B got me this for my birthday, and I couldn't wait to read it!
Title: Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
Authors: Bill Willingham, et al.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall is something of a prequel to Bill Willingham's award winning Fables series. Taking place long before the events set forth in the regular series, 1001 Nights (re)tells the tales of several of the inhabitants of Fabletown. I've only ever read the very first Fables collection, Legends in Exile, but I never found myself lost while reading this collection of stories, as these are all based on stories that most of us are already familiar with. I find it extremely innovative how Willingham is able to tie together so many unrelated fairy tales and fables and create a new story with these plot points and bring everything together in a cohesive story that is both original and familiar at the same time.
The art of 1001 Nights is beautifully rendered, each story illustrated by a different artist, including Charles Vess, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Michael Wm. Kaluta, James Jean, Tara McPherson, Derek Kirk Kim, Esao Andrews, Mark Buckingham, Mark Wheatley and Jill Thompson. Charles Vess' illustrations provide the beginning and ending stories, as Snow White travels as an Ambassador of Fabletown to try to drum up support against The Adversary. She travels to the lands of the Arabian Fables, and the Sultan kidnaps her and intends to marry her and kill her in the morning, but like Scheherazade, Snow tells him a story a night for 1001 nights, thus prolonging her sentence. Each of her tales involves something of a history of the inhabitants of Fabletown, including her own story, thus providing a rich background history to the rest of the Fables world.
If you have not read farther than the first collection of Fables stories, you won't be lost reading 1001 Nights. Since all these stories are based on fairy tales and fables that everyone is familiar with, there isn't much background needed to read 1001 Nights, nor does it appear to spoil anything farther along in the series, and I'm glad that I read this when I did, so that now I will have a more solid base to read the rest of the Fables tales.