Once upon a time, in a desert or a science lab or a mouse hole or a space station, there lived a character...
This is a fun and interesting collection of retold fairy tales. Most of them end well, though there are some horrors and equivocations included as well. I enjoyed the idea of reading retellings where little girls have agency and might be called villains for some slice of the story. And then I (mostly) enjoyed the fact of the reading. There are lesbian lovers, AIs, teachers, lab partners, impossible animals, and twisting truths.
I thoroughly enjoyed the stories by Seanan McGuire, Amal El-Mohtar, Marjorie Liu, Kat Howard, and Naomi Novak. Some of the others were enjoyable enough. And a few were horrifying. Two were written in ways that did not catch or keep my attention.
I just saw the musical Into the Woods last week. I think that experience might have left me particularly receptive to the stories and retellings in The Starlit Wood. Regardless, I recommend this book for its blatant invitation to revisit and rethink what we know and what we believe fairy tales are teaching us.