The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye by AS Dian. Chatto and Windus, £9.99
S BYATr HERE BRINGS her characteristically ' imagination to the telling of fairy tales that are hauntingly familiar yet full of unexpected corners. In the first story of the collection, 'The Glass Coffin", a tailor, lost in the woods, finds himself presented with the well-worn tasks of the lone traveller of folklore. He has to perform a task in return for hospitality in a lonely cottage. Then, having completed the task, he is given the key to an adventure which is also a test. When, through a gateway, at the end of a long dark tunnel, he finds a princess fast asleep, the adventurer and the reader know what he must do to live happily ever after and sure enough, he awakens her with a kiss.
These tales are gilded with humour and quirkiness, and take a conspiratorial pleasure in reminding their readers that although they may have been through these woods before, the path can still boast some odd wayside exhibits.