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Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales

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You think you know these stories, don’t you? You are wrong. You don’t know them at all. Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death. A prince has a surp You think you know these stories, don’t you? You are wrong. You don’t know them at all. Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death. A prince has a surprising awakening . . .                            A beauty fights like a beast . . . A boy refuses to become prey . . . A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again. New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare. 


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You think you know these stories, don’t you? You are wrong. You don’t know them at all. Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death. A prince has a surp You think you know these stories, don’t you? You are wrong. You don’t know them at all. Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death. A prince has a surprising awakening . . .                            A beauty fights like a beast . . . A boy refuses to become prey . . . A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again. New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare. 

30 review for Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I want this cover framed on my wall yesterday, please

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fanna

    08.03.2021: "a beauty fights like a beast..." okay, I'm ready to read this right NOW. 08.03.2021: "a beauty fights like a beast..." okay, I'm ready to read this right NOW.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mara

    3.5 stars - This feels like what you hand your kid when they're just old enough to process some of the more messed up elements baked into the European fairytale canon. I loved the subversive elements of this, along with the absolutely GORGEOUS illustrations from Julia Iredale. I'm not sure that many of these are super groundbreaking for adult readers, but as a lover of fairytale retellings, I still found this very enjoyable 3.5 stars - This feels like what you hand your kid when they're just old enough to process some of the more messed up elements baked into the European fairytale canon. I loved the subversive elements of this, along with the absolutely GORGEOUS illustrations from Julia Iredale. I'm not sure that many of these are super groundbreaking for adult readers, but as a lover of fairytale retellings, I still found this very enjoyable

  4. 5 out of 5

    curtis :)

    the cover 😩😩😩 (on a serious note, I can't wait to see what soman does outside the world of The School for Good and Evil) the cover 😩😩😩 (on a serious note, I can't wait to see what soman does outside the world of The School for Good and Evil)

  5. 5 out of 5

    ellie pasquale

    i am wildly grateful to have received an advanced copy of this collection! i am not grateful, however, for the irrationally busy college campus that sat and watched me have a good little cry on the lawn over a particular reference to the school for good and evil. (i definitely should have seen it coming earlier than i did, but i did not, so i was sat right out in the open when it hit. oh well.) in true chainani fashion, these reinvented stories restore the danger and ugliness of the original fairy i am wildly grateful to have received an advanced copy of this collection! i am not grateful, however, for the irrationally busy college campus that sat and watched me have a good little cry on the lawn over a particular reference to the school for good and evil. (i definitely should have seen it coming earlier than i did, but i did not, so i was sat right out in the open when it hit. oh well.) in true chainani fashion, these reinvented stories restore the danger and ugliness of the original fairytales to uncover nuanced ideas of solace and beauty. the prose is just as disturbing as it is enchanting -- everything a reader could want from a good story. i enjoyed the many twists and turns of each tale, and if i had to choose, i think my favorites were little red riding hood, bluebeard, and beauty and the beast. peter pan was something else. it gets its own category. in the end, filled with all its magical mirrors and magical windows, this collection is tremendous. i so look forward to enjoying it again once it's published with julia iredale's final art!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Yeganeh

    ~2.5 stars~ to be completely honest with you all , this book wasn't what i initially expecting. this is a short collection of 12 fairy tale . Each of the stories is told with an enticing beginning, solid middle, and conclusive end, however there are a few that are vaguely open-ended. I'm not a big fan of this sort of books and this wasn't an exception. what i really think let me down the most was the promotion and the hype that soman chainai put himself . i mean, just look at this teaser and then ~2.5 stars~ to be completely honest with you all , this book wasn't what i initially expecting. this is a short collection of 12 fairy tale . Each of the stories is told with an enticing beginning, solid middle, and conclusive end, however there are a few that are vaguely open-ended. I'm not a big fan of this sort of books and this wasn't an exception. what i really think let me down the most was the promotion and the hype that soman chainai put himself . i mean, just look at this teaser and then try to judge me cause i can be the only one: credit ~i had fun time guessing the teaser countdown for each story that soman uploaded to his personal page and i feel like there are with this fallowing order:(starting from upper left to downer right) • peterpan • Rapunzel • Beauty and the Beast • little red riding hood • Bluebeard • Cinderella • Snow white • Jack and the beanstalk • Hansel and Gretel • the little Mermaid • Rumpelstiltskin • sleeping beauty ~Style and skill aside, I would be remiss not to make mention of the overall collective moral of Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales, and that would be that anything is possible. It is possible for a princess to be her own knight in shining armor. A prince need not marry the fairest maiden in the land, because it is possible to live happily ever after with a prince of their own. It is possible to break the cycle of inequality and blind hatred if your will is strong enough to weather the storm. It is possible to find true love, but only after recognizing your self worth and loving the person you are inside.it is also possible to make friend with the villian of story , as if stories aren't always judged by good or bad. ~In contrast, while this book is marketed as middle grade, there are some themes I’d say are targeted towards a more mature audience; these including murder, child abuse, and predation. Nothing is particularly graphic in nature, but it is important to be aware of this. ~overall, this wasn't bad and simply my disappointment is my fault. i shouldn't have raise my exception so high and let everything go as the way it is.i might as well sound like prick to say this but it wasn't worth the wait at least for me .anyhow , i would still recommend this to readers who enjoy any sort of fairy tall retelling or direct story with a fresh twist. and defiantly older reader as well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    read my review on reads rainbow Rep: Black mc, Indian mcs, Chinese mc, gay mcs CWs: blood, gore, racism/racial trauma, emotional abuse, implied rape, implied child trafficking read my review on reads rainbow Rep: Black mc, Indian mcs, Chinese mc, gay mcs CWs: blood, gore, racism/racial trauma, emotional abuse, implied rape, implied child trafficking

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samira♥

    Soman Chainani can do no wrong. SGE is my favourite middle-grade series and I just knew I would love this book. It was absolutely beautiful. The last story, Peter Pan, had me SOBBING. because it was about the parentage of a MC from the school for Good and Evil. My fave stories: 1. Peter Pan 2. Beauty & The Beast 3. Rapunzal 4. Red Riding Hood _______________ this beauty got a cover reveal on Instagram and I am in loveeeee

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kat - ahobbitsbooks

    I feel like I go moan about how much I hate 90% of all new fairy tale retellings like twice a day. On a good day maybe only once a day. This book fell into my lap (quite literally) just after I had finished reading For the Wolf (yikes) and this e-arc was graciously provided by HarperCollins and MBC: thank you! All opinions are my own. What this collection of fairy tales offers is a brand-new look at all the classic ones you know. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hänsel and Gretel, The Little Me I feel like I go moan about how much I hate 90% of all new fairy tale retellings like twice a day. On a good day maybe only once a day. This book fell into my lap (quite literally) just after I had finished reading For the Wolf (yikes) and this e-arc was graciously provided by HarperCollins and MBC: thank you! All opinions are my own. What this collection of fairy tales offers is a brand-new look at all the classic ones you know. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Hänsel and Gretel, The Little Mermaid. Most of the stories in this collection are based on The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales with some other well-known European fairytales thrown into the mix as well. The main reason why I accepted this arc was that I was told that the author is not only POC but queer as well (yes, that’s right, I hadn’t heard of Soman Chainani before). I was hoping that he would bring a unique perspective to the fairy tales we all know and that he did. The tales in this book are much, much darker than the stories Disney appropriated and closer to the original fairy tales with one important difference: In this collection of tales of the dark, ugly, and mysterious, Chainani righted many of the wrongs the original stories presented us with. In this book, women are not always the source of all evil. Here, they do not draw the short end of the stick. Here, we have stories in which the princess saves herself, in which two girls form an alliance and become the best of friends instead of fighting each other over the same man. Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales highlights topics such as sexual and emotional abuse, racial trauma, psychological distress that many of the OGs implied but didn’t feel the need to comment on or actively invoked but never discussed. When you take away the theme of the damsel in distress, the evil stepmother, the good prince, and kind father that never do anything wrong and are tricked by a wicked witch, that previously served as uniting factors for many western/Grimm’s fairy tales, you will quickly notice that the original fairy tales don’t have much in common. What Chainani managed is to weave the different aspects of love and its representations into each and every one of these stories: platonic love, romantic love, the love between siblings, queer love, characters that can be read as aromantic. “Love actually is all around”, to quote one of my favourite films. And yet, and this should not be forgotten, these reinvented tales are still very macabre and dark. The writing plays its part in that and makes the stories sound like they were written a hundred years ago. Chainani stuck really close to the dictionary and style the original fairy tales are written in. All in all, this was a fresh, entertaining, a little creepy and a little unsettling but still fulfilling reimagining of some of the most well-known fairy tales in the world. I think this book would be excellent to study in middle-grade but it would also be a great read that parents can discover together with their children (of an appropriate age) to discuss how the age-old themes of misogyny and denigration of women and girls appear again and again in Grimm's tales and how stories like Chainani’s cleverly manage to avoid stereotyping fictional female characters and coding all relationships as strictly heterosexual.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Soup

    For the most part this collection of adapted fairy tales was unsettling and uncomfortable, with a persistent sense of vaguely sexual predation throughout. While most of the stories explicitly call out the implied-sexual nature of many fairy tales (an established trope that, to be fair, Chainani has not invented), they tend to do so with a wink and a nod that requires the protagonists to participate in rather than simply subvert (for example, (view spoiler)[Red Riding Hood continues to demand a t For the most part this collection of adapted fairy tales was unsettling and uncomfortable, with a persistent sense of vaguely sexual predation throughout. While most of the stories explicitly call out the implied-sexual nature of many fairy tales (an established trope that, to be fair, Chainani has not invented), they tend to do so with a wink and a nod that requires the protagonists to participate in rather than simply subvert (for example, (view spoiler)[Red Riding Hood continues to demand a tribute of beautiful girls albeit for more altruistic reasons, Hansel & Gretel murder and eat their stepmother, and the sole surviving male victim of Bluebeard must also traffic in young boys/men in order to free them) (hide spoiler)] . Sensitive readers (a group I include myself in) should be aware of trigger warnings for implied rape, violence, emotional abuse, racial trauma, psychological distress, child abuse, and cannibalism among others.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Belles Middle Grade Library

    This is a hard 1 to review, because this is the author of my favorite series of all time. I’ll try not to be biased though lol. He is a genius at taking what we have been taught about fairytales-meaning Disney’s high jacked versions-& flipping them to a totally different idea. Darker for sure. But if you ever read the REAL tales most Disney movie classics are based on-they are DARK. This was written in a way to where I felt I was reading a classic, from a magical narrator. I’m sure it’s the same This is a hard 1 to review, because this is the author of my favorite series of all time. I’ll try not to be biased though lol. He is a genius at taking what we have been taught about fairytales-meaning Disney’s high jacked versions-& flipping them to a totally different idea. Darker for sure. But if you ever read the REAL tales most Disney movie classics are based on-they are DARK. This was written in a way to where I felt I was reading a classic, from a magical narrator. I’m sure it’s the same with everyone, because tastes vary so much, but there were many I LOVED in here, some I didn’t care for, & a couple that left me frustrated(like the ending of 1 for example). But overall, this was dark, gothic, dangerous, edgy, & beautiful. Theres 1 that, in my opinion, is basically making fun of Disney’s version-& I laughed SO hard, because it’s all TRUE! Haha ugh But I still love the Disney movies I grew up with, don’t get me wrong. I accept them for what they are, & love the nostalgia they bring me. There are many triggers in here, & if you are someone who needs warnings for those, I recommend looking them up before reading. 1 especially was extremely disturbing for me, & it’s not even something I’ve ever dealt with. I even think Soman says he is afraid of it, & has still to this day not reread it. So just know that. One of my favorite things is where he gets rid of the idea that the girl always needs saving from a man, & that good looks are all that matter, & equate to whether someone is a good person. Also, we are all in charge of our own stories. Even if it may be similar to another’s story-it’s not. We are living OUR OWN & can change the outcome & come out on the other side. Also, as a stepmother I rolled my eyes at 1 story lol But I always do when that card is played. Just something you do when you become one. This is out now, & I recommend this if you are in the mood for some great writing, with dark retellings of fairytales of old. Soman is so talented. I can’t wait to see what actual full story novels he puts out next. STUNNING cover by Julia Iredale, with just as beautiful illustrations throughout as well!💜

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nashae Jones

    First and foremost, I have to comment on the beautifully written prose. I was simultaneously haunted and enchanted by the book's language. I love fairy tale retellings, and this book has been my favorite thus far. I love the subversion of traditional fairy tale tropes i.e. Sleeping Beauty is a male and Rapunzel doesn't end up with the prince. I felt a sense of empowerment after reading this book. There was a fine line between the comedic and melancholic in these stories, and I found that I could First and foremost, I have to comment on the beautifully written prose. I was simultaneously haunted and enchanted by the book's language. I love fairy tale retellings, and this book has been my favorite thus far. I love the subversion of traditional fairy tale tropes i.e. Sleeping Beauty is a male and Rapunzel doesn't end up with the prince. I felt a sense of empowerment after reading this book. There was a fine line between the comedic and melancholic in these stories, and I found that I couldn't put the book down. I haven't read any of the author's other works, but I find myself about to go to get some more of his works.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steff Fox

    I am SCREAMING at this book trailer!!! WANTTTTT. I am SCREAMING at this book trailer!!! WANTTTTT.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Filipa

    What a pleasant surprise! I had such fun reading this reimagination of fairy tales by Soman Chainani. The audiobook by Polly Lee is a masterpiece, as per usual.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from HarperCollins Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was waiting for a book such as Beasts and Beauty to be released. This book is a clear reflection on why you never judge a book by its cover. I thought it was going to be another modern rendition of Little Red Riding Hood but not only was Little Red Riding Hood featured but almost all of the princesses such as Snow White, Sle This book was received as an ARC from HarperCollins Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I was waiting for a book such as Beasts and Beauty to be released. This book is a clear reflection on why you never judge a book by its cover. I thought it was going to be another modern rendition of Little Red Riding Hood but not only was Little Red Riding Hood featured but almost all of the princesses such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella etc. This book was written in a way of continuing on from what we thought was the end of each fairy tale giving the reader another modern perspective which I greatly respected. While I was reading, I could not help but think how much our teen book club will go crazy in conversation and I can't wait to hear all they have to say. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    el

    TREATS FOR FAIRYTALE LOVERS!!! This book contains 12 modified fairytales so you may or my not have guessed the ending👀 my favorites are Peter Pan, Hansel and Gretel, Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella❤

  17. 5 out of 5

    ☆ BON ☆

    Anthologies are always tough to rate; like most, I found I enjoyed maybe every other tale in this. A lot of the "Disney Canon" kind of princess stories I really don't enjoy, but the twists on Snow White, Rapunzel, and Beauty and the Beast were really neat. My absolute favorite was Sleeping Beauty, though - always here for gay vampires. All in all I appreciated these Woke takes on old stories, subverting gender roles and old stereotypes of who's the victim and who's the monster. Four stars! Anthologies are always tough to rate; like most, I found I enjoyed maybe every other tale in this. A lot of the "Disney Canon" kind of princess stories I really don't enjoy, but the twists on Snow White, Rapunzel, and Beauty and the Beast were really neat. My absolute favorite was Sleeping Beauty, though - always here for gay vampires. All in all I appreciated these Woke takes on old stories, subverting gender roles and old stereotypes of who's the victim and who's the monster. Four stars!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Thank you NetGalley for the e-arc to review. Such a fascinating twist on classic tales. We get to see a whole new version of Wendy’s side to what happened in Neverland, why Ursula is the way she is, why Hansel and his sister were even in the woods and more stories that just left me wanting to keep reading how their lives were going to turn out. I will be purchasing this for my personal collection for my kiddos to read and possible some of the kiddos at school.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adam Davidson

    Great book

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grace W

    So I liked this, and I liked that it was queer but it rankles that the queer stories don’t see a lot of kissing or like acknowledging that queer is the word, they instead say things like “a different happy ending” and I could do without that. We do Stan the Peter Pan story TW for this book include: Adult/minor relationship, Animal death, Bullying, Gore, Death including death of a parent, child, and loved one

  21. 4 out of 5

    Verónica Fleitas Solich

    3.5 Some stories I enjoyed very much, others I did not care at all. What cannot be denied is the originality of the retellings.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Currently sobbing over the last story! Each and every one of these 12 tales made my heart wrench in different ways, whether it be love or longing, each story taught a lesson. My favorite retellings by far <3

  23. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    So excited for this to come out! I'm a massive SGE fan So excited for this to come out! I'm a massive SGE fan

  24. 5 out of 5

    marie is not marie

    i cannot wait for September ughh

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brad Sells

    Prepare to have your favorite fairytales rewoven darker and more powerful by a master storyteller. The Red Riding Hood story... wow!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Classics told in a way like never before, Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales is an upcoming compilation of dazzling retellings from the mind of Soman Chainani, intent on appealing to a modern audience. Within its pages are tales of blood and roses, bone-chilling howls in the night, the ugliness of arrogant beauty, the beauty of ugly truths, the magic of love, and more. While some are definitely more impactful than others, each and every yarn is told in such flowing, captivating prose, drawing re Classics told in a way like never before, Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales is an upcoming compilation of dazzling retellings from the mind of Soman Chainani, intent on appealing to a modern audience. Within its pages are tales of blood and roses, bone-chilling howls in the night, the ugliness of arrogant beauty, the beauty of ugly truths, the magic of love, and more. While some are definitely more impactful than others, each and every yarn is told in such flowing, captivating prose, drawing readers into a realm of nostalgic allure. Structurally repetitive in nature, each is reminiscent of a beloved bedtime story, but oh so very different – charming witches, appalling beauties, the unbreakable bonds of found family, the possibilities found in impossibility, the list goes on and on. Each of the stories is told with an enticing beginning, solid middle, and conclusive end, however there are a few that are vaguely open-ended. But what is a cautionary tale if not a guide into a dark forest to find your own path to goodness and happiness? Chainani paints these tales of his with such vivid, magnificent detail, making it too easy to lose yourself within and you’re left to ponder how the pages are flying by so swiftly. As I turned the final page, not only was I heartbroken, but I was instantly in need of more. I’m also excited to see the final illustrations that are peppered throughout, as the rough sketches included already add another level to the storybook feel of wonder. Style and skill aside, I would be remiss not to make mention of the overall collective moral of Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales, and that would be that anything is possible. It is possible for a princess to be her own knight in shining armor. A prince need not marry the fairest maiden in the land, because it is possible to live happily ever after with a prince of their own. It is possible to break the cycle of inequality and blind hatred if your will is strong enough to weather the storm. It is possible to find true love, but only after recognizing your self worth and loving the person you are inside. In today’s environment, I can’t think of better messages to pass onto the youth that pave the way to tomorrow’s future. In contrast, while this book is marketed as middle grade, there are some themes I’d say are targeted towards a more mature audience; these including murder, child abuse, and predation. Nothing is particularly graphic in nature, but it is important to be aware of this. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of fascinating awe in their life. Because even as we age, it’s important to remember that we’re still allowed to believe in magic. –– A huge thank you to the author, publisher, and Megan Beatie for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this wonderful book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    N.F Afrina)

    I see the point. However, it's not because the book and stories delivered it to me, but because I was told that it would be so. I love fairytale retellings but honestly, it's a tricky thing to make a unique yet based retelling. The huge reason fairytales are well-loved is because of the nostalgia attached to it so a retelling would need to create its own nostalgia without veering too far... so that's actually a very hard thing to do. Plus, with well-known stories like Cinderella, it's hard to com I see the point. However, it's not because the book and stories delivered it to me, but because I was told that it would be so. I love fairytale retellings but honestly, it's a tricky thing to make a unique yet based retelling. The huge reason fairytales are well-loved is because of the nostalgia attached to it so a retelling would need to create its own nostalgia without veering too far... so that's actually a very hard thing to do. Plus, with well-known stories like Cinderella, it's hard to come up with alternate endings and situations that people haven't pondered about. The bulk of this book was just a rendition of a "what if" I had thought of before. Another reason why fairytales have the vibe that they hold is the fact that they have a message to send across, albeit how wrong or deceitful the message are sometimes. The stories in this book serve no purpose of that other than solely being a different version of the original stories. Turning villains into misunderstood heroes, making weak princesses strong... All good, but it's just a deviation, not something that could stand on its own. Also, I get that the men in fairytales are too oftenly jerks. Especially the love interests and prince charmings. We all know that, it's not news. Having it emphasised is not a retelling for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    Absolutely loved this snarky, feminist collection of fairy tale retellings that are perfect for fans of Angela Carter. All the classics are included told with unique twists that often have the female heroines take control of their lives and not being passive characters that action just happens to. One of my favorites was Rapunzel who completely rejects the prince who comes to 'rescue' her offering her marriage that she realizes is just another cage. The little mermaid was also great, with Ursula Absolutely loved this snarky, feminist collection of fairy tale retellings that are perfect for fans of Angela Carter. All the classics are included told with unique twists that often have the female heroines take control of their lives and not being passive characters that action just happens to. One of my favorites was Rapunzel who completely rejects the prince who comes to 'rescue' her offering her marriage that she realizes is just another cage. The little mermaid was also great, with Ursula trying to get the girl to open her eyes and realize she's about to give up everything for a man whose name she doesn't even know. Highly recommend and great on audio!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Emily

    I really loved these short stories and all the twists on the fairy tales we know. I liked Hansel and Gretel and Sleeping Beauty a lot, as twisted as they were lol ⠀ The illustrations are beautiful and definitely one of my favorite things about this book. Although I believe it’s for MG readers, there are some pretty serious subjects mixed in with some of these short stories. And some are sad - like Beauty and the Beast. Definitely check out this book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    B

    4.5 Stars Wow this book was so beautifully written. I loved the stories and hope to see another collection of tales soon. Also, the connection between this book and SGE?? I will not be ok for a while ….

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