Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs is a wonderful storybook, with tales associated to the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy.
It is beautifully crafted, with lovely illustrations, which adds to the book’s special peculiarity. In this novel, each chapter is dedicated to one peculiar tale, The Splendid Cannibals, all the way to The Tale of Cuthbert; some of the tales are familiar to those who had already read Riggs’ previous novels, however the new additions are a great read to.
They vary in length and detail, playing on very human like morals – the importance of acceptance, being different, love and family. My favourite story is The Fork-Tongued Princess as it shows that differences are wonderful, they are a beauty in their own right, and should not be hidden. And those that hate on you, are only making themselves look bad. Being different, in whatever way society deems to be different, does not make you lesser than any other human being.
This story tells the journey of a young princess who has a peculiar talent, she has a forked tongue like snake, skin on her back like one and is able to poison people, much like snakes. She is to be married off and worries that her husband to be will not like her. She is right and has to show her abilities to her father, thus saving him and her husband to be from attackers who try to harm them, using her snake like powers. Her father is a cowardly man who hides in the cupboard, as is her husband to be, who shuns her and tries to take credit for killing their assassins.
In the end, she decides she does not want to be married and prefers her own company, with her handmaiden. They journey far and wide, escaping imprisonment and another arrogant prince. This story shows the strength of a determined woman, that being happy and independent does not come from marrying or the hand of a man. It comes from within and that is how she becomes an adviser to the Duke of Frisian.
The other tales in this book are just as wonderful as this one. But I’ll leave that up to you to find out.