Book Review: Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris


Author: Joanne M. Harris
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press (May 25, 2021)
Hardcover, 432 pages
Fantasy, Short Stories


The beauty of stories; you never know where they will take you. Full of dreams and nightmares, Honeycomb is an entrancing mosaic novel of original fairy tales from bestselling author Joanne M. Harris and legendary artist Charles Vess in a collaboration that’s been years in the making. The toymaker who wants to create the perfect wife; the princess whose heart is won by words, not actions; the tiny dog whose confidence far outweighs his size; and the sinister Lacewing King who rules over the Silken Folk. These are just a few of the weird and wonderful creatures who populate Joanne Harris’s first collection of fairy tales.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is such an odd yet amazing collection of tales. I love how the stories are so interwoven and linked – even the ones you don’t expect to be. (The world’s a honeycomb my love, the world’s a honeycomb.) In the beginning I didn’t much care for the repeat appearances of the Lacewing King in the various stories, and when I got to a Lacewing King story I’d take a break from the book and go read something else for a while… But by the end he (and his stories) really grew on me.

The stories I really loved, though, are the ones that feel much like traditional fairy tales. The ones about the farmyard, especially, are sort of dark and twisted morality tales, and I’m still not sure if I liked them or not! If you don’t normally settle down with a copy of The Brother’s Grimm or Anderson’s Fairy Tales and just read a bunch of short stories, you may not love this book. At the same time it’s not JUST separate tales because there’s the repeat appearance and over-arcing plot of the Lacewing King. This book tries to bridge the divide, and judging from other reviews not always successfully. I enjoy epic fantasy as well as fairy tale collections, so it worked for me personally. I also liked being able to read a few stories and put the book down and pursue other things, then pick it back up and dive right back in.

A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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