|Received this via random review and liked the original Hansel and Gretel story so decided to stay
Hansel and Gretel, having defeated the witch, do not return to their home. Instead they acquire magic powers, from their defeat of the witch, and spell books, and move to Frankfurt to start a bakery. Hansel is the Baker and Gretel makes the magic muffins. However her various potions soon attract the attention of the Inquisition. Hansel and Gretel flee, Hansel leaves his Blacksmith daughter girlfriend Brunhilda behind. They go to New York, to the Little Italy section of Manhattan. But then in 2010, eternal youth apparently be part of the deal with the powers, various murders with magical signatures they recognize cause them to wonder if another witch is not on the prowl. They discover to their horror that the Ginger Bread Man was plotting their immanent demise and planning to take their powers and become a witch himself. Fortunately they thwart this attempt with the help of a more professional witch who seems to actually understand the business better than they do despite their longevity. The Ginger Bread man is blown into a million pieces and consigned to the darkest part of hell. They carry on good works with magic sweeties.
This creative extension of the Brothers Grimm retelling of the medieval tale of Hansel and Gretel takes a lot of license with the original story.
1) They do not return to their widowed dad with a whole load of riches and live happily ever after but rather they go to Frankfurt and start a magic Bakery
2) The Ginger Bread Man was eaten by a fox, yet somehow, here, survives 700 years without going moldy and keeps physical integrity despite a prolific shedding of crumbs all over the place including magic books.
3) The original story was about defeating the dark arts while this one is about embracing them. The Inquisitor is the enemy but didn't the original Hansel and Gretel actually burn a witch alive much like he would have done to them for playing with magic.
I liked the creativity here and the story was engaging and well written but there were a few things that irritated me:
There was a plan to save Brunhilda from being burnt at the stake because of her association with them which kind of died in mid sentence.
There seems to be little historical understanding here. New York did not exist in the Inquisition and was founded by the Dutch, passing to British control in 1664 and the Italians did not arrive until the nineteenth century. The original story was set around 1250. Even allowing for Brother Grimm time frames there was no Inquisition at that time so there are a jumble of dates and a mismatch with history that is quite jarring.
Also if they were genuine nice guy witches intent on helping people and had done all this research on magic why did they need professional help to defeat the Ginger Bread Man? Surely the wisdom of centuries must count for something.
Anyway it was an amusing and creative tale despite the inconsistencies and licence taken with the fairy tales it draws on. Thanks for sharing.