Fantasy Book Review: Once Upon a Time: Red’s Untold Tale

Once Upon a Time: Red’s Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver

Red is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red help’s Granny with Granny’s baked good business, catering as well as door-to-door sales.

Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of “control” as she discovers she has a hot temper when the “mean girls” push her too far. (“When we learn to control it, we needn’t fear it,” Rumpelstiltskin says in the series.) She has flashbacks to her 13th year when she received her cloak and the nickname “Red.”

Plagued by nightmares she doesn’t understand and a temper she can’t control, Red struggles to save Granny’s troubled business and to nurture her budding romance with Peter, even as the betrayal of her classmates awakens the wolf within.

As a fan of Once Upon a Time, I jumped at the chance to read this original tie-in novel. Red is a fantastic character, and this focuses on her early years before she knows the truth of the wolves in the forest.

Red’s Untold Tale is a story of Red and her grandmother struggling financially and Red dealing with bullies. Red also has a secret crush on her best (and only friend) Peter. This quick, fast-paced tale is engaging and suspenseful. My only complaint is that the one of the subplots is left completely unresolved – having to do with . I’m not sure if there will be another installment, but the title sounds like a standalone. Regardless, the finale doesn’t disappoint with climactic suspense and a sweet resolution. I hope this is just the first of other Once Upon a Time tie-in novels.