Sisters Red

Sisters RedSisters Red by Jackson Pearce
borrowed from library
Summary from Goodreads:
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris-- the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless.

My take:
Scarlett and Rosie March are attacked by a Fenris – a werewolf- when they are young girls. Scarlett is severely scarred and lost an eye while protecting her younger sister Rosie. They grow up with the huntsman’s family and learn how to lure and hunt the Fenris. Scarlett feels that hunting down and killing every last Fenris while also protecting her sister is her duty in life. Rosie is the younger, more sheltered sister and she isn’t physically or emotionally scarred like Scarlett. Because she knows that she owes her life to her sister, she joins Scarlett in her mission to kill Fenris even though she wants to live a more normal life.


This sets up an interesting take on the Little Red Riding Hood tale. Jackson Pearce takes the old familiar tale and turns it around a bit. It appears that she has gone back to some earlier versions of the tale where Little Red isn’t quite the innocent little girl she is in the later Perrault or Grimm versions. The red cloak is an important aspect to the luring of the Fenris. It seems that the color red is irresistible to the Fenris, so the girls always wear one when hunting or baiting. In Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, Maria Tatar says:

Psychoanalytic critics have made much of the color red, equating it with sin, passion, blood, and thereby suggesting a certain complicity on the part of Red Riding Hood in her seduction.p. 17
I don't think complicity applies here, but knowledge of what will lure the Fenris and understanding why certainly does apply. So, Scarlett and Rosie bait the Fenris by wearing red, playing up their vulnerability as young girls and walking alone in isolated areas. They pretend to be helpless and then outwit and out fight the Fenris. In this way, the story is much more similar to older versions of this tale, where Red actually does a striptease for the wolf, stringing him along, and then excuses herself for a minute to relieve herself and then escapes. She outwits the wolf herself and has no need to be rescued by a male. I like it that in Sisters Red, Scarlett and Rosie are able to defend themselves and don’t need to be rescued either.

Rating: 4 of 5

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