Friday, March 20, 2015

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Brixen Witch by Stacy DeKeyser


An enchanted coin. A witch's curse. And rats, rats everywhere! What's a boy to do?

When Rudi Bauer finds a witch's coin, he unleashes her curse. Can he defeat the witch and her evil servant? Will Rudi--with help from an unexpected ally--set things right before it's too late?


Fairy tale retellings have been popular for a long time, especially familiar tales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast.  The Pied Piper is a fairy tale that isn't as well known nor is it retold as often (I know of only three retellings including this one). Like many retellings, The Brixen Witch uses the basic storyline involving the main characteristics of the original fairy tale but also includes a number of differences.

The similarities between this story and the original Pied Piper include rats (lots of rats!), a fiddler demanding a large payment, and the leading away of the children.

The differences are what makes this story stand out.  Rudi makes for an interesting main character as it's his mistake that helps create many of the problems that occur.  The inclusion of the witch and her servant throws in a lot of complications and motivations that don't exist in the original story.  I personally found the witch to be the most intriguing character, especially once Rudi meets her. The other secondary characters though play important roles, especially the adults in the village.  Adults don't always play a strong role in fairy tale retellings, but they do in this one.  I especially loved the way the story ended, in an unpredictable way.  Lots of fun here for readers who enjoy fairy tale retellings with a bit of spice.

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