Fierce, Fearless and Free


Lari Don has selected folk tales and traditional stories from around the world and retold them in her own voice. She has maintained the story, but removed the ‘happy ever after’ factor, for the story, the drama, is the heart.

We can hear her voice in each story, within the storytelling. The mixture is wonderful- exciting, dramatic and strong. There’s ‘Kate Crackernuts and the Sheep-Headed Monster‘ a traditional Scottish story for example. Would you have the initiative of Kate to eavesdrop beneath a fairy table in the hope of hearing what might reverse a seemingly irreversible spell?

Thereafter, there’s Maria whose assistance for a condor during a flood is rewarded by three wishes. What happens when the floodwater threatens to wash her brother, sister and granny away? Will she sacrifice one of them to save herself for there are three wishes only? This Ecuadorian folk tale is full of wit and bravery.

Bookwagon is proud to recommend Fierce, Fearless and Free to our readers. I am always pleased to find lesser known traditional tales, with lesser known heroes, or, in this case, heroines!

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Fierce, Fearless and Free

Lari Don, illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon


Fierce, Fearless and Free features heroines from an array of traditional tales from around the world. Kandek knows it is ‘wise to be polite and generous to anyone you meet on the edge of a forest’. However, what happens to her in this Armenian folk tale is nothing about which she expected! Can Riina overcome two cannibal warrior brothers and rescue their servants? Maybe their power lies in their red stone axes. This Solomon Islands’ folk tale is feisty and strong.
Each tale  retold by Lari Don demonstrates energy and respects the beliefs and culture of its home nation. We are delighted to include this superb collection within our traditional selections alongside other books such as The Odyssey and Kai and the Monkey King.
Fierce, Fearless and Free includes a wealth of interest, information and fascination. Furthermore, the storytelling is direct and interesting, while Eilidh Muldoon’s illustrations are fresh and inspiring. Finally, Lari Don links each tale with its source and explains why she selected it, and how it is retold for a new audience.


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