This collection of fairy tales features stories from all over the globe. Each story has a fearless woman or girl who dives into adventure with courage and resourcefulness. The stories have a wide range of settings in different cultures, including Germany, Mexico, Siberia, Japan, Fiji, Nigeria, and India. Some of the tales include magical beings like elves and sorcerers, and some have magic gods and giants.
Evie is a teenage healer, always concocting potions for her best friend, Wormy. When he proposes, she says no, and the fairy Lucinda curses her to be an ogre until she accepts a marriage proposal. Any marriage proposal from anyone. Evie travels to the Fens, hoping to learn the art of persuasion from the ogres who live there. Life as an ogre is more difficult than she imagined, but Evie becomes known as the healer ogre. She searches for someone who will awaken her ability to love, and hopes that someone will propose to her. But she isn’t even sure what love is supposed to feel like.
I was disappointed in this book. The story was oddly disjointed, and there were several things that seemed exceedingly far-fetched, even for a fairytale world. The ending was rushed, and the relationships felt forced. The characters are okay, but I wasn’t amazed with their personalities or the bland character development.
These fairy tales focus on daring young men and women who want to be appreciated for their personality, virtues, and inner qualities rather than outward beauty. They battle dragons, fight wars, defeat evil sorcerers, and unravel magic in order to find their true identity and inspire their kingdom.
I loved that these fairy tales use all the old tropes about dragons and knights and fair maidens, and then turn everything upside down and surprise you with the plot twists when the maiden saves herself.
Each fairy tale is short but powerful with meaningful messages of hope and acceptance. Continue reading →
This story begins at the end of Cinderella’s fairy tale, when Ella is engaged to marry Prince Charming. With the wedding only two months away, Ella is forced to learn restrictive palace protocol, sit through endless embroidery lessons, and learn the boring history of the royal family. Her meetings with the Prince are awkward and silent, and her only friends are the poor serving child, Mary, and the philosophy tutor, Jed. Ella begins to wonder if she really loves the Prince at all, and if she can tolerate the confinement of the palace for the rest of her life.
I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! (I really hate the cover art, and made the mistake of judging the book by its cover.) I read it all in one sitting, because I could not put it down.
Ella is fiery and energetic. She longs to do courageous deeds and have close relationships with people, but the royal protocol is so restrictive that no one can have a meaningful conversation, much less actually connect with anyone or do anything of real consequence. I loved the way she beat her wings against those cage bars and finally escaped to build her own life. Continue reading →
Zita is the thirteenth daughter of a king who only wanted sons, and when her mother dies during childbirth, the king banishes Zita to be raised as a servant in the castle. Zita steals little moments with her twelve sisters, but must sneak around the castle to keep it a secret, terrified of her father’s anger. When the twelve princesses fall ill and their shoes are worn through every morning, only Zita knows the secrets ways to sneak into their bedrooms and watch where they go at night. The princesses are trapped in an evil enchantment that forces them to dance until dawn, but Zita can’t find a prince who is willing to save them!
This delightful collection of familiar fairy tales is told with a fresh voice and enchanting writing!
Including new versions of Snow White, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and several others that are less well-known, this book provides a crisp new look at these old tales while still remaining true to the main stories.
While the basic plots remain the same, it’s the sparkling dialogue and little inside jokes that make these fairy tales so enjoyable to read and reread.
The lovely illustrations bring the stories to life and give a nod to classic fairy tale illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Walter Crane. I love how elegant the illustrations are! Continue reading →
A wonderful retelling of Snow White set in the Jazz Age of America! Snow White is a New York heiress, and she meets seven orphan boys who live on the street. They help Snow White to hide from her stepmother, the “Queen of the Ziegfeld Follies” on Broadway.
I love the 20s costumes, and the contrast between rugged New York streets and the glitz and glam of the Follies. The setting really makes this into a new story, despite the fact that the plot itself follows the original fairy tale pretty closely. There are a few key details that are changed, which kept things interesting. Continue reading →