Review of Damon L. Wakes, “The Gilded Swan”, in Myths, Monsters, and Mutations, edited by Jessica Augustsson (JayHenge Publications, 2017): 357-359. — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
The opening line “Once upon a time” never fails to exercise its power to thrill over me. I love fairy tales. I love the way those words tap into my entire reading history, and allow the story to draw upon decades of internalized expectations. I love the familiarity of fairy tales that is rooted in those expectations. I love it when my expectations are satisfied, when every aspect of the story could have been found in any of the classic fairy tales.
But what I love even more is when those expectations are dashed, and happily ever after turns horribly ever after. This was a delightfully satisfying little fairy horror tale.