Red as Blood and White as Bone by Theodora Goss is a dark fantasy about a kitchen girl obsessed with fairy tales, who upon discovering a ragged woman outside the castle during a storm, takes her in–certain she’s a princess in disguise.
Red as Blood and White as Bone is a bit of magic realism, rather than fantasy. It is narrated by Klara, a young girl who is working in the kitchen of a baron, when she meets who she thinks is a princess. Obsessed with fairytales, she thinks it is her role to be a supporting character; to help the princess and prince meet, and so she helps the woman out. Dark fantasy means someone is gonna get killed, and so I wasn’t really surprised with that twist. But what came after is a bit incongruous with the story that was happening. Or maybe that was the actual story and the fantasy was the backstory. In any case, the second half felt disappointing, until the ending, which was back again in fantasy territory. It is an interesting novellete, that’s for sure.
Read it online at Tor.