Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Fairy Tales...

Last night, I met up with a very good friend of mine from college. Such a good friend, that after working the closing shift at the library I was willing to go to a neighborhood that is too trendy for its own good to have a late dinner and drink.

It was AWESOME. Not the neighborhood where you can't find parking even at 10pm on a Monday, but just hanging out with John for a few hours.

This week looks fun. Today's the my only day shift at work and tonight we're going to a favorite bar that's closing down. On Friday I'm a first-time host of Poetry Friday. While waiting for your poems to roll in, I'll be getting my hair cut. I think I'm going to loose some length, but not too much length? I don't know. My stylist and I will consult. Then on Saturday-Sunday is the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon! Yay! I've been happily surprised at the generosity of people in sponsoring me to help raise money for Reading is Fundamental. I have to work until 5 that day, but I'll start reading on my lunch hour! And in my break! And then all night and all morning. READING IS FUN.

And here are some more entries from the Once Upon a Time... series published by Simon Pulse.

The Storyteller's Daughter Cameron Dokey

My favorite of this batch of three (though I will say Night Dance was a very close second).

Once upon a time, there was a king who was betrayed by his queen, and determined not to love, or trust again.

Once upon a time, there were five brothers who used to be princes of a vanquished kingdom. They have vowed revenge on their king for the death of their sister, the traitorous queen.

Once upon a time, there was a blind girl, the daughter of the vizier and storyteller, a girl destined to be the greatest storyteller in history.

Once upon a time, our stories met and wove themselves into one story of love, betrayal, court intrigue, and of telling stories to make a point.

Dokey's retelling of The Arabian Nights focuses less on the many stories of Shahrazad, and more on how she came about her storytelling ability,why the king decided to behead his brides, and how their love grew. (But we do get some of her tales) Overall, a gripping story.

Also, too often in the Once Upon a Time... series, it's love at first sight, and attraction without basis. Reading too much of that in a row (like I did) gets old quickly, so I really appreciated that Shahrazad and Shahrayar's love grew in the normal fashion, when neither of them was paying attention.

The only con? The main character's name is Shahrazad, so her name appears multiple times on a page and every time I read it, my brain started singing "Friend Like Me" from the Aladdin Soundtrack

Well Ali Baba had them 40 thieves, Scheherazade had a thousand tales. Master you're in luck 'cuz up your sleeve, you've got a brand of magic that never fails! You've got some power in your corner now, some ammunition in your can, you've got oomph, pizazz something something something, all you gotta do is rub that lamp and I'll say "Mr. Aladdin sir, what will your pleasure be? Let me take your order, jot it down! You ain't never had a friend like me...

Anyway... moving on.

The Night Dance Suzanne Weyn

In this volume, Weyn blends the "Twelve Dancing Princesses" with Arthurian Legend. In this case, the princesses in question are the daughters of Vivienne, Lady of the Lake and a mortal man. 12 years ago, Vivienne was trapped by Morgan Le Fey, and her husband, Sir Ethan, has trapped his daughters in their home ever since.

The youngest, Rowena has found a way out through the fence which sets in motion a quest to save their mother, a quest that Morgan Le Fey will do anything to stop. So across the enchanted lake where their mother is held, Morgan sends boats and ball gowns on Satyrs as dates for the girls to go dancing.

Meanwhile, Sir Bedivere is searching for an enchanted lake, having promised a dying King Arthur he would return Excalibur...

It all comes to a head when Sir Ethan demands to know how his daughters silk slippers get so worn every night and offers a contest-- the first man to figure out where his daughters are going will have his choice in marriage...

A wonderful blending of the two stories, and a great re-imagining of the tale. I liked it just as much as Wildwood Dancing.

Scarlet Moon Debbie Viguie

Ruth had no choice but to help her father in his blacksmith shop after her brother went off to the crusades. The villagers don't like Ruth's trousers, ropey arms, or men's work, but William, the Earl of Lauton doesn't mind. He likes her quick wit. He likes that she can take of herself.

At every chance she can, Ruth takes supplies to her grandmother's house in the woods--where she's been banished for suspected witchcraft. Still, Ruth knows the woods well enough to fear them.

For it's no ordinary wolf that stalks through the trees, and William has a secret that makes him want to push Ruth far, far way...

I really liked the whole werewolf concept and I loved Ruth's grandmother, but the ending was really rushed and was a let down after such a great start.

I've been reading a lot of spy novels this week, so stay tuned for that!


Becky said...

These look really great. And at least the Aladdin was coming to mind for a good reason :)

Jennie said...

Yes, but "Friend Like Me" has been in my head for a week. Plus, I'm shocked at how much of that song I still know. I haven't seen that movie since, like... 7th grade.

I really like this series. So far my favorites are Storyteller's Daughter, Night Dance, and Water Song

Becky said...

The Aladdin soundtrack was my first CD (of my own) so I pretty much had it memorized backwards and forwards.

This series does appeal to me. I know I read the Cinderella one. I'll have to see if the library has the rest of the series. I'd love to read Night Dance and Storyteller's Daughter. No offense to the rest in the series but those two jump out at me and say "read me, read me"

Jennie said...

"A Whole New World" was "our song" with my 7th grade boyfriend...

Night Dance and Storyteller's Daughter are the 2 strongest titles, so they should be jumping out at you! :)

Becky said...

I know you won't need this reminder, but since it's my 'job'...the 24 Hour Readathon is this Saturday!

I look forward to reading your reviews. :) I'm still in awe of what you were able to accomplish for the 48 Hour Readathon :)

Jennie said...

Thanks Becky!

My coffee pot is already brewing. (Ok, not really. 3 day old coffee is icky.)

This weekend, I'm tackling the Alice books by Naylor! I'm really excited.

There might be some Gossip Girl thrown in as well. We'll see what I'm in the mood for come Saturday. :)