Author: Jane Yolen
Gorse is the thirteenth child in her family, her mother one of the infamous Shouting Fey, her father a quiet, studious elf. From her father she gets a depth of character and a love of reading; from her mother, wings and (of course) the notorious, magical, powerful Shout. Who knows where her clumsiness and all-around bad luck come from. As Gorse grows, her relatives begin to wonder if she might just be the One to free them from the bondage of an ancient Oath. But honestly, with her luck, she’s more likely to end up getting the lot of them destroyed.
Curse of the Thirteenth Fey is a fresh take on the tale of The Sleeping Beauty. It’s told from the perspective of the faeries who gave gifts (and a curse) to the baby princess, and a large part of the story happens before the princess’ birth. I enjoyed the perspective. As always, Jane Yolen’s writing is beautiful and welcoming–a very fitting style for a fantasy. I must admit, the profusion of characters is a bit daunting at first, but when you realize that most of them are just there to make the numbers work and don’t really matter much, it’s not so bad. The characters that count are well developed and interesting–and for the most part likeable, barring an annoying princely twit. There’s a nice mix of fantasy-slice-of-life, adventure, and romance that makes Curse of the Thirteenth Fey an all-around good read and an excellent retelling.