steel thistles, glass slippers

Occasionally, I discover a new blog to adore.  Occasionally, I discover a new author to keep me obsessed for hours of reading.

It’s potentially catastrophic when those discoveries happen at the same time.

Eleven weeks in a row.

That, in fact, is the case with Seven Miles of Steel Thistles. If you don’t believe in synchronicity, well—Steel Thistles and Paradoxes began within a few weeks of each other. They cover much of the same interests: namely, the strange art and theory of the fairy tale, and other haphazard things. And Steel Thistles was recently named one of ‘The UK’s Top 10 Children’s Literature Blogs.’*


Well, every analogy breaks down somewhere.

To make matters better in terms of literary enjoyment and worse in terms of time management, the host of Steel Thistles is Katherine Langrish, a critically acclaimed writer of children’s and YA fantasy. Not only are her blog posts invariably witty and engaging, with prose elegant enough to satisfy even my swotty taste, she’s written whole series of books of the exact sort that keeps me reading for hours. A similar sense of ominous time-devouring enwraps me as I look at the titles—a feeling akin to that of opening a Terry Pratchett novel for the first time.

Wait, it gets better.

Ms Langrish is hosting a series on the inter-texting of fairy tales and fantasy—or, less swottily, of articles by fantasy writers talking about favourite fairy tales—all women, intriguingly, though whether by intention or chance I’m not sure. So far, it’s run for eleven weeks.

I’d not heard of any of these authors before. Their posts have invariably been thoughtful and brilliant, showing the savvy of the working storyteller and without the Zipsean fascination which can sometimes overpower strict academic discussions of these tales.

So there’s an even dozen of fascinating new authors, with blogs. It doesn’t seem likely to stop.

If you haven’t encountered Seven Miles of Steel Thistles yet, please do. In fact, what are you waiting for?

This is the newest post in the series, and the gateway to a lot more.

And this is the end of my post. How convenient.

*So was The Fairy Tale Cupboard, blog of the inimical Claire Massey, a colleague and a good friend of mine. If you don’t subscribe to her blog, go subscribe to her blog. I must say, this was one Top 10 list that actually made sense, like this list.


3 thoughts on “steel thistles, glass slippers

  1. Thankyou! I’m so glad you’ve liked my blog – and, by happenstance, my guest for next week’s fairytale post will be by a man, and a very good writer indeed. Men weren’t excluded, I hasten to explain. I wouldn’t do that. Just, well, I don’t know, but on approach it seems a lot of male writers are – *lowers voice to a whisper* – too busy…

    Will look forward to seeing more of your blog!
    All best.

  2. Why’d you go and do this to me???


    Ahem, I mean, thank you for telling us about these blogs. 🙂 I… am going to go disappear for a while as I give them a look, and fully anticipate entering a rather happy vortex of children’s lit discussion.

    And, I just typed “vortext” before I corrected the typo, but the original version of the word seems quite apt.

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