would love for students to read and be able to see a modern adaptation of stories we love.
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I expected so much more from this; since I'm such a sucker for retellings, especially queer retellings; but unfortunately it just turned out to be an uncreative disappointment.
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A remarkable retelling of classic fairy tales to include all genders and orientations so all may be represented in the stories that are the foundation of so many lives.  Fairy Tales give common ground for cultures across the globe, and with "Cinder the Fireplace Boy", even more cultures and peoples can be included in that commonality.  This collection of stories are diverse and well written, bringing to life the tales we all know in a whole new way.
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A mix of familiar as well as lesser known fairytales as told by the Brothers Grimm. These stories have been retold with an LGBTQ+ audience in mind and include a range of representation. The main characters and pairings are queer in each story, and include transgender, non-binary and gender fluid characters. The author has kept to the basic outline of the original stories and maintained the traditional style and prose. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A beautiful and inclusive collection of fairy tales retold. Classic storytelling with modern gender themes.

This had such a classic fairy tale vibe to it but with representation done right. Each tale is fun and unique. The author has such a flare for creativity. The illustrations are gorgeous and the pops of colour amid the black and white really make them stand out.

Feel good reads that finish with 'happy ever after'.

Thank you to Netgalley and Acacia Moon Publishing for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Mardoll brings previously problematic yet beautiful stories to life by bringing them into the twenty-first century while keeping the stories in the past. The acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community by most of the characters throughout the collection makes this a great book for both students in the community and students outside of it learning how to be allies. This would be a great collection to include in a classroom library at almost all levels, and the lower reading level and close-to-home stories would make this a great book to get struggling or reluctant readers started, since they could read a story at a time.
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While this was a brilliant concept, it had an awful execution. The start of the authors note got me excited - it was written beautifully and eloquently, leading me to believe we would read these stories from a different point of view and lens. Then the authors note went on to insult Grimm's Fairy Tales - the very stories it directly copied. I agree some of the tales had issues - they were an echo of that time, not that that was an excuse - but apparently kidnapping and child sacrifice was okay to keep as a "good message".

I eagerly cracked open the book  waiting for some new lgbt+ icons to be born, but I was extremely disappointed. For someone priding themselves on changing the stories to lgbt+ narratives, it lacked a lot. Simply changing the pronouns or having the frog turn into a man and marry another was extremely lack lustre. These stories were developed to tell a moral - the Princess (or in this case The Frog Prince) and the Frog were to tell people to not break their promises and treat everyone nicely regardless of how they look. If the story was actually rewritten and given an essence by the author, this could have been an incredible lgbt+ story with that moral. Treat people nicely regardless of their sexuality could have become the new moral! Instead the Princess was a Prince and... that was that. Changing a name, gender or pronoun added absolutely nothing to these stories. There was no new twist, identity or passion added. It was like someone grabbed these stories, changed a few words, and thought it was appropriate to publish.

This is something that should stay a free ebook or on Wattpad. It's a quick and easy idea for others to read, but it's not something that will be adorning shelves any time soon.
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Ana Mardoll masterfully weaves the stories that we know into familiar, glittering reminders that we all deserve a happy ending in this collection of retold fairytales, Cinder the Fireplace Boy. 

I don't know how xie they did, but xie perfectly captured the feeling of reading these stories for the first time as a child, particularly with Rapunzel, The Frog Prince, and Cinder. Staring each story with a list of used pronouns, Mardoll threads updated lessons about consent and gender. It's such a relief to read an old narrative style with these themes. Not only that, but xie writes it well by also sprinkling familiar world-building from the general folklore. (ie. Salt and pure water as protection against a faery.)

If anything, I wish xie had written more, going beyond Grimm's usual canon and - hopefully - might one day turn some of these into full-length novels. Hint, hint...  Much like Mardoll's previous anthology, No Man of Woman Born, this is an excellent primer on how fairytales can be rewoven and a testament to xir work. 

NetGalley provided an ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Cinder the Fireplace Boy is the retelling of some old Brothers Grimm fairytales with changes to the traditional characters' gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities applied. There aren't many changes to the original construction of the stories unless required to accommodate the character modifications. As the character development is on par with the original versions, this does seem to be a collection of tales for children so could benefit from an increase in the number of illustrations. Overall, the stories have been creatively retold and would be a great inclusion for fairytale collections.
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A set of queer retellings that stay very close to the source material, largely just changing genders and pronouns and keeping the plots as well as the tone and style of fairy tale prose. Would be great for reading to children, not quite engaging enough for me.
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these were an interesting range of short stories.

some stood out to me amongst others, mainly because of the romances.

it was great to see such broad lgbt+ representation in fairytales. 

although these were great, i think making the stories more character driven rather than simple with only plot would have served better.
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I greatly enjoyed this collection of fairy tale re-tellings!  Some stories were retold with gender-swapped characters, and others with non-binary characters.  Some stories included loving, supportive parents, and others did not.

This collection was inclusive and very well put together, with a great range of LGBTQIAP+ representation.  Before each and every tale, each character's pronouns are listed, as well as any applicable content notes, which I think is a wonderful idea.
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A nice mix of well known fairy tales. I liked some of the stories. I liked how close they were to the originals like the first one with the frog Prince. And how dark they turned. They're where some stories that fell flat (to me) but that's usually given with a book of multiple short stories. Still a fun read
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This was so fun!! I love fairy tales (and retelling) so this was right up my alley. They were all so gay and queer and real. I would love to read longer, expanded versions of some of them too! I loved Rapunzel, The Three Snake Leaves, and The Robber Bridegroom the most I think. There's 31 stories so reading them one after the other like a regular book felt tedious and repetitive so I don't recommend that. One at a time to revel in how cozy they feel would be best.

Most of my criticism falls with how overly long the stories were but that's on the brothers Grimm rather than Ana Mardoll. I do wish xie had included more disability rep tho. I was expecting more from the Author's Note at the beginning.

Thank you NetGalley for the arc!!
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This book was not what I expected.  I was intrigued by the premise of weaving different gender identities into well known fairytales.  The problem with this book was that the re-tellings of the fairytales were so similar to the originals, that I didn't feel that I was reading a re-telling at all.  Gender was mentioned in the stories, but wasn't explored and didn't feel like it made a huge impact on the character.  I wish the author would have selected fewer stories to re-tell and would have explored the character depth more.
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Thanks, Netgalley and Publisher for the opportunity to read and review! 
An amazing retelling of classic fairytales. Some of them were so unique on their own that even cried to be expanded into a full novel. ^^
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I am choosing not to rate this book because it was unfortunately not what I expected, given the description, and I could only bring myself to read about half of the ~30 stories. I don't want to discourage people from reading this, but I want them to know what they're getting in for.

Previously, I have enjoyed fairytale and mythological retellings that take childhood/classic stories and explore them from different viewpoints (like Snow, Glass, Apples), greater historical context (She Who Became the Sun), or deeper richness (Song of Achilles). However, this collection of stories is none of the above. The stories are told in the same, children's fairytale level of language and depth, except that the characters have different gender identities or sexual orientation. The stories - at least from the half I read - have not had the basic plot or perspective changed, either. I'm not sure if this is intended to be children's literature, but it reads that way, though it wasn't labelled that way when I selected it.

When I saw the description of "new takes on the Brothers Grimm" and "classic fairy tales, lovingly retold and featuring characters who receive wonderfully queer happily-ever-afters," I was hoping for something like rewriting The Little Mermaid (yes, that's Hans Christian Andersen but just as an example) to bring the subtextual queerness into text and explore what it means for a queer person to give up their voice in exchange for the appearance of normalcy in order to gain acceptance. "New takes", these stories are not, not really.

Thank you to Netgalley for this free digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I love the inclusiveness of this book. All the retelling of different stories is wonderful, and I hope this becomes a classic along with the originals. It deserves to be. I have always loved fairytales, and I love this one as well. Thank you netgalley. 

(I will be posting on goodreads as well)
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