A review by Nalini Haynes
Eire, Queen of the Fairies in Ireland, faces an invading army. Her family and her own troops fight valiantly but many fall in the face of Druid Silver, a poisonous metal that kills her kind. To avoid annihilation, Eire agrees to banishment but that is just the beginning…
With such a short story, it’s difficult to write a review without giving too much away. Suffice to say that this short novella is written in a style similar to many memoirs. Destefano uses broad brushstrokes not detailed descriptions, allowing Eire to tell her own story.
Fairy tale rules
Destefano knows fairy tale tropes and has decided to break the rules. When Eire started describing toxic metal as ‘Druid Silver’ I thought she meant iron. After all, if I come across something new, I’ll use the familiar as a coat-hanger for the new. However, later in Fairytale Christmas, Eire talks about iron, which is apparently not poisonous to fairies. I guess druid silver will be explained in later instalments.
Always winter, eventually Christmas
Although Fairytale Christmas is a novella and in no way drags, Destefano’s description of the weeks since the snow fell implies a Very Long Winter. I wondered if the story was set in Australia with Christmas in summer, but no. It was still the same winter when Christmas came around. It’s a minor detail but it threw me out of the story. But then we have shape-changers, a wolf that talks high Gaelic, a woman who sleeps for millennia, what’s one very long winter?
Fairytale Christmas is a PG-rated fairy tale for adults at Christmas time. It’s short and sweet and, I suspect, sets the tone for future instalments. I always loved Celtic fairy tales as a child on the rare occasion I was allowed to read any. Or if I could find them in the woeful libraries to which I had access. For me, Fairytale Christmas has a hint of nostalgia, connecting me to those stories at a time of year that focuses on our roots. I recommend this novella as comfort ‘food’ during this season.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Publisher: Ruby Red Slippers
Format: ebook, 100 pages
Category: fantasy, fairy tale, romance, Christmas