Saturday, April 11, 2015

“A tale as old as time…”.

Fairy Tales were originally morality tales for adults. There seems to be a revival of fairy tales coming to the big screen or on stage lately. Just last year there were the movies Maleficent and Into the Woods. Cinderella is this year’s golden girl and the following novels just add to her walk of fame.

I was introduced to Gregory Maguire through his novel, Wicked. His Confessions of an Ugly Step-sister continues his rewriting of classical children’s stories through the eyes of the villains. Iris is not exactly a villain in the classical sense, just like all of Maguire’s characters. You get to understand and sympathize with these characters. Iris is the plain younger daughter of Margarethe Fisher. She has to take care of her mentally challenged older sister Ruth and her stepsister Clara. Is there a happily ever after for any of these girls? Well, read the book to find out.

A vampire and a blonde walk into a bar…I know this sound like the start of a joke; but it is just one of the plot points to the wonder fantasy novel, Charming by Elliot James. John Charming is not your average prince. After all, most princes are not tending bar in the back woods of rural Virginia. John comes from a long lineage of dragon slayers, witch finders and killers dating back to the fall of the Roman Empire. Elliot has a winner in this start of the Prince Charming series that are packed with adventure, humour and plenty of plot twists to keep the reader on the edge of their seats.

Nancy Madore reimagines classic fairy tales in Enchanted : erotic bedtime stories for women. These thirteen tales reminded me of Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy. They are guaranteed to sizzle and titillate. Madore states in her foreword “It is my belief that to empower women sexually (or in any other part of their life, for that matter) we need to stop trying to control or change them….We need to feel safe being sexual without the fear of being exploited, changed, categorized, punished, shamed or degraded”. Some of her stories tackle self-image head on (“Mirror on the Wall” and “The Ugly Duckling”). Madore’s Cinderella faces the challenge of keeping her love life “hot and sexy”. If you like this novel you might consider the others in the trilogy.

A more modern retelling of this tale is The Cinderella Rules by Donna Kauffman. Every little girl gets a bit brainwashed by fairy tales and the myth of happily ever after. The three fairy godmothers of Glass Slippers, Inc. guarantee they can bring out the princess in any woman. With Darby Landon they have their work cut out for them. Darby is more comfortable in jeans and cowboy boots while working on her Montana Ranch. But her father’s business deal needs to turn her into a princess – fast. This modern day Cinderella ends up with two princes to choose from and she is determined to stay dancing way past midnight!

May you have your own happily ever after!

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