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Tower of Iron Will

All who enter the Tower regain 100 sanity points.

Currently reading

Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die
Randall Munroe, James Foreman, K. Sekelsky, Camron Miller, John Chernega, David Michael Wharton, K.M. Lawrence, Jeffrey C. Wells, Vera Brosgol, Kit Yona, J. Jack Unrau, Jeff Stautz, Aaron Diaz, Matthew Bennardo, Yahtzee Croshaw, Douglas J. Lane, Brian Quinlan, Kate Beaton

Dream Logic

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics) - Franz Xaver von Schonwerth, Erika Eichenseer, Engelbert Suss, Maria Tatar

Von Schonwerth was a folklorist and a contemporary of Charles Perrault, Han Christian Anderson, and the Brothers Grimm, but unlike those authors he passed away before publishing his collected stories. His work was believed lost until it was rediscovered in a German archive in 2009. The stories lack the polish of the above authors, perhaps because he did not live to put them in their final form, but their relative crudity gives them an intensity and edge missing from most fairy tales. Some of the stories have a dream like quality, seeming to consist of one bizarre event after another with no clear plot or moral. For example, the story The Three Abducted Daughters genuinely reads like someone attempting to relate a dream they had, and is more frightening for that quality. After reading a story I often found myself retelling it in my head and trying to smooth out the narrative flow into a more coherent fairy tale.


Most of the best stories are in the front of the collection. The Enchanted Quill, The Iron Shoes, and The Flying Trunk are all excellent and unique folk tales. To give you a taste of the style I will try to summarize the title story of the collection: The Turnip Princess.


A prince gets separated from his hunting party and finds a cave in which to spend the night. He awakens to find himself the prisoner of a witch and a bear. One day the witch leaves the bear to guard the prince, and the bear tells the prince that if he pulls a rusty nail from the wall of the cave the bear will be freed from the witch's control. If the prince then buries the nail under a turnip he will find a beautiful maiden to be his wife. The prince pulls out the nail and the bear transforms into a king. The prince tries to bury the nail in a turnip field but is attacked by a monster. When the prince wakes up he has grown a beard. He eventual finds a turnip and after burying the nail the turnip turns into a giant bowl with a beautiful woman in it. The prince returns to the cave, puts the nail back in the hole, and the witch and bear reappear. He pulls the nail halfway out and the bear turns halfway into a king and the witch halfway into the beautiful maiden. The prince then destroys the nail and the couple are married.