Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul
by Nikita Gill
Hachette Books, 2018. 170 pages. Nonfiction
These poems aren’t just clever twists on fairy tales. They are a celebration of the reader. The first poem is an invocation of the importance of learning to love and to hold on to ourselves and the final poem is a benediction thanking the readers of the world for holding the author when she was in pain. This book is more than just a fairy tale gimmick. This is a book about us and what it means to be human.
Gill's style is romantic and evocative. The fairy tales take on new meaning as we learn why Beauty stayed with the Beast, that King Triton and Ursula had been each other's first love, that Snow White, tired of the endless flirtations of her king husband, also became a powerful sorceress. The poems and stories are sparsely written, but each word carries a heavy weight of meaning. When the book was over, I started it again so I wouldn't have to say goodbye to these characters.