Back in 2015, I read The Wanderers and The Storyteller and Her Sisters; two charming fairy tale re-imaginings from Cheryl Mahoney’s Beyond the Tales series. I loved them both so I am sad that it has taken me this long to finally get round to reading Mahoney’s third novel: The People the Fairies Forget.
This book follows the adventures (or miss-adventures) of a fairy called Tarragon, better known as Tarry, but Tarry is not your typical fairy. No granting wishes; no bestowing Christening gifts; no little, gossamer wings and definitely no sparkles…ever! However, against his better judgement, he does find himself the reluctant champion of the common folk when he makes a bet with his infuriating cousin Marjoram. Who like any ordinary, self-respecting ‘Good Fairy’ simply tramples common folk underfoot in the rush to bring a ‘Happy Ever After’ to someone wearing a crown.
And, so ensures a fantastical and raucous romp through the fairy tale world, although the stories might not be quite as you remember them. First, there is Jack, a poor goat herd, fighting his way through a mass of thorns for his true love Emmy, a maid in an enchanted castle. Then Catherine, an innkeeper, who has no desire to marry a very un-charming prince just because her shoe size matches some girl he danced with. Finally, Anthony, who finds himself trapped in a far away castle with his youngest sister Beauty and a Beast with some serious anger issues. All of which is brought to life beautifully by Cheryl with some great description, imagination and humour.
As for our main characters of Tarry and Marj, we have met them before as minor characters in Cheryl’s previous novel, The Wanderers. Tarry as I have said above is not your typical fairy and I love him for it! He would much rather be eating or partying than meddling in human lives. While Marj is very much your typical ‘Good Fairy’, with wings and sparkles…lots of sparkles. And it is her meddlesome ways that force Tarry to set down his supper, brush up on his magic and wrangle his own kind of ‘Happily Ever After’ out of her mess. Together they are hilarious and I had a lot of fun getting to them better. Never fear if you haven’t read previous books though, because these are all new adventures you could enjoy on their own.
Overall, I thought The People the Fairies Forget was another well written, witty and charming adventure, that gently pokes fun at the traditional fairy tale tropes. Both refreshing and comforting to read. Next, I look forward to reading Cheryl’s fourth novel: The Lioness and the Spellspinners. Great read.
Have you read this? What other fairy tale re-imaginings do you think I should try?