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By Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling

A stellar assymbly of a lot of today's such a lot artistic and entire storytellers has accumulated round the tribal fireplace to embroider well-worn yarns with new golden thread. Black Swan, White Raven revisits the stories that charmed, enthralled, and terrified us in our early adolescence - wearing us aloft into the fit, beating center of adored fable to inform once more the tales of Rumpelstiltskins and sound asleep beauties, basically this time from an edgy, provocative and quite grownup standpoint. the topics and archetypes of our loved early life fiction are reexamined in a darker gentle by means of 21 marvelous teller of stories who deftly discover the ironic, the outrageous, the enigmatic and the erotic on the middle of the world's best-known fables, whereas revealing the sobering truths and lies in the back of "happily ever after."

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I have in mind crying out in unexpected soreness. yet i used to be inebriated, and the discomfort appeared far-off. while the king rolled off me, I slept, under the influence of alcohol on wine. And so I grew to become the queen and mom to the king’s daughter. I had the tiny princess delivered to my chambers the day after the marriage. She used to be under a 12 months previous. The peasant lady who was once the child’s rainy nurse permit me carry the infant and rock her in my palms. “She’s a candy bairn,” the peasant acknowledged, her low nation accessory so thick i may scarcely comprehend her. “Skin as white as new-fallen snow. Hair as black as coal. the main appealing child in the entire land. Her mom, the nice queen, needed it so. ” the lady allow me carry the newborn, yet she stayed nearby my facet. She didn't belief me, i assumed. Now that i'm older, I needless to say stable lady larger. If i'll slightly comprehend her accessory, she should have had difficulty with mine. the great queen, the mum of the kid she held in her hands, used to be useless, and that i used to be a foreigner, come to take her position. i used to be the child’s stepmother, and within the storytellers’ stories, stepmothers are frequently depraved. while I gave the infant again, she smiled in reduction and rocked the kid, cooing nonsense phrases to make her smile. The king didn't come to my chambers that evening. He used to be making plans a brand new crusade in his battle at the country to the west. quite a few days after our marriage ceremony, he went off to conflict. For my ladies-in-waiting, I made a exhibit of caring. I climbed to the excessive tower to observe his military journey away. yet in my middle, i used to be relieved that he wouldn't be traveling my chambers for a time. For the following couple of years, the king was once usually away. He was once within the west, conferring together with his generals. He was once within the south, negotiating alternate agreements with my father. He was once within the north, subduing the barbarian hordes that left their mountain strongholds within the iciness to raid cities within the river valleys. whilst the king did go back to the court docket, I did my most sensible to delight him. on the recommendation of my ladies-in-waiting, I powdered my face with talc to make my pores and skin white; I dabbed sweet-smelling oils at the back of my ears and among my breasts and at the smooth dermis of my thighs; I wore low-cut robes and braided my hair within the most up-to-date sort. yet i'll have wearing rags for all it mattered. He got here to my chambers sometimes, yet basically whilst he was once under the influence of alcohol. Then he easily fell asleep, taking on lots of the mattress and noisily snoring loudly. i didn't have the king’s awareness, yet I had every thing else a queen may well wish: lovely jewels, women to attend on me, candy meals to devour, and a gorgeous child to play with. the kid was once my puppy, my plaything, my darling. pores and skin as white as snow, hair as black as coal, and a temperament as hot as a summer time day. I doted on her. At my knee, she realized her alphabet. I taught her to play the lute and sing as a princess should still. I taught her to embroider. I instructed her tales, and she or he listened gravely. Even then, younger as i used to be, i didn't deal with the stories that the storytellers instructed. Even then, i presumed their tales have been half-truths at top.

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