Tales of the Peculiar I Review #35

“The first Ymbryne wasn’t a woman who could turn herself into a bird, but a bird who could turn herself into a woman.”



Title: Tales of the Peculiar

Author: Ransom Riggs

Pages: 192

Publisher: Penguin



Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.

Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.

Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.


I must admit that this was probably the most unusual book I’ve ever read. It certainly did live up to the name of peculiar anyway! Tales of the Peculiar is based on a book mentioned in the Miss Peregrine’s series – but the best thing is that you don’t even need to have read the series (I still need to read Library of Souls)! 10 quirky stories and each one unique in their own way telling their own story – I loved it! I thought I would review them one by one so that’s exactly what I’m going to do:

The Splendid Cannibals: (5/5)

This was probably my favourite story of them all. It told the tale of a village of people who could re-grow limbs and started to sell them to cannibals because of their greed. I’ve never read a story like that before and it reminded so much of the original Grimm fairy tales and to be honest if someone had told me it was a Grimm before this book I would have probably believed them!

The Fork Tongued Princess: (4/5)

This told the tale of a princess with scales and a forked tongue after her father finds out about her – for lack of a better word – predicament. Although this tale was quite amusing at times (who can read ‘gelatinous quivering mass’ and keep a straight face) I didn’t really understand the moral. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to have one but I’m pretty sure most of the others did!

The First Ymbryne: (4/5)

As someone who did actually understand the context behind this story I can see why people who have not read the series would find this a bit dull. Personally, I loved finding out about where loops and Ymbrynes originated from and how the Peculiar society pulled together!

The Woman Who Befriended Ghosts: (3/5)

This story was, in my opinion, a lot more fairy than peculiar but I still loved it. It seemed a lot more innocent and ‘normal’ compared to the other tales but that just made the one or two darker parts so much better. It was really interesting to see a new perspective on ghosts and how humans communicate with them – it was a good story.

Cocobolo: (3/5)

This story just really confused me but its unique plot line and weird ideas pushed it up in the star rating. I didn’t really understand the moral again – I also didn’t get why the father had kept his secret for so long; it was very inconsiderate and the ending sort of made me laugh because it was so unexpected!

The Pigeons of Saint Pauls: (4/5)

I never knew pigeons could be so salty. How such small birds were capable of holding a rebellion and war against the humans will forever leave me confused. I have never read a story like this at all. I love the way that Riggs took something sort of unusual from our current world and adapted the back story to make it into his own amazingly peculiar story.

The Girl Who Could Tame Nightmares: (4/5)

I don’t think this story was supposed to be that scary but it was actually a lot worse than I anticipated. I wasn’t scared per say but more so weirded out. The fact that this young girl had the ability to physically see and remove nightmares would have seemed like such a good ability to have – until the end of the story anyways. Maybe some peculiarities are better left alone.

The Locust: (5/5)

Another favourite of mine. The moral behind this story was so sweet and pure. This story was centred on a boy who loved ‘too’ much according to his dad and as he grew up realised that he would turn into whatever he loved the most would be presented by his bodily state. Ollie was such a nice and sweet character to read about and despite the unusual ideas he made it so much more of an amazing story to read about.

The Boy Who Could Hold Back the Sea: (3/5)

The moral to this story was very clear to me – listen to your mum kids. I didn’t enjoy this as much as some other stories but I still liked the unusual twist it took on Peculiarity and how although not everyone hates it; as soon as it isn’t directly benefiting them a majority of the humans turned on the main character.

The Tale of Cuthbert: (4/5)

Although I felt like this story was shorter compared to the other stories it was about Cuthbert so I can’t complain. This story is so heart-breaking and sad. There are no positives! The best thing about this story was Cuthbert – and well… I can’t really say anymore.

But seriously overall this compilation was amazing – and I can’t wait for the first book’s movie!

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