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Literature / The Sisters Grimm

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L to R: Puck, Daphne, Sabrina

The Sisters Grimm is a series of fantasy mystery books by Michael Buckley.

The main protagonist, Sabrina Grimm, and her eight-year-old sister, Daphne Grimm, are related to The Brothers Grimm. You know, the guys who made all of those fairy tales. To make a long story short, the girls' parents disappear mysteriously. The girls skip around foster homes, which ensures the fact that Sabrina will be The Snark Knight. They go to live with a grandmother they didn't know they had. Sabrina meets the bane of her existence in the form of Puck, a four-thousand-year-old fairy prince turned king. They have to defeat the Ultimate Evil by solving a series of mysteries that eventually lead up to a war with the Scarlet Hand, an evil group of Everafters.

Almost always, Sabrina, Puck, and Daphne save the day, with the protagonist Sabrina solving most of the mysteries, by coincidence or logical reasoning.


They're basically about one big old Fractured Fairy Tale based around crimes that happen in the small town of Ferryport Landing. Ferryport Landing is your everyday, run-of-the-mill town where nothing is what it seems and fairytale creatures, called Everafters, roam the streets. Sometimes, mass destruction follows them, and somehow, none of the humans notice the strange magical happenings, although this can be attributed to the forgetful dust, which makes humans forget what happened. The series ran for nine books released over a eight-year span, with the Grand Finale being released in 2012.

All the books, in order, are:

  1. The Fairytale Detectives
  2. The Unusual Suspects
  3. The Problem Child
  4. Once Upon a Crime
  5. Magic and Other Misdemeanors
  6. Tales from the Hood
  7. The Everafter War
  8. The Inside Story
  9. The Council of Mirrors

Tropes and other misdemeanors:

  • Academy of Adventure: In book two, Sabrina, Daphne, and Puck are enrolled in Ferryport Landing Elementary. The children are practically zombie slaves, the teachers are evil, the school's guidance councilor tries to kill everybody, and the principal turns out to be the Pied Piper and is controlling the human students.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Puck and Mayor Charming have a problem with names. Ms. Smirt never refers to the sisters by their proper names.
  • Action Girl: Nearly all the women in the book.
  • Aerith and Bob: Baba Yaga and Jacob Grimm is just one example.
  • The Alleged Car: The Grimm family's beat up old car is so loud, you cannot have a single conversation inside it.
    "Are we close to Faerie yet?"
    "Oh, I love chili, but I'm afraid it doesn't love me," Granny shouted back.
    "No, not chili! Faerie!" Sabrina cried. "Are we getting closer?"
    "Why no, I've never kissed a monkey. What a weird question."
  • All Part of the Show: When the Jabberwocky breaks into the school.
  • Artifact of Death: The Vorpal Blade and any other magical item.
  • Ax-Crazy: Little Red Riding Hood, anybody?
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Very frequently between Sabrina and Puck.
    • The two of them having that conversation after Oberon's funeral.
    • Puck pulling a Deus ex Machina and saving Sabrina from falling to her death in Once Upon A Crime.
  • Babies Ever After: Eventually, Puck and Sabrina get married and have two daughters.
  • Badass Creed: "We are the Grimms. This is what we do."
  • Badass Family: The Grimms all fight crimes, sometimes against creatures that could possibly eat them. Definitely badass.
  • Bad Future: Yes it was. Fortunately, the heroes were able to change it.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Puck and Sabrina, inasmuch as a couple of twelve year olds can have. They eventually get married.
  • Big Bad Friend: Mirror was the Master all along.
  • The Big Bad Wolf: Obviously. Except it's actually the spirit of ferocity removed from an ordinary wolf using the North Wind, which can enter people and transform them into the Wolf.
  • Big Damn Heroes / The Cavalry: Puck has his moments, although he always tries to pass it off as a Villainous Rescue. So does Prince Charming.
  • Big Eater: Daphne and Puck are said to have bottomless stomachs. The only way to wake Daphne up is to tell her breakfast is ready.
  • The Mad Hatter: The real Mad Hatter who was the judge in a court case.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Sabrina has to tell her mom and dad that Puck is not her boyfriend as they watch him pull a prank on Sabrina.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Daphne and Sabrina learn karate from Snow White.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Trying to act like the hero is what got Puck into major trouble with the Jabberwocky.
  • Time Travel: The Grimms toy around with the concept in book 5 in ways like meeting the future Sabrina and Daphne as well as fixing the Bad Future.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Puck does insist he's a bad guy and it is beneath him to help people.
  • True Love's Kiss: Sabrina and Daphne's parents are woken from their enchanted sleep by this; their dad's ex-girlfriend kisses him, and he then kisses his wife awake.
    • Puck eats one of the poison apples from Snow White's story, and Sabrina then has to kiss him.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: The kazoo that controls the wind in Tales From the Hood. Sabrina and Puck had no idea what it was for until Sabrina blew it and it literally blew the bank away.
  • Wham Episode: Book 7, considering it deals with a huge war amongst the Everafters and is reasonably quite a climactic point in the series.
    • The end of almost all the books. They are, after all, mystery stories.
  • Wham Line: The Reveal of The Master's identity.
    Sabrina: You sick, twisted monster. Do you know the nightmare you have inflicted upon my family? You're a horrible, evil worm!
    Pinocchio: I'm not the Master!
    Puck: Why should we believe you?
    Mirror: Because I am the Master.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Shockingly of all, it comes from Puck.