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Grimm's Dweller*

Not a Retelling, But a Remarkable Story

I have read a book or two of Arizona Tape’s, and I had mixed feelings about them. But I was very curious to see what she would do with a spin on Grimm’s fairy tales, as I love any sort of retelling of the classic old stories. I am so glad that I took a chance with this book, which is actually a compilation of three novellas that are all based around the same two characters. Let me say right off the bat that this is not a retelling of any Grimm fairy tale. Instead, the author has created a framework for Grimm’s tales that feature an otherworldly, immortal muse and protector of Wilhelm Grimm and his stories as well as the man himself. I don’t want to give too much away because I think this book is best experienced. This collection follows these two, a Dweller who protects stories but doesn’t write them named Grisella and Wilhelm Grimm. The first book covers their meeting and initial interactions, the second book follows a period after he marries where they don’t have much direct interaction but the dweller protects his stories and inhabits their universes, and the final book is an emotionally gripping look at the time around Grimm’s death. I found the second two books to be particularly emotional, the second book because one can truly sense Grisella’s profound loneliness as she is separated from Wilhelm and the third because Grisella’s grief at the impending death of Wilhelm is so palpable. We do see a little of the infamous tales as Wilhelm Grimm creates them and as Grisella visits their universes. A very unique spin that pays homage to one of the great storytellers in Western literature.