Week two of the #FearieTalesBlog is here and this week I read Crossing the Line. Before we begin I must apologise for the delay in getting this out, I was a little put behind by World Fantasy Con (which was amazing by the way!).
But back to the matter at hand, Crossing the Line. I have to say this is such a cleverly thought out take on the original Hair’s Bride story. Nix’s use of a strong single Mum who strives to, and is capable of, protecting her daughter is a great modern twist to the tale and really gave the story a unique feel.
And yet it wasn’t all modern twists on a classic tale. Nix did drop in some ‘Disneyesque’ gems (such as Laramay’s singing attracting birds to sit on the washing line to listen) which for me showed the progression fairy tales have taken from the original Grimm tales to today. And I loved it.
Another thing I loved about Nix’s story was his sentence structure. No, not because I am a literary genius. I found the long sentences punctuated with commas really helped keep the pace of the tale and enabled for dramatic moments to have a big impact, like when Rose’s posse realise where Alhambra has taken Laramay:
‘You know,’ he said. ‘You know. There. She’s gone, Rose.’
In the context of this blog the impact is nowhere near what it is when placed in the story. But after the fast paced continuous prose of the beginning of the tale this one line of short direct statements really did convey the fear felt by the men, both at telling Rose they wouldn’t help, and of the place Alhambra has taken Laramay.
This fast pace and brilliantly written tale eventually leads to what I can only call a unique, refreshing conclusion. It draws on the morals, problems and opportunities today’s society offers children and single parents and provides a ray of hope that there is a place for us all, even if we have to go through some troubles to find it.