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The Grimm Legacy (book review)

January 6, 2012

The Grimm Legacy

Polly Shulman

325 pages. Library book.

I loved this book even more than I expected I would. Which is saying a lot, because it’s in several of my sweet spots at once. It’s YA fantasy, woven with elements of fairy tales. I got a giggle out of the fact that the protagonist’s name is Elizabeth, she doesn’t like nicknames, and for a portion of the book she utterly lacks a sense of direction. You might say, I identify with her.

The Grimm Legacy is set in New York city. It’s set in a library! And not just any library. The New York Circulating Materials Repository is a library of things: china tea sets, antique buttons, costumes. And yes, some books. I wish my studies at Pratt would let me into special collections like this library has: The Grimm Collection of fairy tale relics (includes lots of shoes) and the Wells collection has science fiction objects.

The ensemble cast was plenty of fun, as well. Elizabeth’s fellow pages seem like real teenagers with good depth of character. Polly Shulman develops their friendships well, letting them play off each other. And be slow to trust each other, especially given ominous things happening in the library to drive the plot. Although it’s primarily the teens’ story, I wanted to get to know more about the different librarians supervising them. (Yes, I wish they were my coworkers.

At a few points in this artifact-laden adventure tale, I caught a distinct resemblance to Warehouse 13’s first season. Esoteric historical objects stored and cataloged by eccentrics with a pithy sense of humor. The combination is perfectly in my sweet spot.

I’m also a sucker for modern retellings of fairy tales. Or in this case, a synthesis of dozens of fairy tale elements.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Shaniqua permalink
    November 6, 2012 2:02 pm

    I have also loved the book Grimm Legacy I remember always checking it out at the library!

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