Title: The Scarecrow and His Servant
Author: Philip Pullman
Page Count/Review Word Count: 250
This is the fourth of four Philip Pullman fairy tales that I read through in this beautiful hardback bind-up edition of Four Tales. It’s also probably the best one, although that could also be because it was the longest. I’d probably say it tied with The Firework Maker’s Daughter as my favourite, and my thoughts on that could well be skewed by nostalgia.
On the other hand, I’d read a bunch of fairy tales in a row by this point, and it isn’t necessarily my favourite genre. I was flagging a little bit going into it, but the unusual twists on the classic fairy tale quickly talked me round and before I knew it, I was enjoying it. That was kind of a big moment for me, even though I’m a Philip Pullman fan. I just wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy this one.
I don’t want to say too much about the story line because honestly, it’s almost irrelevant. In classic fairy tale form, it’s basically a series of complications and responses, and that’s okay. It’s exactly what a book like this calls for. It lends it this classical feeling but with a modern twist and on a scale that none of the other stories in this collection could match. If you’re a Pullman fan, it’s a must-read. So yeah.