Posts

Do Princesses Ever Get Angry?

Image
As we all know, princesses are the most interesting when written as fully fleshed out characters with a wide range of personalities and emotions. However, some sources claim that princesses, or at least the ones from Disney movies, never experience any feelings other than happiness or sadness. Disney even made this jab at themselves in one of their own movies. In 2007, Giselle from Enchanted was shocked to learn that she was capable of experiencing anger when she left her animated fairy tale world for the grungy reality of modern-day New York City. The implication was that she needed to be a real person in order to experience real emotions. Do two-dimensional princesses really only experience two dimensions of emotion? Let's explore.


To be honest, I find such claims confusing because animated princesses get angry all the time. Ariel's motivation to become human in The Little Mermaid is cultivated by a heated argument she has with her father over whether or not she's old en…

Review: The Autumn Fairy

Image
I took a break from the many fairy tale adaptations I've been reviewing lately to read The Autumn Fairy by Brittany Fichter. Brittany has a fairy tale adaptation collection of her own called The Classical Kingdoms Collection, but it's also refreshing to see an original story for a change. I first learned about Brittany's work at the Entwined Tales Launch Party on Facebook. She contributed An Unnatural Beanstalk to the Entwined Tales series, which is a retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk." So far, the only book I've read from the series is A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling. I was excited to learn that Brittany is working on a trilogy about a fairy since adult books about fairies or faery princesses are something of a rarity these days.


The Autumn Fairy starts out a little rough due to the lack of a proper introduction to the setting. However, Katy is such an empathetic character that it's hard not to become hooked despite knowing so little about her at first. W…

The Renaissance Faire Is in Town!

Image
Where can you go to get transported to the time of princesses and knights and have a whole lot of fun too? The Renaissance Faire, of course! If you've never been to a Faire before, you should definitely go at least once. It's a great opportunity to get out of the house and meet other fantasy aficionados while also having fun with history. Today I attended the opening weekend of The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California. It was my second time attending this particular Faire. They had many of the same booths, activities, and shows that I assume come back every year. This time, instead of wearing my generic Renaissance dress that I made in high school, I decided to cosplay with my husband as the Fairytale Designer versions of Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.


It was particularly fun to cosplay during opening weekend because most people save their character costumes for theme weekends. We got a lot of attention from fans of the movie who recogni…

Review: Swan Lake by K.M. Shea

Image
After reviewing Cinderella and the Colonel, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Selkie from K. M. Shea's Timeless Fairy Tales series, I wasn't sure what to expect from Swan Lake. On the one hand, I did not enjoy two of the three books by her that I had read, but on the other hand, the story of "Swan Lake" is unique because it is performed in dance more often than it is told in prose. My instinct to give this book a chance in spite of Shea's shortcomings as a writer turned out to be spot on. Swan Lake was a real page-turner that stayed true to many elements of the ballet while adding in some modern twists. It is the seventh book in the series, and it is the best one that I have read so far.

Like K. M. Shea's other fairy tale adaptations, Swan Lake features a clever and calculating version of Odette who leads and protects the other cursed swans of the lake. For this reason, she is given the nickname "Swan Queen" like in the ballet, though her shortc…

What's With All the Unicorns?

Image
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic recently began its eighth season, making the unfortunate decision to focus more on the plot of the sub-par movie than the epic new characters that were introduced in the season finale. Even though this colorful series about winged unicorn princesses has been losing some traction over the past few years, the incorporation of unicorns into everyday life has not. Within the past month, I have seen promotions for a unicorn cereal, unicorn ice cream, and even unicorn nail art. There have also been many unicorn-themed makeup kits that popping up over the past few years. Who can forget all the fuss last year over Starbuck's limited edition Unicorn Frappuccino? When it comes to unicorns, you either get it or you don't. There is no in between. If you're wondering why does this generation seem to leap at the chance to add some sparkly pastel-colored magic to their everyday lives, please read on.


For many, it simply comes down to feeling like a pri…

Review: Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea

Image
After completing her mediocre "Cinderella" novel that focused mostly on taxes, I was only going to review The Little Selkie and Swan Lake from K.M. Shea's Timeless Tales series, but then she released Beauty and the Beast for free. I just can't say no to a free princess book, so I read it, suffering through every cold and tedious page. Beauty and the Beast is the first book in the Timeless Tales series, and the lack of experience shows. The book commits many amateur writing decisions and pushes its audience further and further away from the characters as a result. It's probably the worst adaptation I've read of "Beauty and the Beast" in my short life.


K.M. Shea's Beauty and the Beast focuses on a girl named Elle as the "Beauty" character with a well-mannered "Beast" named Prince Severin. As a result of somehow falling through the roof of Severin's castle and breaking her leg, Elle must stay with him as his guest while his …

A Royal MyZtery: WHY?

Image
If you didn't know that was another Swan Princess sequel released yesterday, you are a very fortunate person indeed. The Swan Princess: A Royal MyZtery (yes, that's the actual title) marks what I believe is the eighth movie featuring the characters from Richard Rich's 1994 classic, The Swan Princess. It was no mistake that I left "The Swan Princess" portion out of the title of my blog post, as these movies are so far and away from what was once an adaptation of the "Swan Lake" ballet that they may as well be on another plane of existence entirely. All of the CGI sequels that started with The Swan Princess Christmas in 2012 have been pretty terrible, but this one might just be the worst yet. Don't worry, though. I went ahead and watched this abomination so you don't have to. Below the image is a description of all the most cringe-worthy things that happened in the movie and why it is objectively terrible and should never have been made, just lik…

Review: The Little Selkie

Image
Mermaids are huge right now. Yesterday, I wrote a short story about a siren. Today, I'm going to a Mermaid Museum to promote Freeform's upcoming Siren series. K.M. Shea, the author of Cinderella and the Colonel from the Timeless Tales series and A Goose Girl from the Entwined Tales series, decided to take the story of "The Little Mermaid" in a new direction with her fifth Timeless Tales novel The Little Selkie. Unlike the Entwined Tales version of the story, A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling, The Little Selkie reimagines the little mermaid and her family as selkies, beings from Celtic mythology who have the ability to transform into seals by putting on seal pelts and taking them off to become human. This obscure mythology was featured in the 2014 animated movie, Song of the Sea.


Dylan is not like other selkies. Instead of a seal skin, she was born with the pelt of a sea lion. In Dylan's world, sea lions are less respected among selkies, but she compensates for it by b…

Story Saturday: "The Little Siren"

Image
"The Little Siren" Once upon a time, there was a group of sirens who haunted the waters of a coastal kingdom for many years. Anyone living in the kingdom with half a brain knew to avoid the portion of the sea that the sirens dominated, for there were too many stories about men getting lost out there and never returning. This time, however, was different. The kingdom was under attack by a band of invaders. The prince devised a plan to sneak up on the invaders by hiding away near the forbidden part of the sea where no other man would dare travel. If his plan failed, his men would surely be defeated by the invading conquerors. Some nearby sirens overheard his strategy and laughed among themselves at how foolish the prince was to bring an army of men into their territory that they could tempt and drown. The youngest siren, however, had something else in mind.


"It's almost too easy," one of her sisters groaned as she watched the prince's knights kneel in wait b…

What Is Happening to the Disney Parks?

Image
Change is not always a good thing. When it came to the Disney Parks of old, Walt only wanted to make changes that would support the advancement of technology, new movies, and the overall enjoyment of his guests. For a very long time after his passing, his philosophy seemed to remain in tact. In 2013, Walt Disney World did a complete redesign of their outdated Fantasyland in Florida. New Fantasyland was everything a modern princess could possibly want from a Disney park, with gorgeous real-life reproductions of locations from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast along with stunning new rides featuring the latest in animatronic technology. Unfortunately, happy endings last forever, and many of the changes that the parks have made since then have not been for the betterment of the guests. Instead, they came as a result of business partnerships and corporate greed. These changes range from insane price hikes to the recent closing of my favorite restaurant in Disney's California…

Review: Cinderella and the Colonel

Image
Cinderella and the Colonel by K. M. Shea was one of the freebies given away at the Entwined Tales Launch Party on Facebook. K. M. Shea is an independent author who writes fairy tale adaptations. Her contribution to the Entwined Tales series was A Goose Girl, which is based on a fairly obscure fairy tale, but I skipped ahead in that series and only read A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling. I was a bit skeptical about Cinderella and the Colonel because it seemed like such an odd name for a book but figured I might as well give it a shot since it was free, after all. The book turned out to be just as odd as its title. For the first three-quarters of the story, it bore virtually no resemblance to the famous fairy tale. Unlike in other adaptations, "Cinderella" seemed to be the main character's given name, as opposed to "Ella." There were no references to her working by the cinders or being abused by her stepfamily. In fact, she refused to be pushed around by anyone.


The m…

Story Saturday: "A Princess in Time"

Image
"A Princess in Time" Once upon a time, there was a young millennial lady named Alex who was fed up with her life after her boyfriend dumped her for being too old-fashioned. She decided to distract herself with random internet memes, but quickly got bored of that. After some more clicking, she soon found herself looking up her ancestry online. To her surprise, she learned that she was descended from royalty and found an old painting of her ancestor, Princess Alexandria III. Alex stared at the painting for what felt like hours. It was as if she was looking into a mirror version of herself in a beautiful Renaissance dress. There was something not quite right about the image, though. She tried zooming in and inspecting it closer. The next thing she knew, her monitor began glowing brightly and humming. Alex rolled her eyes, hoping she wouldn't need to buy a new computer. Suddenly, she felt a strong force sucking her into the screen. No matter how she tried to resist, she cou…

The Magic of True Love

Image
Today is a very special day for me. It's the one year anniversary of the day I married my true love. My wedding was truly magical and made me feel like a princess because I was surrounded by all the people I love. Love is an important theme in princess stories. Even though they have shifted direction somewhat in recent years, it is still very much relevant to the princess genre. In fact, love is probably the biggest defining factor of a princess story. It is what gives them their strength against the bad guys and what ultimately allows them to achieve their goals. Of course, I'm not just talking about romantic love. Many people take issue with the unconscious kiss in "Sleeping Beauty" that gives the cursed princess new life. Though that particular act itself may be problematic due to issues of consent, it is still significant because it represents a universal idea--Love will set you free.


Of course, that doesn't mean that everyone must fall in love and get marrie…

Review: A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling

Image
One week after the Entwined Tales Launch Party that I attended on Facebook, the book I was waiting for finally became available to read! A Little Mermaid by Aya Ling is the fifth book in the Entwined Tales series, but I cheated and read it first because I was less interested in the fairy tales that were adapted in the previous books. If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I have a very strong affinity to the story of "The Little Mermaid."A Little Mermaid is a very unique take on it. It has the same basic premise of the youngest mermaid princess giving up her voice for legs so that she can get closer to a human prince she rescued from drowning, but this time, Princess Clio is not in love with the prince she rescued. In fact, she deems him rather foolish for managing to fall off his own ship during his birthday celebration. Clio does, however, have a huge crush on a merman with a similar name to the human prince. Due to a misunderstanding, the incomp…

Story Saturday: "The Secret Prince"

Image
"The Secret Prince" Once upon a time, there was a lonely little maiden living with her stepmother, stepsister, and stepbrother. They treated her well enough until her father died, and their true nature was revealed. The maiden's stepfamily had been jealous of the gifts and attention granted to her by her father, so they took it all away and began treating her like a slave. Every week, they demanded that she go to the market and purchase everything they desired, leaving her no extra money for herself. She would spend her mornings making her family breakfast, tightening her stepsister's corsets, and helping her brother with his debt. All the while, she dreamed of the days when her beloved father was still alive. If she ever uttered a word about him to her stepfamily, though, they would force her to scrub the floors until her hands became cracked and raw.

One day, when she was out at the market, a young man she had never seen before caught her eye. He heard her singing…