In this companion to The Wilful Eye, six much loved writers Catherine Bateson, Victor Kelleher, Cate Kennedy, Maureen McCarthy, Nan McNab and Kate Thompson give fresh voice to age old stories of abandonment, desire and entrapment Bloody hell, I love fairytale anthologies and intelligent, mature, detailed fairytale retellings I am so glad these collections exist I didn t find this short story collection as engaging as the first one, The Wilful Eye Both collections were mixed bags, as is to be expected with a collection of its ilk, but this one hadmiss than hit stories for me.I really loved Seventy Two Derwents by Cate Kennedy with its distinctly Australian and distinctly child like flavour I also loved Learning the Tango by Catherine Bateson a retelling of The Little Mermaid in feminist verse form The Ugly Sisters by Maureen McCarthy reminded I didn t find this short story collection as engaging as the first one, The Wilful Eye Both collections were mixed bags, as is to be expected with a collection of its ilk, but this one hadmiss than hit stories for me.I really loved Seventy Two Derwents by Cate Kennedy with its distinctly Australian and distinctly child like flavour I also loved Learning the Tango by Catherine Bateson a retelling of The Little Mermaid in feminist verse form The Ugly Sisters by Maureen McCarthy reminded me of Wicked and I am beginning to wonder if the fairy story revisionism mixed with recasting the evil villain trope is now getting too predictable I found Birthing by Victor Kelleher to be forgettable and I found Glamour by Kate Thompson to be a bit pretentious in a creative arts degree kind of way And then we get to Glutted by Nan McNab something about this story just really put me off I thoroughly disliked it I couldn t engage with the characters and I didn t particularly care about the plot This may just be a personal preference thing as I don t like horror much and this story definitely had horror overtones.I liked thatof these fairy story revisions went off the regular map, but I just couldn t connect with the stories in the same way Maybe it s just the amount of stories I read, but I found most to be predictable and boring, regardless of the new spin on an old tale premise.The Wicked Wood 2.5 5 stars Katharine is a judge for the Aurealis Awards This review is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team To be safe, I won t be recording my review here until after the AA are over.I honestly didn t really enjoy the poem, the other parts to this anthology felt stronger, though the longer story took a while to engage with. The stories in this collection were quite different in feeling to those in Book 1, but they were nonetheless well written and interesting.The majority of the stories had intriguing approaches to tales that often come across as being a little trite and I really appreciated the ideas they portrayed.I found Cate Kennedy s Seventy Two Derwents had an interesting twist on both the original Seven Little Kids and the hinted fears of grooming and abuse intimated by the older sister, which was nice as it The stories in this collection were quite different in feeling to those in Book 1, but they were nonetheless well written and interesting.The majority of the stories had intriguing approaches to tales that often come across as being a little trite and I really appreciated the ideas they portrayed.I found Cate Kennedy s Seventy Two Derwents had an interesting twist on both the original Seven Little Kids and the hinted fears of grooming and abuse intimated by the older sister, which was nice as it originally seemed to be heading in a rather cliched direction.Nan McNabb s Glutted was an interesting analysis of social manipulation and the decisions people make when they are lonely, it was well written, but not my favourite.Catherine Bateson s Little Mermaid was nothing special, other than being written in verse.The three stories that I enjoyed the most were the last three in the book, each of which explored an area of a tale and of the human psyche that is traditionally poorly represented in faerie tales Maureen McCarthy s The Ugly Sisters in particular was a fascinating read Great modern takes on old fairy stories. I was very impressed with Volume 1 of Tales from the Tower The Forbidden Eye , and so have been looking forward to Volume 2 The Wicked Wood ever since The fairytales in Volume 2 are not as well known, and some are just folk tales rather than classic fairytale re imaginings There is still the same creativity, mix of dark beauty terror and great writing from Australian authors but I didn t find it as bewitching an experience as Volume 1 I don t know if the fantastic concept had just worn I was very impressed with Volume 1 of Tales from the Tower The Forbidden Eye , and so have been looking forward to Volume 2 The Wicked Wood ever since The fairytales in Volume 2 are not as well known, and some are just folk tales rather than classic fairytale re imaginings There is still the same creativity, mix of dark beauty terror and great writing from Australian authors but I didn t find it as bewitching an experience as Volume 1 I don t know if the fantastic concept had just worn off a little, or if the stories just weren t as good Maybe a bit of both.On the whole I think publishing the Tales from the Tower concept was a brilliant idea, and it was really fantastic to have that kind of calibre of Australian writers in one collection Some of the stories were hit and miss, and I do wish that all the stories had been based on classic fairytales, as I think it would give the collection a greater sense of unity But still wonderful And absolutely gorgeously designed too.Full review at 6 cuentos de hadas e historias folkl ricas reimaginadas en el estilo de 6 autores contempor neos Al igual que en su antecesor, The Wilful Eye, las historias originales no son muy populares, as que tienen un aire misterioso que perdura incluso con los cambios Me da la impresi n de que en varias de las historias se trat de dar mas profundidad a los personajes, dandoles motivos mas realistas y evitando juicios definitivos sobre el bien y el mal, pero en general se perdi un poco el sentido de a 6 cuentos de hadas e historias folkl ricas reimaginadas en el estilo de 6 autores contempor neos Al igual que en su antecesor, The Wilful Eye, las historias originales no son muy populares, as que tienen un aire misterioso que perdura incluso con los cambios Me da la impresi n de que en varias de las historias se trat de dar mas profundidad a los personajes, dandoles motivos mas realistas y evitando juicios definitivos sobre el bien y el mal, pero en general se perdi un poco el sentido de aventura y el tono fantasioso que caracteriz al libro anterior 3.5 stars. Fairy tales traditionally stirred a sense of wonder and engaged with vague but powerful longings, or occasionally loathings By these standards the current collection fails For me the only story with any impact was Glutted , in which the dwarf man evoked revulsion Today there seems to be an irresistible temptation to give the wicked witch a grudging respect for the kick ass heroine, and the cruel ugly sister a moral learning curve This is understandable, but it misses the source of the fairy Fairy tales traditionally stirred a sense of wonder and engaged with vague but powerful longings, or occasionally loathings By these standards the current collection fails For me the only story with any impact was Glutted , in which the dwarf man evoked revulsion Today there seems to be an irresistible temptation to give the wicked witch a grudging respect for the kick ass heroine, and the cruel ugly sister a moral learning curve This is understandable, but it misses the source of the fairy tale s emotional power