this is a fairy tale with teeth (+ giveaway)

Monday, December 14, 2009 |

Razor sharp, bloody, carnivorous teeth. Wolf’s teeth. The Big Bad Wolf, in fact. Oh yes, he makes an appearance. And his name is Bigsby in Bill Willingham’s universe – the FABLES universe. It’s a compelling and fascinating place.

Let me backtrack a bit. FABLES started as a graphic novel series (comics!). Peter & Max is a novel, with occasional, ancillary illustrations. You don’t need to know the comics to get the story. I didn’t, at any rate. But the story left me wanting more, and interested enough to pick up the first FABLES volume from the library. Now…what is so wonderful about Peter & Max?

At about the halfway point of Peter & Max, I came up for air. I told my sister, “This is the most bloodthirsty story ever!” To which she replied, “Yeah, but you can’t put it down.” And I think an unexpected juxtaposition is what made me fall in love with the story: the fanciful, fairy tale themes and familiar characters, mixed with the dark, horrible and bizarre. It makes the story twisty, recognizable, surprising, melancholy and hopeful all at once. If that makes any sense. Also, the illustrations are amazingly detailed and wonderful. I didn't necessarily enjoy every little bit of the reading experience, but I DID think to myself afterward that it was one of the best books I've read this year.

This story stars Peter Piper and his incorrigible brother Max in a tale about jealousy, betrayal and revenge. Set in two distinct time periods, prepare to travel back to medieval times and learn the tragic back-story of the Piper family, a medieval-era family of traveling minstrels. Then, jump into the present to follow a tale of espionage as Peter Piper slowly hunts down his evil brother for a heinous crime, pitting Peter's talents as a master thief against Max's dark magical powers.

The course of true love never did run smooth. And neither does any good fairy tale worth its salt. Peter & Max is an account of Peter Piper’s “story” with many travails and miscarriages of justice and goodness along the road. Fairy tales traditionally end “well,” but will this one follow the pattern? Read it and find out – but beware blood and villains along the way!

Recommended for fans of: Neil Gaiman, fantasy and fairy tales all grown-up, a dollop of horror with your slice of dreamland, and the strange and wonderful expertly told. Warning: not for the faint of heart. This would make a really awesome gift for…almost anyone. But especially those who maybe long ago dreamed of growing up to be Prince Charming or the plucky princess. And then got over it and went out adventuring instead…


If you’d like to win your own copy of Peter & Max, this is your chance! I’ll give away one (1) book to a lucky entrant.

To enter:

Leave a comment on this post answering the question, “When someone says a book is ‘dark,’ what do you automatically think of?”

Please include your email address or another method of contact. Giveaway is open internationally – I’ll order through The Book Depository. Comments will close on December 28 at 11:59pm PST, and I will notify the randomly selected winner via email.

Good luck!


Noella said...

It was a dark and stormy night XD
Great contest. I love that cover it looks amazing!
june.mmix @

Simply Stacie said...

I think of dark comedy which I love!

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Tia said...

Dark fantasy? Neil Gaiman-esque? I'm in! When I hear "dark," I think of a high dose of reality (not reality as in non-fantasy, but reality as truth of human nature and society) and usually violence without the happy ending to make it easily digestible.

tiasbook AT gmail DOT com

Diana Dang said...

I think paranormal but without the lovey-dovey stuff that comes with it

faked_sugartone at hotmail

Bleuette said...

When they say dark I think it has elemnts of both fantasy and Horror.

"a type of horror story in which humanity is threatened by forces beyond human understanding."

Jenny said...

I really like Fables! I'd love to be entered for this giveaway. My email is bastet57 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Dark??? Well, I think that the meaning behind what is going on is heavy. There are evils more than good. Or even that there is a lot of bad that happens in comparison to good, such as death. But there had to be more than just death. There has to be evil swollowing up the spirits and torture and ....

There is just so much that can add in to create dark for me.

This book sounds dark and very, very good! I would love to have this one. Thanks for the chance to win it!

justpeachy36 said...

When someone mentions that a book is "dark", I usually associate that with either horror or thriller. Something that is edgy, could be vampires or werewolves or even just dark desires and dark crimes.

Please enter me in the giveaway.

fredamans said...

When someone says "dark" I automatically think of mystery and suspense. Maybe even murder.
Great contest! Thank you for the entry.


She said...

Fables? Sweet cover? Neil Gaiman-esque? YES PLEASE!

I would love to be entered into the drawing!

When someone says 'dark' about a novel, I think of something like Blindness by Saramago or even The Knife of Never Letting Go by Ness. It doesn't necessarily have to be sad or scary, but it has to put me in one of those weird 'meeeeehhhhh, life' funks. Actually, I'm reading Harry Potter #5 right now, and it's seeming pretty dark. Poor Harry Potter!

ABCD Diaries said...

Intrigue:) Thanks for the chance!
christinbanda at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

When someone says a book is dark I usually think of the types of stories that causes nightmares, like a really twisted psychological read or maybe a sick type of murder. Usually a book that ends unhappily and causes the characters to majorly suffer throughout it.

Anna ♥

Shooting Stars Mag said...

When I think of a dark book, I normally think of something that will shock you to the core in some way.

Sounds like a great book,

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Kristen said...

I want want want!!! Okay, need to calm down.

I absolutely love Fables and need this novel.

To answer the question.. when I think of dark, I think of gothic first, but really more of an overcast day. The type of day where something can go seriously wrong and change lives forever...

Crossing my fingers to win this!

dragonzgoil at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love this one!!!
When I hear dark, I usually think twisted, gloomy and cold!
and I follow......

Ryan said...

I so have to jump in on this chance. I've been meaning to pick this book up and would love to win it.

When I think of a dark book, it makes me think of something that either deals with serious subjects in a detailed way or has a morbid sense of story or humor. Not sure my answer makes sense now that I'm reading it.

Anonymous said...

When someone says a book is dark what I automatically think is I WANT IT! Other than that though, a dark book to me isn't one that is merely violent or contains horror or supernatural elements, for a book to be truly dark it has to have that eerie, disturbing, wow factor that makes you stay awake thinking about it long after you've finished the last page.

Great giveaway Cecelia!
My email address is miss_unsquiggle[at]hotmail[dot]com

Beleth said...

When someone says a book is dark i always think im going to love it!
battyaboutbats at

Unknown said...

A dark book is one without a complete happy ending. One that has the best ending it can have given how disturbing it is.

Lindsay Frost said...

I would LOVE to win this!!
Thankyou!! :D:D:D
I think dark? GIVE ME THE BOOK to READ NOW!!!


Andrea said...

When someone says dark, I think that it's going to have a morbid sense of humor and contain a lot of less than happy moments.

annieiskawaii (at) gmail. com

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review! :)

Anonymous said...

I read the first volume of Fables and loved it, so I would love to win this.

It's hard to put into words what I think of as dark. It's not necessarily fantasy, but can be. It can also be mysteries or thriller. The good guys aren't perfect, but the bad guys are really bad. Also, the setting is usually dark or sad in some way, like a fog-enshrouded London or a deep, dark woods, for example.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Stacey Brucale said...

If someone says a book is dark I think about the setting of a book. It will be gloomy, the characters will be slightly depressed, just an overall gloomy kind of atmosphere.


Lauren said...

When someone says a book is dark, for some reason I think of the movie 'Heathers'. That may not make a lot of sense, but it was probably my first experience of dark humour so the connection is always there for me.

I would love to be entered for this, because you make the book sound amazing. It sounds like an experience, which is what I'm always looking for.

lauren dot wavekeeper at googlemail dot com

throuthehaze said...

When someone say a book is dark I think of it as being spooky

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

When I think of dark my mind automatically goes to a kind of Gothic type setting. With the possibility of a mild or heavy spook factor.

Very cool giveaway. :)

- Nikki
nikkinizzle at

Anonymous said...

Dark=mystery, the unknown, shadowy characters, set at night a lot. The story isn't a comedy - it won't make you laugh but it might make you shiver.

foltzsfantasticbooks at

Jenny said...

See what happened there was I got so excited about Fables I forgot to answer the question. *facepalm*

When someone says a book is dark, I think of very extra evil villains and/or ambiguously good heroes, and of course the possibility that any of the characters I like will die.

My email address is still bastet57 (at) gmail (dot) com, and on some days my reading comprehension is better than others. :P

brizmus said...

When I think of dark, I automatically think of Neil Gaiman. I think of fantastical underworlds with amazing, unique creatures. Often times dark nights and bare trees are involved. I think - I wanna read some of that!


Llehn said...

When someone says dark, I think about the dark aspects of humanity e.g. jealousy, murderous thoughts, etc. I would expect a book to have such elements.


Alessandra said...

When someone says a book is "dark", I assume it's a horror/thriller/paranormal book with violence, bood, and so on *shivers*

Thanks for the book giveaway! I hadn't heard of this novel before, but it sounds very good.


Anonymous said...

Please enter me!

I think of something possibly disturbing.

Kara said...

When someone says a book is dark I think of vampires or deadly faeries & or a lot of favorite characters dying.

Heidi V said...

Horror/Suspense is what comes to mind.

heidivargas [at] live dot com

debijackson said...

Dark- means evil or sinister in the plot.

ninefly said...

I'd imagine dark psychology, sinister characters, dystopia

I'm really obsessed with the fables series right now, and I love stories about brothers, so this book has me kinda frothing at the mouth *__*
thanks for the giveaway!


Sheere said...

I always think of death, sinister, depressed plot.. and sarcarm, a lot of it!

Mystica said...

Dark means sinister, macabre and deep!


Sue said...

I think a little scary.
Thanks for the giveaway!

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I generally think of violence, gore, or a heavy topic. This is a book that you might have to prepare yourself to read.

Thanks so much for the contest. The book looks amazing!

kensou09 said...

macabre.lyk Gaiman's u said?! OMG. i hart him. Simply WICKED!

Anonymous said...

When someone says a book is dark I think that it is going to be very scary.. I think of gothic.


Kiara said...

Great Contest!!
Well, when someone says that a book is "dark", I always think in a story full of mystery, suspense and death. That anything could happen.
Thanks for this international contest. I'm from Chile!

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