|Visit Hannah Kollef's brand-new website, which has a page|
dedicated to all the stops on the PATH OF NEEDLES Blog Tour.
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Check back on the 22nd for a special guest post with author Hannah Kollef on the way fairy tales influenced PATH OF NEEDLES!
By now, you know that fairy tales are my weakness. When I was contacted about reviewing the first book in a new series entitled PATH OF NEEDLES and heard about the fairy tale connection, I was intrigued. Reading the book, I found myself surprised by the way author Hannah Kollef included fairy tales in her novel. She knows more about fairy tales than I do (and I know a lot, so that's saying something!), harking back on versions older than what both Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm made widely available. So many versions of the tales we know and love today are sanitized. I always knew that (especially since some people only know the Disney versions of the tales and don't realize others exist), but I didn't realize until recently that even the classic storytellers who gave us these tales kept them clean. I knew some of the tales, such as Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, were much darker, but never thought overly much about it. When reading PATH OF NEEDLES, I was introduced to a new version of Little Red Riding Hood, one that is, in reality, entitled The Story of Grandmother. The girl (whose famous red hood was invented later by Perrault!) encounters the wolf on the road and is asked if she plans to take "the path of needles or the path of pins." At first, I wasn't sure if Kollef had made this up for her story, but futher research online shows that this is, in fact, an older, more violent and sexual, version of the original tale. The paths the girl takes also play important roles in PATH OF NEEDLES and 2013's sequel, PATH OF PINS. On Kollef's new website, which launches tomorrow, readers will be treated to the original tales Kollef uses in her novel. Check out these obscure tales now!
While it takes a while for the heart of the story to open up and get under way, once the characters discover that they don't live in an ordinary world, but one of fae and magic, the tale really takes off. After their father is kidnapped, Kat and her twin brother Roger discover that the fairy tales they grew up with were based on reality, that an alternate world existed before the Rose Queen became corrupt and turned truth into legend. There's a prophecy about the Truth and the Lie, and it is widely believed that Kat is the Truth and Roger is the Lie. It is their destiny to right the wrongs that occured almost a thousand years ago. Together with their friend Jim and a host of fae now living in our world, they have the power to save--or destroy--the future.
PATH OF NEEDLES has a slow start, but picks up speed once the story gets going. Kollef entwines folklore with her own original ideas seamlessly, making it hard to tell when one ends and the other begins. There's a lot of fast-moving action and not everything is explained, but the book is the first in a trilogy and this is to be expected. Kat learns so much about herself, and yet knows so little by the book's end, and Roger knows even less. I'm excited to see more of his side to the story in future books. The book is a pure fantasy adventure with little romance, at least in the first book, though there are hints of possiblities in future titles.
It will be interesting to see where Kollef is going and how she'll bring more obscure fairy tales into the public eye as she continues writing. The ebook, which launches tomorrow, will retail for $2.99, a pricepoint that is easy to stomach. A print book is being proofed now and will be released soon. For more information on Kollef and her series, check out her brand-new web site, which features information on the series as well as bonus features such as music, fairy tale retellings, deleted scenes, and more.