This collection is pretty much what you’d expect from Carol Ann Duffy, especially if you’ve read her collection, The World’s Wife. It’s various twists on fairy tales, or folk tales, or stories that use those tropes and images and structures. The tone is generally wry and funny, and also fairly modern and casual; if you like your fairy tales serious, strictly adhering to the ‘original’ (or rather, most well known) lines, or in archaic language, then this might not be for you.
In a way, it wasn’t a great thing to read straight through. I do like fairy tales, but a lot of these stuck fairly close to what I know well already, with relatively plain language. Easy to read, but not literary. Which is fine, but not something I can just read straight through; I’d have been better dipping in and out. Still, I love Carol Ann Duffy’s voice no matter what, so I did enjoy this — and bonus, it has a gorgeous cover.