Tales of the Peculiar

Following in the footsteps of other fictional folklorists like Beedle the Bard, Millard Nullings, the invisible resident from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has collected his own compendium of fairy tales set in that world, coming from a wide range of locales and eras.

Upon picking up the book, the first thing that will strike the reader is that it’s a handsome tome. Precisely designed with gorgeous woodcuts by Andrew Davidson replacing the eerie vintage photographs of the original series, all this hardback needs is a thin layer of dust to imagine it occupying the shelves of an old magic library.

Of course, all the decoration would stand for naught if the tales within didn’t pass muster, and for the most part, they do so with gusto. Hopping from girls who can tame nightmares and men turning into islands, there is a fine variety of imagination. From horror, romance and just pretty weird, the author captures the particular – and sometimes macabre – logic of folklore. In addition, there are some Princess Bride-esque notes and annotations from the author which tickled this reviewer.

It’s not all magical, however. There is one too many happy endings, and one occasionally yearns for the merciless conclusions of the Brothers Grimm. Also, the stories which tie directly into the Peculiars mythos tend to be the least interesting. That aside, it’s a beautiful volume that should satisfy fans of both Peculiars and peculiar stories.