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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Interview with Sophie Masson, author of MOONLIGHT AND ASHES ~ contributed by Renee!

The following interview was actually contributed by Renee of the NEHOMAS2 channel on youtube! Being Australian, Renee wanted to make sure some Aussies got in on the fun, so she had a chat with Sophie Masson, author of the fairy tale-esque Moonlight and Ashes!
Check it out, and leave Renee and Sophie some love in the comments!

Sophie Masson is a French-Australian fantasy and children's author who has written 40 books, for children, young adults and adults, as well as many short stories, essays, articles and reviews published, in books, magazines, newspapers and internet journals. Her young adult novel of 2012, Moonlight and Ashes, had a strong Cinderella flavour and her upcoming Scarlet in the Snow is set to continue this fairy tale focus.

Firstly, thank you so much, Sophie, for taking the time to answer some questions!
Hi Renee; no worries. I’m happy to answer these interesting questions!

1. You've spoken of your interest in Russian fairy tales in particular. A friend of mine is also passionate about them, and has listed The Firebird and Vasilissa The Beautiful as some of her favourites. Do you have any favourite tales, and what is the appeal of these Russian stories for you?

Like your friend, I love those two stories you mention, and in fact they've inspired my books: in the case of The Firebird, I wrote a novel with the same title, based directly on that fairytale(published in 2001 by Hodder Australia); and in the case of Vasilissa the Fair, it's one of the elements in my forthcoming novel, Scarlet in the Snow, which is inspired also by two of my great Russian favourites: The Scarlet Flower(the Russian version of Beauty and the Beast) and Fenist the Falcon, one of the most beautiful, romantic stories ever. I have many other favourites, such as The Frog Princess, The Snow Maiden, the story of the sorcerer Koschei, and lots more. I also love the folk tales such as Masha and the Bear, the Rooster with the Golden Crest(am working on a picture book with two illustrator friends, featuring those last two) , Ivan the Bear's Son, and lots more. Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian writer also wrote several of his own original tales inspired by the folk fairytales, and they are gorgeous too as you might expect from such a great writer(they are in verse incidentally in the Russian original)--some of those include The Tale of Tsar Demyan, The Tale of the Golden Fish, and more.

I love these stories because first of all they are such wonderful stories--gripping, vivid, full of colour and magic(but no actual fairies--magic in Russian stories is performed by witches and sorcerers, and most of all talking, shapeshifting animals--perhaps a relic from the shamanist traditions that are still there under the surface? And they have an atmosphere which is hard to describe but which is both magnificent and earthy--full of sly humour and great tragedy, intense romance and great terror. They live large in fact, just like Russians themselves!

I first got to know these stories as a kid--like many French people, my father has a great fascination for Russian culture, and he would buy us lovely fairytale books and records of the Red Army Choir singing traditional Russian folk songs from a little Russian(or rather Soviet!) bookshop that used to exist in the seventies, in Sydney, in Pitt St. (I might add my parents are very much anti-Communist but they just loved Russian culture--they also had some beautiful icons.)I read lots of Russian novels as a teenager and adored them too and recently I've discovered the beautiful work of great classic Russian animators from the 1960's like Lev Atamanov who did beautiful, touching versions of classic Russian fairytales like The Scarlet Flower, and also others from other cultures, such as Andersen's The Snow Queen. He is regarded as the Russian Walt Disney--but has his own very distinctive style.

Eventually, in 2010, I finally got to visit Russia--and went back in 2012. Both experiences were totally wonderful, and so inspirational! I'm quite addicted to that place--intending to go back there in the not too distant future.

2. Are there any French fairy tales that you especially like? Any from your childhood that you treasure?

Absolutely! My favourites are firstly, La Belle et la Bête--Beauty and the Beast, which was created in the early 18th cent by the French writer Athenais Leprince de Beaumont(known as Madame Leprince de Beaumont), from elements of traditional stories: one of my great treasures is a late 18th century edition of the volume of Madame Leprince de Beaumont's stories in which this tale appears--I found it on the Internet, in an antiquarian bookshop in Italy, and it was such a thrill! I also love Perrault's stories--they are so sparkling, sardonic, magical yet very worldly, unflinching in their understanding of human foibles yet with plenty of hope--some of my favourites are La Belle au Bois Dormant (Beauty in the sleeping Wood, or Sleeping Beauty),Riquet a la Houpe (Ricky of the Tuft, not very well known in English but a lovely story about the different kinds of beauty); Peau d'Ane or Donkey Skin, La Barbe Bleue or Blue Beard, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge--red Riding Hood(and Perrault's moral is VERY worldly--young ladies should realise, he says, that wolves don't always go about on four legs!) And Le Petit Poucet, or Tom Thumb--which in the French original is a fairly full-on, even savage story. I also love some of Madame d'Aulnoy's stories, such as Le Nain Jaune--The Yellow Drawf--and Le Chat Blanc--The White Cat. Full of intrigue! And I was also very much exposed to traditional French stories that aren't so well known, for example, Le Prince Vert (The Green Prince) which comers from Southern France and has echoes both of Beauty and the Beast and the Frog Prince--but it's all set underwater. it was my inspiration for my 2000 novel, also called The Green Prince(which is also influenced by Celtic and English stories of water-spirits).

3. Your novel Moonlight and Ashes has a very distinct Cinderella flavour to it, but it notably adopts plot elements from the German Aschenputtel tale much more than from the more commercialised Perrault version (absent are a fairy godmother etc.) Do you prefer the German version? And do you think it a shame that Cinderella as a tale and a figure is perhaps more immediately associated with her Disney counterpart, which borrowed heavily from Perrault's telling?

Not really- as a story, -I love the Perrault version too. (And by the way I think the Disney Cinderella is just beautiful--touching, sparkling, such delicate artistry--the classic Disneys are truly works of art--not so enamoured of the later ones.) It's just that i think the Grimm version is much more interesting in terms of character, intrigue and potentiality for a novelist--Aschenputtel herself is a much more interesting and well-drawn character than Cendrillon in Perrault's story, and because she has more of a hand in her own fate, she's someone you can really build on. And there's so much there that you can follow up--for instance, why did Aschenputtel's mother know about rthe magic of the hazel twig? That was what started me off, really.

4. Moonlight and Ashes makes the very interesting and dynamic connection between witchcraft and fairy tales, afford the heroine magic control as opposed to any third, omnipotent party. In your research, did you come across any historical connection between the supposed practice of 'witchcraft' and the origins of fairy tales? Does it all link back in some way to oral narratives as told by women?

Most definitely there are connections: and in some kinds of fairy tales, for instance in the Russian ones, that connection is fairly explicit--there it's magic as practised by both women and men, incidentally, as the Russian tradition has both male and female practitioners of magic, often shape-shifters (and by the way there were no witch-hunts in Russia--the Orthodox Church does not have a strong stricture against the practice of magic, and indeed you can even get a curse organised by a priest!) but even in other traditions, there are strong hints of a connection between witchcraft/sorcery and fairy tales--Fairies themselves are ambiguous creatures too: they are not the same as witches, not being human--but they have some of the same elements. And again in Russian fairy tales, 'witches' like Baba Yaga are in fact more like what we'd think of as a dangerous fairy--she's an immortal, not a human. Yes, I'm sure it does link back to oral narratives told by women--many were either collected from women storytellers--as the Grimms and Perrault did--or actually told by women, especially in France where the tradition of female fairy tale writers is very strong.

5. Fairy tales are certainly influencing your next work, I believe. What might readers look forward to in Scarlet in the Snow?
A gripping story; a powerful romance, an intriguing mystery; a strong and spirited heroine (who's a writer herself!), a troubled and mysterious hero and a rich, lively background inspired by the stories and culture of Russia. Scarlet in the Snow is set in the same world as Moonlight and Ashes, but in a different country (or actually, in two different countries!)—Ruvenya (inspired by Russia) and Champaine (inspired by France.) I just love that world, it feels so natural--like the fairy tale world itself which is so much an intoxicating yet refreshing mixture of magic and earthiness! I'm certainly intending to write more set within it.

6. Your fairy tale weapon of choice:
- poisoned/cursed object
- the power of a name
- preying on human weakness
- riddles and games
The power of a name is my favourite. It recurs again and again in stories, and goes right to the heart of indemnity, to what makes us what we are.

Thanks so much for your time, and I very much look forward to reading Scarlet in the Snow when it is released this coming May!!

Thanks Renee--hope you enjoy it! And thanks for your interest in my work.

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

SCARLET by Marissa Meyer Excerpt & Giveaway!

Earlier this year I participated in a blog tour to celebrate the release of the second book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet.  As part of that tour, Marissa wrote an awesome post on the gruesome side of fairy tales (which you know was right up my alley...), and you should definitely go check it out.

And while you're out and about, you should probably stop by my review of Scarlet and see what I thought.

BUT FIRST, you should totally check out this excerpt from Scarlet, and enter to win copies of both Cinder and Scarlet below!

Scarlet escaped into the midnight air and the noise faded without the warehouse's echo around her. She could hear the sirens now, mixing with the thrum of crickets. On the dirt road outside the building, she spun in a full circle as the crowd jostled around her.
There was no sign of Wolf.
She thought she'd seen him turn right. Her ship was parked to the left. Her pulse was racing, making it hard to breathe.
She couldn't leave. She hadn't gotten what she'd come for.
She told herself that she would be able to find him again. When she'd had time to gather her wits. After she talked to the detectives and persuaded them to track Wolf down and arrest him and find out where he'd taken her grandmother.
Tuckering her hands into her pockets, she hurried around the building, toward her ship.
A sickening howl stopped her, sucking the air out of her lungs. The night's chatter silenced, even the loitering city rats pausing to listen.
Scarlet had heard wild wolves before, prowling the countryside in search of easy prey on the farms.
But never had a wolf's howl sent a chill down her spine like that...

The lovely, awesome people at Macmillan have offered up a prize pack of the first two Lunar Chronicles books, Cinder and Scarlet, to one lucky winner! This giveaway is US only, and ends April 10th, 2013. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!!
*As with all of the giveaways for Fairy Tale Fortnight, make sure you've already filled out our Giveaway Registration Form - this only needs to be done once!
*Please do not leave any sensitive info or email addresses in the comments!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Cover Crop Game - Fairy Tale Edition

I've already told you so many times how much I love a good time-waster, so if I haven't drawn you in with my lookbooks or my cover creations, maybe I'll draw you in with this frustratingly fun game:

I love a good cover crop game, but they also make me want to ragequit. You always know you know it, you know? ;)
Anywho, the game is pretty straight-forward: below are itty bitty crops from 25 fairy tale retellings. All of these books (except one) have been featured on The Book Rat at some point either this year or in  fairy tale events past (and that one remaining book will be). Your job is to tell me the name of the book and the author.

What's in it for you, you say? Well, beyond the chance to gloat that you know allllllllll the books, the person who gets the most right is going to get a mystery prize from me, and all attendant bragging rights. If more than one person gets the same highest total, a winner will be randomly selected from those entries.

To play along, just take a look at the images below and then fill out the form with your answers. Feel free to dig through my FTF backlog, or whatever, but don't be lame and ask someone to give you the answers! And DO NOT leave your answers in the comments, or anywhere else public, because that would defeat the purpose. When you're ready to answer, fill out the form below.

This IS international, and NO, I don't know what the winner will get - my "mystery" prizes are always a mystery, even to me. Whatever fairy tale book I'm feeling most at the moment will find its way into the winners hands. Maybe more than one, who the hell knows?

As with all of the giveaways for Fairy Tale Fortnight, make sure you've already filled out our Giveaway Registration Form - this only needs to be done once!
Please do not leave any sensitive info or email addresses in the comments!! If you leave your info or answers in the comments, I will delete it and disqualify you. And I will feel a giddy, Mr Burns-y pleasure in doing so. 

Have fun, and don't hate me too much - some of these are HARD, y'all!
CLICK for zoomability!

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Interview & Giveaway with Rachel Morgan, author of The Faerie Guardian!

Tomorrow, I'm going to feature an excerpt of Rachel Morgan's The Faerie Guardian, but until then, Rachel has dropped by to chat with us - and she's offering up the chance for you to win a copy of her book!

As much as we may love any particular tale, each has its own "problematic" aspects (for me, I can't get over the fact that Prince Charming has to find Cinderella, the glorious love of his life, by matching up her feet. I mean, really?). Which problematic aspect of a tale really gets under your skin?
Well, as someone who likes to write (and read) strong female characters, it does kinda bother me that a lot of traditional fairy tales have the princess being rescued by the prince. Sure, it’s all romantic and everything, but sometimes you want a kick-ass princess, not prince!

Which fairy tale would you most like to spend 24 hours inside of, and which the least?
Least – Hansel and Gretel (that story always creeped me out!)
Most – does Shrek count? Because that world seems like a lot of fun!

If you could merge any two fairy tales (introduce the characters, combine the worlds, etc), which would they be and what would result?
The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. I think Ariel and the Beast might hit it off, since they both have “animal” sides. Then again, maybe it’s only Belle who can “tame” the Beast...

Someone gives you a key ring and says you can open any door you want, save one. Then they leave you alone with all those keys and doors. What do you do?
Well, I DON’T open the door they said I couldn’t open, because there must be a reason for that, right? Like a giant, terrifying, human-devouring wolf. I don’t want to get eaten.

You have a fairy godmother who is granting you one perfect day: what does that entail?
Hmm. Spending the day at the top of a mountain (WITHOUT having to hike to get up there) with my whole family, some amazing food, and a good book to read when everyone relaxes for the afternoon. Sound weird? Just trying to combine my favorite things!

Your favorite obscure (or less well-known) fairy tale?
Um ... I don’t think I KNOW any obscure fairy tales! Everything I can think of is something well-known and popular. Hmm. Is Peter and the Wolf slightly lesser-known?

Most overrated fairy tale?
The Princess and the Pea. Putting a pea under 20 mattresses to figure out if this is the girl to marry? It’s even weirder than Prince Charming finding the glorious love of his life by matching a shoe to her foot!

What made you fall in love with fairy tales--and decide to write one?
Probably all the Disney movies I watched when I was young. Especially Peter Pan (and Fantasia, although that isn’t exactly one fairy tale). All that fairy dust and flying around ... I always wished I could fly! And I believed in fairies and used to make little fairy gardens with flowers and miniature swings and stuff.
When it came time to write a book one day (and I always knew that time would come), it seemed a given that there would be magic in it. It makes things far more exciting!

This or That:
- Tower or Dungeon? Dungeon
- Evil Queen or Wicked Witch? Evil queen
- Castle or Cottage? Castle
- Prince or pauper? Hmm … tough to tell without knowing them. Pauper?
- Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm? Hans Christian Andersen (the Brothers Grimm kinda scare me!)

Would You Rather:
- have a prince who makes out with your, um...corpse, essentially, or a prince who can only remember who you are by your shoe size? Hmm. The making-out-with-a-corpse guy.
- ride in a pumpkin carriage (sticky) or climb a hair-rope (tiring) to get where you're going? Pumpkin carriage (I have no upper body strength!)
- drink an Alice-ish "Drink Me" potion or eat part of a witch's gingerbread house? “Drink Me” potion (witches scare me more!).
- be cursed with blindness (Rapunzel) or knife-like pain when you walk (Little Mermaid)? Blindness (although neither of the two sound that appealing!).

Rachel has offered up 2 e-copies of The Faerie Guardian to 2 lucky winners!
This giveaway is international and ends April 10th, 2013.

As with all of the giveaways for Fairy Tale Fortnight, make sure you've already filled out our Giveaway Registration Form - this only needs to be done once!
Please do not leave any sensitive info or email addresses in the comments!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn’t for her—after all, they didn’t approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults.

The Creepy Hollow Series

Rachel's Links

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Review: THE SWAN KINGDOM by Zoë Marriott

The Swan Kingdom by Zoë Marriott
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"The Wild Swans" retelling, 272 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Candlewick Press (first published 2007)
Shadows fall across the beautiful, lush kingdom after the queen is attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger, a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land. But Alexandra has more gifts than she realizes as she confronts magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces, and is unflinchingly brave as she struggles to reclaim what is rightfully hers. Fantasy lovers will be held in thrall by this tale full of visual detail, peppered with a formidable destructive force and sweetened with familial and romantic love.

It's so hard for me not to compare any retelling that even touches on swans (The Wild Swans, The Six Swans, doesn't matter) without comparing it to Daughter of the Forest, so I was really worried going in that I would unconsciously (or even consciously) be setting The Swan Kingdom up to fail. But it amazed me how little I felt myself needing to compare. This isn't to say I didn't compare, because I definitely did, especially when it comes to the depth of the story (in which case I compared it to Marillier's DOTF and to Shadows on the Moon, another of Zoë's works.). But it stood on its own, and I was pleasantly surprised by that.

Shadows on the Moon was an engaging and quick read, and a good expansion of the fairy tale "The Wild Swans," with a bit of "The Ugly Duckling layered in, which I found interesting. I liked the main character, Alexandra. Alex is someone you can easily root for, and her narration pulled the story along at a steady, easy pace. I especially liked how things progressed with the villain, particularly in the end. I was even a bit shocked by the last little piece that falls into place at the end, and would kind of love to see that story told in full - that backstory and progression could be really fascinating in its own right.

I did wish for more struggle and lengthening of the tale; there's a certain ease with which everything happens, from the relationship with the romantic interest to Alex's struggles and ultimate awareness of herself, that ended up being the key reason I found myself compelled to compare - both to how Marillier layerd Daughter of the Forest, but also to how Marriott herself created this complex, painful struggle in Shadows on the Moon. This is not Shadows. But you know what, that's okay. It's easier and far less dark; but though it's not as complex or powerful as Shadows, the skill and the voice are still there. The Swan Kingdom is a first book and it shows how much she's grown, but that's not to say she didn't start off strong.  Again, I know I always say I try not to read reviews of things before I write my own, but as I did with Strands of Bronze and Gold, I just couldn't resist seeing what a friend (who had also read Daughter of the Forest and Shadows on the Moon) had to say about this one. In this case, it was Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks, and I'm gonna go ahead and quote her because I think she nailed how I felt about the writing:
When working through an author’s backlog, I have rarely seen such evidence of growth in their work–in a way I can take The Swan Kingdom and pinpoint what facets Marriott has since improved, and which were the foundations indicating how wonderful she would become.
So, while I would have appreciated a story that lingered more and took the time to build Alexandra's world and struggles with more detail and depth, I still found myself really enjoying this, and appreciating how far Marriott has come in her writing and her ability to push a story and its characters. And I still definitely recommend giving this one a try. =)

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

BEASTLY by Alex Flinn ~ book and movie guest review from Leela!

Today's second guest post comes from Leela of My World in English, a non-native English speaker who blogs in English and decided to brave the slight language barrier (she's so good!) and do a guest review for us on Alex Flinn's Beastly and its recent movie adaptation!
Make sure you leave her some love in the comments, and if you've read or watched Beastly, let us know what you think!

What would you do if a witch casts a spell and you become a monster? What would you do if all your world has been just turned upside down?

Well, this is what happens to the main character of this book.

What is this book about?
Kyle is a guy who has everything somebody can dream. He is handsome, popular and very rich. He has a lot of friends and girls are crazy about him. But one night he treats bad to the wrong person and he becomes a monster. Further information about the novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/544891.Beastly

This book is a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast and I think the author has made an excellent adaptation of it. At the beginning I thought the book could be interesting, but what I found was beyond that. I didn't expect the book was so good.

What I liked:
You can see the world of the main character and not only school or the relationship with his family, but the whole world.
The main character is a guy. I don't know why, but every time I choose a book, no matter if it's YA, adult fiction or a classic, the main character is a girl. It was nice of one time the main character was a boy :)
The chat which appears in the book. I liked the introduction of modern technology in this classic. It's really cool and it's characters from other fairy tales such as the frog prince or the little Mermaid.
The chapters are short and very entertaining.
I really loved the presence of books in the book. Lindy reads books and later Kyle reads books too. I love that Lindy is a book lover, who has a lot of books, and she knows how appreciate them :)

What I don't like: Nothing. This book is superb. It was perfect and much better than I expected

Favourite character: Kendra. Maybe this surprises you, maybe not, but I think she is so different from the rest of the people that it's impossible not to pay her attention. I like her reactions because they are not what the main character expects.

Character most hated: the father. He doesn't want to be with his son even when the son was handsome. The father only thinks in himself and his appearance and the appearance of the rest of the people, criticising them for being fat, ugly or PREGNANT! He is a bad father who treats his son very bad.

Do you know there is film based on the book? The film includes people as Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris and Mary Kate Olsen among others.
Further information about the film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1152398/?ref_=sr_1

In the book the film The Princess Bride is mentioned. This is a classic from the 80s who was starred by Peter Falk, Robin Wright and Fred Savage among others. For more information about the film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093779/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

At some point of the book Lindy talks about Strawberry Fields park. This park is famous because it's where John Lenmon was shot. The name of the park is named Strawberry Fields in his honour. In the centre of the park there is a mosaic where is written Imagine. Further information: http://www.centralpark.com/guide/attractions/strawberry-fields.html

Overall: The novel is very well written and everything is setted in a way that it's almost impossible go put the book down. You get into story very quickly. It was a pleasure to read it. Two thumbs up! :D

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

TITAN MAGIC by Jodi Lamm Excerpt & Giveaway

If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll probably have heard me talk about the book Titan Magic, which ZOMG I became a bit obsessed with during last year's FTF. I've been really craving a reread lately (which is going to happen, and with the sequel being worked on as we speak, it's only a matter of time before I reread and binge!), and I'm always looking for an excuse to push this awesome exception to the Self Pub Rule. [The Self Pub Rule being that they almost always suck, and this - this does not. This is so far from suck...]
Titan Magic is a solid, unique fantasy, and you can listen to me gush about it more here (and in a number of vlogs...); but first, sit back, enjoy this excerpt (and the exquisite "need to know!"-ness of what comes next), and then enter to win one of 2 copies for yourself!

She fidgeted, tangling her fingers in the chain around her neck and pulling the locket from her chemise. The little window caught the morning light as the locket turned, like dawn itself dangled from her fingertips. This was the last book her brother had given her. This was all she had left of home.

She opened the locket and touched the tiny book inside. It was beautifully bound in a cover of deep umber with a gold title: Joseph of Prague. Maddy examined it under the little magnifying glass and marveled at her brother’s handiwork.

Then she opened the book and began to read.

Once upon a time, a people called God’s People lived and suffered in the heart of a city called Prague. Now Prague hated God’s People and invented lies about them, saying they drank the blood of children like vampires. Sometimes, the city even stole its own children so it could blame God’s People for the crime.

In those days, it seemed the innocent were doomed to grieve forever. But then, one night, a great teacher decided to create a powerful savior. He gathered his companions at a riverbank, and together, they formed the clay they found there into the shape of a man.

Maddy found it difficult to turn the book’s tiny pages and hold the magnifying glass steady. Her hands trembled too much. She wondered at the power this story had over her imagination. She could almost see the clay man stretched out lifeless on the riverbank, his dead eyes staring at the empty sky.

Was this Marcus’ last message to her, this ordinary fairy tale? “Read it carefully,” he had said. But Maddy couldn’t focus any more. She squirmed inside, itched all over, as though a tone too deep to be heard buzzed just under the surface of her skin. She closed the miniature book back into the locket and tucked it away again.

The rest of the story would have to wait. Something was coming.

The buzzing under Maddy’s skin grew more ferocious as the seconds ticked away. Her muscles tensed. Her back arched and snapped her to attention. And before she understood what she was doing, she had leapt over the stag and spread her arms wide, guarding him against the sharp, hissing bird that flew toward them.

It thumped into her chest with the weight of a slingshot stone.

Jas scrambled to his feet, jolted from his troubled rest. His eyes betrayed his horror. “We have to run,” he said. “Now!”

Maddy followed his gaze and saw the arrow, planted like an exotic flower between her ribs.

Jodi has offered up to e-copies of Titan Magic to two lucky winners! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, and it ends on April 10, 2013 at 12 am EST. Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
As with all of the giveaways for Fairy Tale Fortnight, make sure you've already filled out our Giveaway Registration Form - this only needs to be done once!
Please do not leave any sensitive info or email addresses in the comments!!

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Mute, heartless, and tormented by auditory hallucinations, Madeleine Lavoie never questions why her family has hidden her from the world. But the night her brother casts her out, she learns the mysterious voice she thought existed only in her mind is no delusion, and no matter how hard she tries, she can never disobey it.

Now Madeleine must find her own voice in a cacophony of powerful tyrants, monsters, and gods. If she fails, she will forfeit her life and the lives of everyone who loves her. But if she succeeds, she may finally gain the ability to love someone in return.

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Philip Pullman's FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM ~ guest review from Jocelyn Koehler

Earlier in FTF, author Jocelyn Koehler did an awesome post on why Jasmine would hands-down win in a fight, which was hosted over on A Backwards Story. Now it's my turn, and because I had really intended to read this book (which I had to have on coverappealomg!), I figured this would be the best post for me to host. So here we have Jocelyn's thoughts on Philip Pullman's recently released adaptations of Fairy Tales from the Brother Grimm!

For fans of fairy tales, the news that Philip Pullman was working on something Grimm-related was pretty exciting. The creator of Lyra Belaqua and Sally Lockhart has shown that he knows a thing or two about spinning new life into seemingly long-gone worlds. And last November, he published Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm.

In the introduction, Pullman says bluntly "There is no psychology in a fairy tale." What?! Now calm down, all you Freudians, Jungians, and feminists! He referring to the bare bones structure of the tales. As a writer, he's interested in the allure of the fairy tale as a style: the simplicity of the voice, the cardboard cutout characters, the breakneck speed of a story unhampered by detail. This "tone picked clean" is what we crave, partly because we can add our own imaginations to the tales...and leaves us free to speculate on why all these characters act the way they do.

However, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm isn't a reimagining of these stories. This news may disappoint some folks. Pullman instead gathered fifty of the original 200+ tales and carefully honed them into tidier shapes. In other words, he acts as editor as much as a writer here. Anyone who has read the originals will recognize these versions. The "Three Little Men in the Wood" is a bit funnier than its source. "The Twelve Brothers" is a bit neater. "The Juniper Tree" appears to be almost unchanged, and Pullman merely notes that as a story, it was nearly perfect when it was first included by the Grimms. Including it in the present collection is a "privilege," according to Pullman.

Not all the tales are favorites, though. He offers "The Girl with No Hands" for the reader to judge, even though he himself considers the tale sentimental and silly, and finds that the "tone of never-shaken piety is nauseating." These sometimes tart comments show up in the notes following each tale. How I wish he had expanded on these notes more. Some are only a few lines, and each story could warrant an essay! At the end of "Thousandfurs," Pullman teases us with a potential end to the story that would complete the beginning theme. It promises horror and daring...but the outline is all we get. Boo.

Ultimately, the purpose of this particular collection is a little unclear. It's not comprehensive. It's not necessarily deep, either. A writer could study these tales to understand how the structure and wording can worked to be tight and flat as well, a fairy tale. And the book can certainly be used as an introduction and jumping off point for those who really want to dig into folktales and mythologies. The only real disappointment in this collection is that because it's Pullman, I want to see the juiciest bits of his brain spilling crazy storytelling and worldbuilding out at me. I want mad invention and self-confident pronouncements and gut-wrenching moral twists. In this book, we get....scholarship. Good scholarship, careful scholarship...but still, a step removed from the creativity of his fiction. That said, it’s extremely well done.

If you love fairy tales, read it! If you love Pullman's tales, read it too, but be aware that it's very different from his other work.

Jocelyn Koehler grew up in the wilds of Wisconsin, but now lives in a tiny house in Philadelphia that is filled with books, tea things, and places to read, sleep and write. She has worked as a librarian, bookseller, editor, archivist, cubicle drone, popcorn popper, and music store clerk. While early exposure to Disneyland sparked her interest in fairy tales, it was the discovery of the original Grimm stories and other folktales from around the world that captured her imagination.

If you want to learn more about her original fairy tales and other work, you can see it at her publisher's site: www.hammer-birch.com.

Want to talk books? Friend her on Goodreads, or follow her on Twitter, where she's @jocelynk414.

Interested in winning a free ebook copy of Jocelyn's new fairy tale collection? To enter, all you have to do is sign up for her (very occasional) newsletter at is.gd/JKnews. Everyone on the list as of the last day of Fairytale Fortnight will be eligible to win, and three randomly selected winners will be sent a copy of the ebook!

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

The Lunar Chronicles ~ guest review from Liz!

You guys probably already know what I think of the first two books of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Scarlet (if not, you can check out my reviews at those links!); because I read Cinder so early, and had been hearing about it from both Marissa and Ksenia for some time before that, it seems so strange to me that people I've been pushing it on for what feels like forever are just now reading it (coughLIZcough).
Also, it feels really unfair, because I've had to   w   a   i   t  so long in between them, while Liz got to jump right in to book 2. Not that I'm bitter. (And she still has to wait along with me for Cress and Winter, so... ;P )
But now that she has read them, Liz of Consumed by Books has dropped by to tell us what she thought!

Make sure to stop back by tomorrow for an excerpt of Scarlet and a giveaway of both books!

Cinder is the type of book that makes me want to cry tears of joy. Sometimes a great book idea gets put into the wrong hands and the whole thing just crashes and burns, but that wasn’t the case with Cinder at all! Cinder far surpassed my expectations and is a book that I am eager to fanatically shove into all of your faces.

Being a cyborg isn’t easy for Cinder. Although she’s respected as a mechanic, a lot of people look down on her for what she is. Cinder was a great character because even though she was angsty about who she was, she also tried to change her life for the better. While we’re on the note of characters, I loved Prince Kai! He was down to earth (no pun intended) and a sweet guy who was decidedly worthy of my swoons.

The plotting and the world in this book are both incredible. While Cinder still would have been an interesting read without the Lunars, having that extra threat gave it a nice element of political intrigue. There were also a lot of twists and turns that kept me glued to the page.

Romance, world building, and political intrigue are often three places where books go horribly awry, yet Cinder didn’t. It was a fantastic read all the way to the final page and I immediately picked up Scarlet, the sequel, which is a rarity for me. Meyer perfectly juggles these three elements so that none of them take over the story and make it feel too contrived.

I was hoping I’d like Cinder, and I wasn’t at all disappointed! I was blown out of the water, and it left me so satisfied and wishing I could feel this way about every book I get excited about it. Cinder will almost definitely be one of my favorites of 2013.

*   *   *   *   * 

Scarlet is the sequel to Cinder, and while I sometimes take a breather between books one and two in a series, in this case I jumped right in. Meyer added lots of interesting new facets to her world while still doing a great job of building on the existing ones. Scarlet was still immensely enjoyable, though it did touch on a few of my personal pet peeves.

Scarlet is our main character in this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Wolf is the love interest and we meet him right away. While I could see some appeal in him, the romantic plotline kind of drove me crazy for two reasons. Scarlet is drawn to Wolf, despite being well aware that she shouldn’t trust him. We all have our lapses in judgment, but I thought she was playing a bit too fast and loose on a life or death matter. I also didn’t like the fact that it all felt super instalovey.

I loved the fact that we still got to see what was going on with Cinder, Prince Kai, and Iko. Seeing how all of their lives were changing is part of what kept me turning the pages of Scarlet so rapidly. I particularly enjoyed meeting Captain Thorne.

Even though Scarlet didn’t quite live up to Cinder, I still wholly enjoyed reading it. Meyer has created a world that I love to read about. Do we seriously have to wait until 2014 for Cress?

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD by Jane Nickerson

Review of historical fairy tale retelling, Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
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Historical/Fairy Tale Retelling, 352 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Random House Children's Books
The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.

Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

I'm always on the lookout for fairy tale retellings that take on lesser-known and lesser-used tales, so of course when I heard there was a Bluebeard retelling, I was all over that. Fortunately for me, Strands of Bronze and Gold didn't disappoint. Jane Nickerson has placed the "Bluebeard" tale in antebellum South, using a Southern Gothic style to create a retelling that is gorgeously atmospheric and lush. I thought it was such a great idea for Nickerson to place the retelling on a plantation in the south. I mean, think about it: "Bluebeard" is essentially a story of a man doing what he wants with impunity - what other era and location better exemplifies that than a pre-war plantation? This setting is perfectly suited to take Sophie out of her element and keep her on her toes, and to give Monsieur Bernard exactly what he would have most wanted - complete control. Antebellum South = mecca for a man as obsessive, controlling, manipulative, paranoid and violent as Bluebeard/Bernard. It's a really clever setting.*

By nature, the Southern Gothic style may be slow for some, but it was exactly what I wanted. It's very slow-burning, taking time to set the scene and build the reveal of who Bernard really is, so as to have the most impact. The reader isn't rushed into things, but instead gets to know and understand young, naive Sophie, and see Bernard's charm at work. I think this builds a good reveal for those unfamiliar with Bluebeard, but also keeps everything tense and ominous for those who know the story. Some, too, may be bothered the time spent on description; the architecture, the grounds, Sophie's wardrobe and her jewelry and gifts from Bernard - things like this can be pet-peevy to some, and sometimes even to me. What made it work, though, is that they serve purposes: Bernard's gifts and ostentation help daze and charm Sophie in the beginning, and when she begins to see through it, they help him control and guilt her. (They also help demonstrate his considerable ego and skills at emotional abuse.) At the same time, they help us understand just how naive and shallow (in the way of the young) Sophie is, so we have a point from which she can grow - which she does. Monsieur Bernard is perfectly creepy, utterly controlling but able to charm away people's misgivings. He demonstrates all the hallmarks of an abuser or a sociopath, and he absolutely made my skin crawl. Everyone else is in the story is background to the two of them, but frankly, that's the way it should be. The tale is only ever about Bluebeard and his curious wife, and for it to work with the same level of tension, there needs to be the same feeling of a very insular, oppressive world, to make Sophie's situation more precarious.

Though only thing that I really had a problem with was some of the more paranormal aspects at the end. The book begins to take on a somewhat magical realist feel, which I both liked and didn't. It felt a little jarring to have the book begin to skew paranormal after the more straight-forward, lush historical feel, and though I didn't hate that it went slightly paranormal, I think it would have worked just fine with Sophie just using her brain and figuring things out or investigating hunches, without being helped along.

Some things I'm going to address that I really hadn't intended to address.

I generally don't read other people's reviews until I've written my own, because I don't want to be biased. But April of Good Books and Good Wine tweeted hers or shared it on Facebook, or something, and I just had to know what she thought - which is how I realized that some people have a much deeper issue with this book. Some people, it seems, are very bothered by the issue of POC characters in this book, and though I did notice some of the things that bothered them (essentially a "stock" quality to black characters in the book, and not enough on the issue of slavery), I didn't have nearly the problems they have with it.

Here's the thing: some people have a problem with the depiction of the slaves in the book - not that they're there, but that they're not as fleshed out as Sophie or Bernard. But nobody is. And I don't think they should be. Everyone is background, and some people may hate that, and want to cry foul and say the book/Nickerson doesn't do enough to address race or privilege. But I don't think it would have worked otherwise - all of the characters, no matter their race, culture or social class, have to be background in a story like this because the female main character has to feel alone. And to be fair, all of the white characters in the book are stock and not as fleshed out as Sophia and Bernard, either... Again, they need to be - Sophie has to be isolated and feel like she doesn't really have anywhere to turn. I think it bears repeating: all of the characters, black and white alike, are static characters meant to either help keep Sophie isolated or facilitate her growth. This includes the (black) slaves, the (white) housekeeper, Sophie's (white) family, Sophie's (black) former-slave friend, and Sophie's (white) new love interest. Every one of them is a flat counterpoint to Sophie's isolation and eventual growth. Like it or not, this story is about her - it isn't about them.

The other racially charged argument I saw was that people weren't happy in particular with the character of Anarchy, a kind, older former slave who plays a sort of motherly role to Sophie, when she can. Some people cried "Mammy!" and though I'm not saying you can't sometimes end up with a completely flat, stock, "token" character, it also shouldn't mean that an author can never have a nice/old/motherly black lady without someone calling her a "Mammy." Because it has become a cliche, there aren't allowed to be any nice old black ladies in books or movies ever again?  There are all types of people in the world, including nice elderly black ladies, and I'd say in Southern historical fiction especially, it's near inevitable - any lady over a certain age is going to fall into that motherly/voice of wisdom role. Can you make a case for a character "falling" into a role being laziness? Sure. But does that automatically also make it nefarious or insensitive? No. Being sensitive and politically correct is one thing, but there does come a point where political correctness and sensitivity stop being beneficial and instead become stifling and counter-productive...

Maybe this will bother some of you, so I guess it bears mention. But for me, Nickerson did what she set out to do, which was to retell Bluebeard, focusing on a story of obsession and control. The book may have slavery in it, but it isn't about slavery. And I don't think every book that has slavery, or any other problematic/disturbing theme, setting, etc., should have to be about that setting or theme. Not all stories should seek to right every wrong or explore every nuance of a very complex problem. And an author who hasn't set out to do a thing, shouldn't be attacked for not doing that thing.
Some stories will just be stories.

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where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Modern Minsterls - Fairy Tales in Music

Every now and then, I'll be listening to a song and realize that it has fairy tale themes. Sometimes I'll know that going in, like with The Decemberists "Crane Wife" series of songs, but sometimes I'll already love the song and have learned the lyrics in that not-paying-attention way we do, and then it will hit me - they're playing with a fairy tale. And there are plenty out there that reference fairy tales through the title, even ones you'd never expect (like A Perfect Circle's "Sleeping Beauty" or Nightmare of You's "Thumbelina"...)

Below are some songs that play with fairy tales in a modern way. A few of these are in constant rotation in my iTunes playlists, and some just have pretteh videos

Florence + the Machine "Blinding" - I can't begin to tell you how much I adore Florence. For all the realsies. And loved this song long and hard before I ever stopped to actually listen, and realize that there's all kinds of fairy tale-ness going on in there. 

The Decemberists "The Crane Wife 1 & 2" - Ugh, this album - this album! I go through cycles where I just can't stop listening to it over and over and over and... and I'm in one of those cycles right now. (Thank you, The Office, for having a Shrute family "Sons & Daughters" sing-along. Brought this one back into the rotation.) The Decemberists often play with fairy tale and folklore themes, but I think their take on "The Crane Wife" (from the album of the same name) might be one of my favorite things, ever.  Perfectly told, feelingly sung, nicely folksy and atmospheric. 

The Decemberists "The Crane Wife 3" - See above. =D

Sara Bareilles "Fairytale" - This video is the darling-est.

Paramore "Brick by Boring Brick" - Fairy tales used to explore Paramore-y angst, in a cinematicly gorgeous video.

Keane "The Frog Prince" - Boys singing about fairy tales. =)

Do you have any favorite songs that use fairy tale or folklore themes? Leave me a comment, 'cause you know I want to know about them!

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Interview: Nancy Ohlin, author of Beauty

I have a feeling that the two upcoming books from Nancy Ohlin - Beauty and Thorn Abbey - are probably pretty high on your wishlists (even if you don't realize it yet. ;P )
At least, I know there are mine, and I can't wait to get my hands on them and let you guys know what I thought!
But until then, Nancy dropped by to chat with us about two very different retellings, the perils of instalove (YES), and the heady experience of having two books coming out on the same day!

What made you decide to write Beauty? Had you always wanted to tackle a fairy tale-based story, or was this sort of unplanned?
Snow White had been in my thoughts for a long time when I wrote Beauty. Its themes of female envy and the mother-daughter bond were very powerful for me growing up because of my own relationship with my mother. In high school, I was also aware that some girls could be super-competitive about looks, and that in order to fit in, I had to try to be pretty but not TOO pretty.

And then one night, I had this dream about an evil queen. I felt that queen in my soul - her greed, her  insecurity, her fears - and it all came together for me. I decided to write a retelling of Snow White with a twist, in which the Snow White character (Ana) decides to make herself ugly in order to gain her mother's love.

In addition to Beauty, you have a retelling of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, called Thorn Abbey, coming out in May as well - tell us a bit about the heady/nerve-racking/panic-inducing, etc., experience of having two books debut at once.

I'm incredibly excited and also a little bit crazed. When I write a book, I give it everything I have, and I love it so much and get a bit obsessed with the process and with the characters. Even though I finished writing Beauty and Thorn Abbey long ago, I continue to be emotionally tangled up in them as I talk about them with readers. And now, I'm working on yet another novel. So basically, I feel like I'm in labor with triplets.

Any plans to write future retellings, whether fairy tales, like Beauty, or literature retellings, like Thorn Abbey?

Yes! I'm writing my next retelling as we speak, and it's pubbing next year from Simon Pulse. More to come on that very soon!

As much as we may love any particular tale, each has its own "problematic" aspects (for me, I can't get over the fact that Prince Charming has to find Cinderella, the glorious love of his life, by matching up her feet. I mean, really?). Which problematic aspect of a tale really gets under your skin?

So many fairy tales have to do with the heroine being "saved by true love" or "saved by a kiss." I was reminded of that just recently when I told the stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to my five year old daughter Clara, and found myself totally changing the endings so the heroines weren't quite so passive. I mean, they were just lying there in a comatose state, waiting to be revived by a stranger's kiss!

And that's the other thing: instalove in fairy tales. What kind of message are we sending with these stories where a prince falls in love with the heroine because of her golden tresses or dewy skin or whatever, and vice versa? Shouldn't they at least go out for coffee and have a conversation first?

Which fairy tale would you most like to spend 24 hours inside of, and which the least?

The Most: Hansel and Gretel. There's a lot of dark, fascinating, psychotherapy-worthy stuff going on there.

The Least: Cinderella, only because other people have revisited and retold it so well already.

Someone gives you a key ring and says you can open any door you want, save one. Then they leave you alone with all those keys and doors. What do you do?

I would really, really want to open the forbidden door. But I've read Bluebeard. And I've also read all those Japanese fairy tales about mortals who are granted these happy, perfect lives AS LONG AS THEY DON'T DO THIS ONE THING, but then they do that one thing, and all hell breaks loose. So I know better.

Your favorite obscure (or less well-known) fairy tale?

A Japanese fairy tale called "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter," a.k.a. "Princess Kaguya." It's about a bamboo cutter who finds a tiny magical baby inside a glowing bamboo stalk, and she grows up to be a celestial princess who breaks a lot of hearts.

An aside ... this and other Japanese (and non-Japanese) fairy tales are often referred to as folk tales. I know there can be some overlap between the two genres, although fairy tales tend to involve some element of magic, right? "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter" definitely involves magic. And also a little bit of instalove. But it's a deeper sort of instalove that evolves into true love, plus it doesn't have a cliche happy ending, so it's okay. :)

Most overrated fairy tale?
I think all fairy tales are awesome in their own way.


This or That:
- Tower or Dungeon?
- Evil Queen or Wicked Witch?
Evil Queen.
- Seven League Boots or Glass Slippers?
Glass Slippers. (I have a weakness for pretty shoes.)
- Talking Birds or Talking Mice?
Talking Mice.
- Prince or pauper?
- Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm?
Hans Christian Andersen.

Would You Rather:
- face 3 Billy Goats Gruff or 3 Bears from Goldilocks?
The three bears, please.
- drink an Alice-ish "Drink Me" potion or eat part of a witch's gingerbread house?
The "Drink Me" potion.
- be able to spin straw into gold or have precious gems drop from your lips when you speak?
The bling!
- be cursed with blindness (Rapunzel) or knife-like pain when you walk (Little Mermaid)?
Yikes. Blindness, I guess? (And as an aside, I really love the Disney movie "Tangled," which is a Rapunzel retelling.)

Thanks so much for stopping by, Nancy! 

Beauty and Thorn Abbey will both hit stores May 7th, both from Simon Pulse. You can find Nancy online at nancyohlin.com, or follow her on Twitter!
And don't forget, you could win this - or any other book featured during Fairy Tale Fortnight, in my FTF blog hop giveaway!

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!

Friday Face Off: Snow White vs. Sleeping Beauty

Heading into FTF, my initial thought was to just suspend Friday Face Off for the time being. It was just one more post, and I was afraid it'd get lost in all the mayhem anyway. But then I thought, well, might as well do it and just use fairy tale book covers. And I was going to. I was going to, but then I thought, well, maybe some fairy tale characters could throw down...
So today, we've got a couple of princess-types from similar backgrounds facing off: Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Sure, they're both known for their beauty (I mean, the stories revolve around it...), and they've both been in enchanted sleeps, to be woken by a (creepy, imo) kiss. They've both had their time in the Disney spotlight (repeatedly), and if you go to their origins, they've both had some serious cray to overcome (what with one being abused by her mother, who wants to eat her heart, and the other being raped in her enchanted sleep by a man whose mother wants to eat her children, so... yay, cannibalism, I guess).  But for all their similarities, I don't think you'd confuse one for the other.
But who would win in a Face Off? The criteria's up to you: coolest, best adaptations, best original story, who'd win in a literal fight - totally up to you.  Let me know in the comments who you're voting for & why, 'cause I wanna know:
Who's the better passed-out princess?*

*Don't take this to a creepy place, you know what I mean.

Last Week on FFO: The US and UK versions of Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races went (horse) head to head, and though it was a tight race (with some write-in votes for the US paperback, which, omg yes!), the US ended up managing to barely snag the win.
Winner ------->

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page,
where you can access the schedule! Or go here to get involved!
Credit to these awesome Deviants for our button [ 12 & 3]!


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