I received a review copy as part of this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in front of three girls in roundles
Genre: Myths and Legends
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: no


Book cover for FIERCE, FEARLESS AND FREE: three girls in medallions below the title on an unfurling ribbon

A brilliant, inclusive collection of traditional tales from around the world featuring amazing women and girls.

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince who – no, that’s not right! Once upon a time, there were strong, fierce women who plotted, schemed, took action, showed kindness, used magic and trickery, and made their own destiny. From the long-haired Petrosinella who escaped the tower and broke the spell that the ogress has cast over her and Nana Miriam who beat a hippo using politeness and magic, to Kate Crackernuts who tried to save her stepsister from her mother’s curse, these are stories of girls doing it for themselves!

With stories drawn from all over the world, including China, Scotland, Armenia, Italy and Nigeria, Lari Don presents heroine stories that don’t leave girls sitting around waiting to be saved by the handsome prince.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This is a really cute collection of stories, none of which I’d heard before.

I love myths and legends, and devoured collections of Greek myths when in primary school. This is a collection that needs to be on school shelves alongside those bind ups.

There is a rich variety of stories included. By collecting stories from different cultures, Lari Don presents many different types of heroines who approach their varied threats in equally varied ways. There isn’t one good way of saving your home, saving your life, or discovering the world.

The writing is really evocative of the action, full of onomatopoeia and pacy sentences. I can imagine it would be wonderful when read aloud by a talented story teller (like the author). I could almost hear a voice reading it in my head, rising and falling with the tension, giving voices to the characters. That is rare for me, as I tend to read too fast for that, but the writing was so rich with storytelling art that I was automatically trying to read it aloud to myself!

Do I have a favourite myth? I loved the Italian myth Petrosinella and the Tower. It’s similar to the version of Rapunzel commonly told here, except the prince doesn’t rescue her – she saves them both. I really enjoyed seeing another country’s take on a familiar myth and how we all tell stories differently.

The back of the book explains how the author discovered each myth, which is a lovely detail as it means the reader find other versions of their favourite myths. It also explains the stories behind discovering some of the tales.

Banner for blog tour: picture of the book next to the names of the blogs taking part

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