You are probably reading this review as you are a fan of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series of books (there are six of them) written by Ransom Riggs. But before you start reading this review of Tales of the Peculiar, I must warn you that it is a book for peculiar eyes only, but I have managed to get hold of a copy to read and let you know about it.
Tales of the Peculiar, by Ransom Riggs (or Millard Nullings – you might remember him as the invisible one from the other books), is a collection of ten tales from peculiar folklore, a companion book to the bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of the peculiars was written in the Tales. It features fairy tales for peculiar children based on peculiar history, all with a moral lesson to be learned. Encoded deep within the stories are the locations of hidden loops, the secret identities of certain important peculiars and other information to aid a peculiar’s survival in a hostile world (as readers of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series of books will be aware of).
In this collection of peculiar short tales, you will be able to read about:
- The Splendid Cannibals
- The Fork-Tongued Princess
- The First Ymbryne
- The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts
- The Pigeons of Saint Paul’s
- The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares
- The Locust
- The Boy Who Could Hold Back the Sea
- The Tale of Cuthbert
Overall, I loved this collection of short stories. With tales of limbs being chopped off not only to feed cannibals but to feed an astonishing amount of greed, a beautiful fork-tongued princess shunned by her own father and husbands-to-be because she was different, how the time loops came to be created, a woman who could see and talk to ghosts that just wanted a friend, a story about no man is an island – or are they?, the pigeons that protect Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London (but didn’t always), a girl who could tame nightmares by pulling them out of your ear, locust the size of a dog that just wanted to be loved, a boy who could control the sea and the tale of a friendly but so very lonely giant, it is a very interesting and enjoyable read.
The tales have been annotated by Millard Nullings, the scholar of all things peculiar and really do give the book that extra dimension and uniqueness.
As readers of the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children books will know, these strange tales aid the peculiars in the quests with hidden locations and moral messages and is an excellent accompaniment to the Peculiar Children series.
As well as featuring some excellent well-written peculiar fairy tales, it also features some stunning illustrations from world-renowned artist Andrew Davidson. These are full page black and white drawings that really are excellent pieces of art, they add a richness to the tales and another layer of quality to the book.
Tales of the Peculiar is a rich and eerie collection of fairy tales (and peculiar history) that is vivid with detail and imagination. With some strange and definitely peculiar characters it is an excellent and totally enjoyable read. Some of the tales can be quite dark but all contain some message of morality, you might just have to delve that bit deeper into the story to find it.
Whether you have read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children or not, this is an excellent read as a standalone book or an accompanying collection to the series, and it complements them very well. If you are a fan of Miss Peregrine and the peculiars, then this a must have read. Whilst it doesn’t feature some of the old and bizarre photos as the other books in the series, the addition of the wonderfully stunning illustrations more than make up for it.
These peculiar fairy tales are a really strange, eerie and wonderfully enjoyable read. Ransom Riggs is an expert storyteller.
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £3.99 (Kindle)