Review of “Cunning”, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet #36 Early Autumn pp. 32-37. Purchase here. Review by Ben Serna-Grey.
This story is a fairy tale about a man who has lost his wife, and the witch he meets after saving her from drowning. The witch offers him a single wish and in his grief he wishes either for his wife to come back from the dead, or a woman who would be such a good wife to him that he would no longer remember his sorrow. Of course the witch offers to become his wife, beautifying herself with magic and going home with the man to meet his daughter and housekeeper, taking her place as the new woman of the house.
Like any fairy tale worth its salt, it has a moral or two to teach. Also like any fairy tale worth its salt, it isn’t dumbed down in order to be “kid-friendly.” “Cunning” keeps up the level of quality present throughout this entire magazine, though it was slightly harder for me to latch onto partly due to the dialogue in the story being peppered with thees and thous, seeming just a tad off. Don’t let that keep you from reading this story, though, because it’s great, and I’m very interested to see what other work Laurel comes out with.