The Witch’s Boy

I spent the day reading Michael Gruber’s The Witch’s Boy.

It was very good.

Mari lent it to me, so I knew it would be, but I wanted to be clear on the point ;>

I am, as you well know, the type of person who likes to try to figure out where a story is going, so this book was perfect. Gruber threw in all sorts of fairy tales, such that I kept saying, “Oh! Hansel and Gretel! Oh! Rumplestiltskin!” And I was typically pleased when I was right, though I was also a little trepidacious, because I cared about Lump, even as I hated him.

There were a few things that I felt had to be references, but I wasn’t quite able to identify. One of them came as the woman and her little family were fleeing the cottage. She stops and goes back in to get a rose. I felt like that was a reference to some fairy tale, a very oblique one–maybe to Beauty and the Beast, maybe to Snow White and Rose Red–but I don’t think anything more came of it, unless it was something subtle that I missed.

The other part I am almost positive is a reference to something occurred at the very end of the book, so I won’t spoil it. It’s in the last paragraph, for those who’ve read it. Feel free to enlighten me in the comments, or engage in speculation.

It’s a very good book. Reimagining old stories is interesting in and of itself, but this book also presents a new story, and weaves everything together expertly. Well done.