The Woodcutter

The Woodcutter

by Kate Danley


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Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612185408
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 11/06/2012
Pages: 280
Sales rank: 669,905
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kate Danley, an award-winning actress, playwright, and author, is a member of the Acme Comedy Improv and sketch troupes in Los Angeles. Her plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, and the Washington, DC/Baltimore area. Danley’s screenplay Fairy Blood won first place in the Breckenridge Festival of Film screenwriting competition in the action/adventure category. Her debut novel, The Woodcutter, was honored with the Garcia Award for the best fiction book of the year, was the first place fantasy book in the Reader Views Literary Awards, and the winner of the sci-fi/fantasy category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Kate currently lives in Burbank, California, and works by day as office manager for education and exhibits at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

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Woodcutter 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A different perspective of all the fairy tales we grew up reading. The author lets you to a familiar world but with some twists that make for some fine reading. We discover that the happily ever afters that we read before had some behind the scenes help and it makes for a enchanting read.
ansate on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A gloriously weird amalgam of fairy tale bits. Feels a little like something by Sheri S. Tepper.
KeriQ More than 1 year ago
The Woodcutter is a collection of almost every faery tale you heard as a child. The Woodcutter is beautifully written and takes the reader off to another world. I could easily picture the Woodcutter walking through the Wood and what he was seeing. The Woodcutter is following in his father's footsteps just as his father did before him. He doesn't have an easy life and neither does his wife, who chose to stay by his side after she learned the truth about her husband. This is a story about one's destiny, about being selfless, and about not giving up hope. The Woodcutter may not be a story for everyone but if you enjoy fantasy, true love, princesses, and happily ever afters than maybe this is a book for you
archetype67 More than 1 year ago
The Woodcutter keeps the peace between the fairy realm and the human realm. He comes upon a body and knows that something is very wrong so he takes his ax and goes into the woods to right whatever has upset the balance.  Evil queens, false princesses, a fairy dust harvesting business.... things are not okay in the realm.  Reviews are all over the place for this novel. I fall mostly on the side of the positive. Danley's narrative distance seems to bother some people — while the novel stays with the Woodcutter, the story is told from a storyteller narrator. There is a clear difference between the character and the narrator, even if the narrator is not in the story. Although we get in his head, the thoughts aren't expressed in the Woodcutter's voice and I'll hazard a guess that those who disliked felt put off by the narration style even if expressed differently, i.e. not having fully realized characters, etc.  I'll disagree in that I found I sympathized with the Woodcutter, cheered for him, was disappointed when he seemed to be loosing. I liked Jack, and a felt horrible for the pixies. No, I felt nothing for the evil queen, yet I had good image of who she was. One dimensional, yes, but it fit the story - this was a fairytale, closer to a true folktale than perhaps most other 'retellings' and 're-workings'.  Daniel uses the devices of folktales and fairytales - repetitions, the power of names, the deals and word-games, the power of love and decency, all to an enjoyable effect. Danley has taken tales we know well - Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Three Billy-Goats Gruff etc., and mixed them with lesser known stories, and tossed in a little mythology to boot, and then managed to created a cohesive story that wasn't about any individual fairytale, but about how a world maintained a balance between forces. And when that balance was tipped enough, how it cascaded towards destruction. But the grace of the good storytelling here was the Woodcutter's own story. His love, his world, and what he would do to set things right.  The Woodcutter isn't perfectly executed, but it works more often than not. It takes a certain amount of patience to adjust to the style and to understand the world of the novel — again something that some readers may not have because we are now used to a certain styles of narration and this feels like a throwback. There was a point when I found myself just enjoying being told a story. Yes - the adage 'show don't tell' is probably something critics will toss around as a weakness because Danley doesn't always do that, but again, I think here it works. And strangely, by telling the story, Danley paints a wonderful portrait of the world with her words. There are moments of true poetry. Moments that made me stop and go back to hear it again. Color was huge in the story and Danley used it masterfully at times. Again, fitting considering the material she was working with. Sometimes it is good to just be told a good story. 
book4children More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just wow. This is such a gorgeous book. If you want to get lost in a magical world of fairy tales gone wrong and follow the courageous woodcutter as he sets them right, then you will definitely want to read this book. Honestly, I am blown away by the writing, the characters, and the richness of the world that the author created. The Woodcutter is such a wonderful hero. He is selfless, courageous, and kind. He is not completely faultless, which is good. The book is perfectly clean, so anyone can enjoy it. Be prepared to get sucked in and whirled away on this incredible adventure in the land of the Twelve Kingdoms.
Bonnie_W More than 1 year ago
I've been dreading writing my review of THE WOODCUTTER.  What do I say, how can I word things to tell you just how amazing and nuanced this book is?  Without a doubt, this is my favorite novel of the event.  It was Kate Danley's breakout novel and has rightfully won awards, but it's from a smaller publishing imprint, so you likely haven't heard of it before now.  THE WOODCUTTER isn't a retelling of any one fairy tale, so let's get that notion out of the way now.  Instead, fairy tale characters are woven throughout the text in innovative ways, and readers are invited along as the Woodcutter attempts to solve a sinister mystery with the ability to destroy the world. I'm about to make the book sound bad with the summary, and it truly isn't.  It's just really hard to reveal anything because there are so many spoilers if I do.  Essentially... The Woodcutter is an enigmatic figure we don't know much about, though as the story develops and evolves, we learn so much more about him and his destiny.  As the book begins, the Woodcutter has discovered another mysterious death (our beloved Cinderella, no less!), leading him to begin the hunt for the corrupted soul taking innocent lives in his domain.  He goes to the River God and receives three magical blades to aid him on his quest, finds himself caught up in a fairy tale drug ring of citizens smuggling pixie dust, and discovers the truth behind the disturbing murders.  He also crosses paths with several endangered fairy tale characters along the way. I liked seeing the world through the eyes of the Woodcutter.  He has such a unique destiny, and I enjoyed piecing things together as I read.  Danley has a way of twisting things up and surprising readers.  There's something very satisfactory about this book, but also something that resonates emotionally at its core.  It does take a while to get into the rhythm of the text.  Danley writes brief chapters in a way that reminds me of James Patterson.  I personally <i>hate</i> short chapters.  I understand why people love them and think they're great for reluctant readers or people with short attention spans, but personally, I detest them.  At the same time, it lends an immediacy as things change and move on as the story progresses.  The best part, to me, is the way Danley phrases her sentences.  Her word choice can be quite lovely and unique, and I wanted to savor so many things I came across as I read. The story was a mix of so many things, original fantasy with a huge heaping of lore.  And not just fairy tale lore, either.  Baba Yaga and Odin make an appearance, for example, and even elements that are new have a very &quot;lore-esque&quot; vibe to them.  There are characters we see in so many tales, yet they serve a new role, such as grandmothers living in the woods.  They operate the way they do in the tales, and yet differently at the same time.  The world-building is layered and I already want to re-read this and discover sneaky additions I missed the first time around.  The tale is definitely darker than many of today's fairy tale novels, as can be determined just by looking at the summary, but so are the original tales.  The mystery and intrigue  kept me guessing, and I'm already anxious to read more from Danley in the future if she continues to write books of this caliber.  If you're looking for something in the genre that's different, THE WOODCUTTER is well worth a second-glance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, wasn't expecting that...I really liked it...but it is not as 'dark' as recommendations said it was. I might have read it earlier if I had known that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
liked this take on the fairytale
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harstan More than 1 year ago
The Woodcutter patrols the woody expanse between the Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of Faerie. While performing his duty, he comes across the corpse of a pretty teenage female stranger. Putting down his axe, he searches for her death wound, but finds none. He concludes her spirit fled her body due to immense fear. He ponders what could have been so scary that it frightened the girl to death. He informs his dear Wife he must leave. The Woodcutter begins his investigation learning the victim was Cinderella and the predator was an escaped from the Wild Hunt hellhound of Odin. He must capture and return the hellhound to the Wild Hunt pack before other innocents die. However this simple journey turns into a harrowing experience due to evil wanting to foster malevolence in all realms so that they can rule as the Gentleman and the Queen; yet he also meets caring folks assisting him on his mission. The Woodcutter is a fantastic dark fantasy that turns classic fairy tales upside down in a serious quest thriller (the diametrically opposite tone form Shrek). Starting with the King of the Golden River and visits with other fairy tales, the Woodcutter cuts quite a heroic stoic path as he follows the deadly trail of a dangerous beast. Readers will enjoy trekking with the hero as Kate Danley provides an entertaining engaging thriller. Harriet Klausner
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