thebiasedbibliophile’s spoiler-free review of Greymist Fair by Francesca Zappia
Retelling some of the lesser-known fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, Greymist Fair by Francesca Zappia is a YA fantasy/horror novel that tells the story of a murder mystery in a series of related short stories. The people in Greymist Fair are safe from Death’s wargs as long as they stay on the path…that is until young Heike finds what’s left of Tomas directly on the trail. Told from alternating perspectives, we learn that Tomas’s death is not as simple as it seems, and Death is closer to Greymist Fair than anyone thought.
Although short stories are always a hit or a miss for me, the stories in Greymist Fair were captivating! Each one progressively reveals more about the town and its secrets, while also tying into one another seamlessly. I enjoyed the fact that the stories took place at different times in the town’s history, and the different points of view added a compelling twist to the events of the novel. Many of the characters were interesting, but Dr. Death and Death were absolutely riveting. They were certainly the most complex characters, with mysterious backgrounds and motivations. Their character arcs were wonderfully written as well!
Furthermore, I’ve sometimes found that the world-building in short stories is not always strong, but the world-building in this novel was great. The way Zappia used each story to add a new layer onto the world was fascinating and led to a rich world with its own unique culture, traditions, and beliefs. The people of Greymist Fair share a sense of community with a dash of mistrust that shows their collective story from an exciting angle.
Finally, I think this book would appeal to people who enjoy many different genres; fantasy, horror, mystery, retellings, young adult, etc. There’s truly something for everyone to enjoy!
Expected Publication: 28 March 2023
Author: Francesca Zappia
Representation: LGBTQIA+ (side characters)
Rating: 4.5 Stars