Fables of Arabia || 1001 Nights of Snowfall Review

Initial Thoughts:

I’m really sad that it ended! I would have loved to hear more stories that Snow told of the Fables in the early days, even though for the most part, we get a bunch of that narrative in the actual series. All the same, this was super enjoyable!

FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL

by Bill Willingham
Vertigo, October 2006
Graphic novel, fairy tales
Rated: 4.5 / 5 cookies

Traveling to Arabia as an ambassador from the exiled Fables community, Snow White is captured by the local sultan who wants to marry her (and then kill her). But clever Snow attempts to charm the sultan instead by playing Scheherazade, telling him fantastic stories for a total of 1001 nights, saving her very skin in the process.

Running the gamut from unexpected horror to dark intrigue to mercurial coming-of-age, Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall reveals the secret histories of familiar Fables characters through a series of compelling and visually illustrative tales. Writer Bill Willingham is joined by an impressive array of artists from comic book industry legends to the amazing young painters of the next wave.

I will preface this review by letting you know that I am a big Fables fan. I have been since Volume 2 and I have quite literally two more volumes to go before I’m finished with the series. So it’s kind of weird that I haven’t read this particular volume until recently.

And like most of the Fables volumes I’ve read, I really enjoyed this one.

While 1001 Nights of Snowfall is listed down as book 7 of the Fables series, it’s not exactly within the series itself. I consider it a #7.5, as it were, because it really is a spinoff and standalone. It does deal with Arabian Fables, which makes sense that it was called #7, in conjunction with the actual volume 7, which is Arabian Nights (And Days).  In this particular case, though, the story takes place centuries before the actual Fables storyline.

And for those who haven’t read or want to know where to start with Fables, I’d probably recommend this volume, if only to put one’s toe into the water. That said, I would also like to make note that different artists were responsible for each story, which means Mark Buckingham, the main artist of the series, illustrated just one. I tend to point this out because varied artists usually play a part on how much I like a volume. Sometimes the fact that there are different artists takes away from my enjoyment, but other times the stories luck out because those helming the illustrations are a bunch of awesome talent.

1001 Nights of Snowfall is, fortunately, an assortment of the latter. It makes sense, considering who was recruited to fill up the pages of Willingham’s short stories. A few of the artists I’d been familiar with from previous works (Thompson, Bolland, Andrews, Buckingham of course). The others were just as great. All in all, I thought the artwork as a whole was fantastic.

But, of course, I’m biased, and most of this bias comes from the fact that Willingham’s short stories about his popular Fables characters were brought to life again on the page. Many of the backstories were fleshed out in 1001 Nights of Snowfall, including Snow’s background with Prince Charming, her fencing lessons (which come into play in Volume 19), and Bigby’s immense hatred for his father (which, to be honest, is a major part of the later Fables issues). It was also fun just to see other Fables get their origin stories, including some of my secondary favorites like Frau Totenkinder and Ambrose.

There was a lot to take in, and honestly, Snow could have kept going with her tales and I would have devoured every thing she told. But I suppose Willingham couldn’t keep going for a thousand nights and a night, haha.

4.5 out of 5 cookies!

Have you read this volume? What did you think?

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Mini Reviews: Snow White, Camelot

Oh, blog. I know I have neglected you. Come to think of it, I’ve been neglecting many things lately. In lieu of the end of the year shenanigans, I’ve been generally swamped with grading, exam writing, teaching, and more grading. I’m behind on my Goodreads goal, I’ve not written a blog post since the end of May, and I’ve completely dropped off the face of the editing and short story writing circuit.

Buuuut…

I needed to get out of this slump/hiatus. And it’s ALMOST the end of the school year. And I have a ton of catching up blogging-wise, so hang onto your, uh, figurative hats, yeah?

Anyway, got a few blog posts I need to write for the next few weeks, I just need the actual time to write it now!

So first, a couple of graphic novel reviews. I went back to reading some Fables goodness because it was high time I finish reading this series once and for all. My goal this year is to at least finish a couple of completed series, novels and graphic novels included!

** Note: These two graphic novels are Volumes 19 and 20 of the Fables series by Bill Willingham, so while I do attempt not to spoil the story so far, there is a bit of a jump.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

Mini-Reviews: The Cake Therapist, Snow White

I am to the point where I’m finally caught up in books and reviews. Well, I mean, I still have a ton to read and review (especially now that NetGalley is approving more things on my request list than rejecting…), but you know. It’s going to be slower once September hits. Yeah.

I read The Cake Therapist as an audiobook, which was probably a good idea because I don’t think I would have finished it otherwise. That said, doesn’t that cover look DELICIOUS? I could eat that cake all up.

Snow White has another apple cover! I love apple covers XD. This one is a pretty simple one, though, and doesn’t tell you much about what’s inside. I guess that’s when you peel the apple to discover its contents. *cough*

caketherapist

snowwhite

Did you read either of these? What did you think?

Writing Wednesdays #3: Word Maps

So I think my writing voldies were still reeling from last week, because I must have got the “Are we going to be learning more about Taylor Swift this week” question so many times before the session began. One of my fifth graders adored the similes and metaphor song so much he wanted me to play it again. I laughed, then I promptly told him we always do something different, that T-Swizzle was so last week. Although I truly was tempted to write “Red” as this week’s prompt. Just to see what the writing voldies associated with the color. (It’s okay. I went with “Purple” purple instead, ahahaha).

Anyway, this week we worked on word maps and word associations. While my eighth graders certainly had a fantastic grasp of it (I swear, though, both of them immediately went from “Snow” to “Angel tears” to “[insert anime/TV show/geek fandom here]”), my younger writing voldies needed a bit of warmup. In any case, we used the following as a warmup word map:

IMG_20151216_171905

Meanwhile, my prompt for “Snow” pretty much went along this route:

IMG_20151216_171852

And when asked to write for a bit, this is what ended up happening:

Word Map: Snow

His pulse raced as he entered the throne room. He’d hoped his heart would stop and calm down, but his eyes grazed the Ivory Throne and he saw her sitting there, resplendent in courtly robes, her face as beautiful as he’d beheld her so many years ago. It was frightening.

She was angry.

He could tell by the way she sat back on her throne, fingers splayed out on the sidearms, tap-tap-tapping in quiet rhythm. Her eyes did not waver, and she watched him perform his slow walk down the room. From afar, people would think she was relaxed and bored on the throne, but he knew better. He knew even sleeping lions knew how to attack.

“You let her go.”

It was a gift of hers, knowing when he was lying. He knew the minute he dropped the knife that he wouldn’t be able to return to the Queen and lie to her.

She knew he’d let Snow go.

He knew she would be furious.

But something had compelled him. Even more so than the Queen’s magic.

And just for fun…I asked my writing voldies to give me a couple words. This is the result of the words “Cas”, “Santa,” and “Angel tears”:

IMG_20151216_171844

In my defense, I’m still on a Carry On kick. In my other defense, one of my eighth graders may have squeed when she realized my word map went the “guy on guy” route. The other eighth grader started giving me strange looks, but then I told her she couldn’t judge, not when she knows EXACTLY what I talk about half the time.