Reviews for Handbook for Dragon Slayers:
A delightful middle-grade fantasy… Haskell’s sophomore outing is another clever, witty and empowering tale, fluently melding historical fact and legendary material. Tilda is a splendid heroine: Wry, intelligent, sensitive and stronger than she thinks, she conceals her pain behind icy stoicism and discounts her courage and compassion as foolishness… a truly terrific read.
Taking Arthurian legends as her conventions, Haskell imparts medieval flavor through setting and attitude alone, keeping the language refreshingly light and modern. A haphazard, almost accidental progression of episodes builds smoothly to a lively and cohesive plot arc that will keep readers enthralled.
– The Horn Book
Reviews for The Princess Curse:
With a good sense of humor, an able and empowered protagonist, and a highly original take on this tale, Haskell’s story gives readers much to enjoy.
An imaginative, intriguing and spirited retelling of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” … In this impressive debut, the author artfully weaves humor, suspense, magic and myth into an intricate plot, which includes the possibility of an improbable romance and more exciting stories to come; we hope so.
Readers will find [Reveka’s] story a lively reimagining of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” fairy tale with elements of the Persephone myth and “Beauty and the Beast.” The setting is well grounded in fifteenth-century Eastern Europe, and the story is stronger for it. Haskell’s first novel offers a well-paced fantasy with an involving first-person narrative.
Reviews for other works by Merrie Haskell:
Unplugged aims to showcase the online fiction often neglected in standard best-of-the-year anthologies, and a rousing success it is, containing, among other things, Merrie Haskell’s genuinely delightful tale about a girl-prince who, over her parents objections, undertakes a risky journey to rescue a princess held in a tower that has brought to ruin many princes before her; she rescues quite a few people … a shining example of the good general anthology. Clearly, selecting only online stories imposed no limit on scope, variety, and high quality.”
–Booklist on “The Girl-Prince” and Unplugged
“A delight to read… put a fresh spin on the much-used Sleeping Beauty retelling. The mix of SF and fairy tales works surprisingly well, and the tongue-in-cheek narration is a pleasure. Strongly recommended.”
“The dialogue is fun and engaging, and the humor right on, reminiscent of the perfect first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Well recommended.”
“Haskell keeps it light, her fine comic timing leading to several laugh-out-loud moments along with raising some genuine questions about how she’s going to survive. The eventual reveal provides some genuinely surprising symmetry, a moment of genuine sweetness, and two more big laughs. Which is quite an achievement in a story this length. Haskell’s strong character voice, her long suffering delivery, and choice of format make this a light but immensely entertaining read.”