by Bonnie M. Hennessy
published by self
I also enjoy fairy tale retellings, and Bonnie M. Hennessy creates an interesting one in Twisted. The original story of Rumpelstiltskin is not that long, but Hennessy does an admirable job giving flesh to the tale.
Aoife has spent her life running her family's land while her dad boasting while gambling and drinking their money away at the brothel in town. One day, he gets in over his head when he claims to the new duke that his daughter can spin straw into gold. Aoife tries to convince the duke that this was metophorical by showing him how he can improve the financial success of his estate, but he wants it done for real. The magical little man that Aoife always feels watching her in the woods, and who saved her one day from drowning, saves her again by doing the impossible deed. But when Aoife chooses to marry the duke to save her family from ruin rather than staying with her protector, the heart of the little man hardens and his wrath comes with a terrible price that will also unearth many secrets.
Hennessy takes the Rumpelstiltskin story and creates a plausible backstory to all of the elements. There are a few instances, though, that seem to happen just because they have to without any real cause and these hinder the story just a little as they muddle the characters' characters. The ending, however, is big and bold with many twists that make up for those few disjointed passages.
Twisted is a fun yet dramatic read that will appeal to older YA and adult fans of fairy tale fantasy. I hope Bonnie M. Hennessy tries her hand at more stories in the future.