The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put a robin redbreast in a cage. If you, the reader, want to tell any of the tales in this book, I hope you will feel free to be no more faithful than you want to be. You are at perfect liberty to invent other details than the ones I've passed on, or invented, here. If fact, you're not only at liberty to do so: you have a positive duty to make the story your own. A fairy tale is not a text.
First off, the introduction? Made me want to read not only every single version of the Grimm stories, but every single version of the the Arabian Nights, and folklore from all kinds of different traditions (like Russian and Japanese and Italian). To hit up Greek and Roman and Norse and Hindu and Islamic mythology, to re-read the Andersen stories and Uncle Remus and Aesop, and I dunno, TO READ EVERYTHING.
So, I know that Philip Pullman was all about how fairy tales aren't about the psychology of the characters and whatnot in the introduction, but CAN I JUST SAY THAT I HAVE ALWAYS HATED THE PRINCESS IN THE FROG PRINCE/KING? She is the worst. "Oh, yes, little frog, just do me this favor and I swear I'll be so nice to you! OH, WAIT. I'M A LYING LIAR D-BAG."
Anyway. She's awful. And I don't know why the Frog King would want to marry her after she was such a jerk. But, you know: no psychology. So, moving on.
Faithful Heinrich! He was the king's servant who was so devastated about the whole frog thing that he went to the blacksmith and had three iron bands put around his heart to keep it from bursting from the grief. And then, when they were reunited, they burst because "...iron is stronger than grief. But love is stronger than iron..." Cue the awwwws.
Anyway, I don't know why Faithful Heinrich is so often excised from the story, because he's clearly the best part of it.
Book source: Review copy from the publisher.