Monday, June 16, 2008

Fairy Tales revisited

The 12th Bookworms Carnival is online! The theme is fairy tales...

Originally, I was going to submit 2 posts, the one I did submit, and this one that you're reading now. So, here are some more fairy tales, all of which are from the Once Upon a Time series.

Water Song Suzanne Weyn

Emma is British aristocracy, trapped at her mother's Belgium estate in the middle of WWI.

Jack is an American, fighting with the British. When he becomes a chlorine gas victim, all he can think of is that water will stop the burning, which is how he ended up in the bottom of Emma's well.

Taken prisoner by the Germans, some quick thinking by Emma will save them, but only for so long.

I was wondering how they were going to redo the Frog Prince. There isn't a lot of magic in this book, with the exception of Jack, who can commune through dreams with his dead mother, who was a medicine woman in the Louisiana swamps. What she taught him, and what she teaches him save not only Jack and Emma, but their friends as well.

Overall, it was really well done. I liked how it was more realistic/historical fiction than fantasy, but was still very much a fairy tale. Also, you don't see enough Frog Prince retellings.

Before Midnight Cameron Dokey

Once upon a time, there was a couple who were very much in love. But, when the woman died during childbirth, the new father spurned his infant, leaving her in the care of servants, while he tried to forget.

Then, one day sixteen days later, a woman and two daughters arrive at the large stone house, the new bride of the long-absent lord of the manor. Pawns in court intrigue, they never realize the servant girl is actually their step-daughter/sister. Victims to a feuding king and queen, they feel banished and are too wrapped up feeling sorry for themselves to actually be nice...

What I really like about this is how the evil stepmother and sisters had believable motivations for the cruelty, and how there was a thaw in relations. They are much more rounded characters than you usually see with Cinderella stories.


This Rapunzel starts the same as the others-- a pregnant woman craves the next-door neighbor's Rapunzel. Her husband steals if for her, invoking the wrath of the sorceress (or witch) who owns the burgled garden.

But, in this version, there is one difference. The sorceress says she will take the child if there is no room in her mother's heart. There isn't, for the baby is bald. She will never grow hair.

But bald Rapunzel and the sorceress live a happy life in a cottage, far from the fearful village--they fear the magic and Rapunzel's deformity. But then the fear becomes too great and they must flee...

And you're asking, what about the girl in the tower with all the hair? And yes, it's there, but I can't say anything more or it will give too much away.

I liked how the sorceress wasn't evil, but Dokey likes to talk about the "face of love" as it appeared in both of her books I reviewed today. It was good, but not my favorite of this batch. (My favorite, I think, being Water Song.)


Nymeth said...

They all sound great, but you got me particularly interested in Water Song!

Jennie said...

Water Song was by far my favorite of the three!