Review: The Last Autumn Fairy

The final book in the Autumn Fairy Trilogy was released a few weeks ago. I've been reading these books since the beginning, so I knew exactly what to expect from this one. Like the rest of Brittany Fichter's work, it was pretty dark for a faery princess story. The main characters were tortured through the entire book until they were ultimately saved by their divine faith in Atharo, who is this world's version of God. For me, the best thing about this series was the beautiful imagery of the magical naturalistic world that the fairies lived in and the elegant floral fashions that they wore. The final book cut back on most of those pleasantries in favor of even more character torture leading up to the final conflict. Therefore, The Last Autumn Fairy was the weakest book in the trilogy for me.

The Last Autumn Fairy chronicles the logical next step in Katy and Peter's star-crossed relationship as well as all of the obstacles that inevitably come with it. Since The Autumn Fai…

Review: Tangled - Destinies Collide

The rest of the second season of the Tangled series flew by like a whirlwind over the past six weeks and concluded today with the season finale special, Destinies Collide. Due to the show's erratic air schedule, I was hoping the season wouldn't end on a cliffhanger, but it did. I would be really upset about this if it hadn't been for all the great stuff in the episode leading up to it. All of the big revelations and parallels to the Tangled feature made Destinies Collide a satisfying conclusion to the season. We know that everything will be fully wrapped up after the third and final season airs, whenever that may be, leading into the short "Tangled Ever After." There is a lot to unpack in this finale. It's hard for me to talk about it without spoilers, so I suggest that you go ahead and watch Destinies Collide before reading this if you haven't seen it yet. I'll wait.

To start, I really have to hand it to the writers of this show for incorporating so …

Review: The Lady and the Wish

Thanks to J.M. Stengl's Advance Readers list, I had the privilege of being one of the first to read the latest addition to her Faraway Castle series, The Lady and the Wish. I believe this book will be available to the public next week, so my review will be just a bit early for those of you who are interested in reading it right away. Unlike the other three books in the series, which were based on popular fairy tales that have had many adaptations created, The Lady and the Wish is inspired by the obscure Grimm fairy tale "King Thrushbeard," which I had never seen adapted in book or media format before this point. I was familiar with the fairy tale prior to reading this book, but it had never been one of my favorites, which might be why I didn't enjoy The Lady and the Wish quite as much as the other Faraway Castle books. Regardless, it was still a very creative and original take on the story while still remaining faithful to its theme of a prideful woman's capacit…

Princess Twilight Takes Over for the Final Season of My Little Pony

The countdown to the final episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has begun. The premiere of the show's ninth season, entitled "The Beginning of the End," aired over the weekend with some pretty big revelations about what to expect for the finale. This is still far from the end of the My Little Pony franchise as the series has been rebooted many times since the '80s. It's just that this particular iteration of it that began in 2010 was by far the most popular and lasted the longest. It's hard to believe it's been going for almost a decade now. The series was incredibly intricate in building it's vast world of Equestria and wove tons of fun new mythology into the franchise. It also placed heavy focus on princesses and princess culture in general. The pony kingdom of Canterlot is run by Princess Celestia. Showrunner Lauren Faust wanted to her make a queen but got turned down by the studio when they claimed that girls see princesses as good and q…

Review: The Beast and the Beauty

The Beast and the Beauty follows up Till Midnight as the second book in Aya Ling's Reversed Retellings series, which reverses the gender roles from well-known fairy tales. This book was her take on the story of "Beauty and the Beast" with a male beauty and a female beast. Though Gail Carson Levine did something similar to this with Ogre Enchanted, The Beast and the Beauty is more of a direct translation of the romantic elements of the original story, giving the reader a better opportunity to look at how the dynamics of the characters change when their genders are reversed. A conventionally beautiful man has different problems than a conventionally beautiful woman, and the same applies to a grotesque or deformed man vs. a grotesque or deformed woman. I thought this was a very clever take on the story while still staying true to the most beloved elements of it.

The Beast and the Beauty is the story of Lady Sybil de la Roche, a rich debutant who was cursed by a wicked sorcer…

Behind the Scenes at the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Finale Concert

Tomorrow night is the series finale of one of my favorite TV shows, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. At surface level, this show might seem to have nothing to do with princess culture, but it is actually a deconstruction of many of the less empowering tropes introduced in some older princess movies and romantic comedies while still embracing the traits of these passionate women that we can all connect with. The show features several princess-inspired music numbers as well as a made-up Disney Princess movie called Slumbered that the main character, Rebecca, supposedly grew up with. Series star and co-creator Rachel Bloom does everything for her fans just like a real-life princess would. That's why the series finale tomorrow night will be followed by a concert special that Rachel cordially invited all her fans in the Los Angeles area to attend as audience members. I just happened to be one of those lucky fans.

This event was more than just a concert. Even though many people arrived at the Orphe…

Review: Just the Way You Are

One of the benefits of blogging about princess books is that I occasionally get recommendations from my readers about books that I probably would never have known about otherwise. This month, that's been a little stressful for me since three of my favorite authors are releasing new books. When I received a recommendation on my "Disabled Princesses" post, I tried to read it as quickly as I could before my reading list explodes. Just the Way You Are by Allison M. Boot was written with the intention of creating positive visibility for disabled princess fans. While it succeeds in that respect, the story itself leaves much to be desired. Allison is a fantastic advocate for people with disabilities, and I think she is a very admirable person for all of the effort that she has put into this. She isn't a bad writer either, but the story structure in Just the Way You Are borrows heavily from common tropes, making it difficult to appreciate as an original fairy tale or adaptat…

Season 2 of She-Ra Is Coming!

It feels like just yesterday that the new animated She-Ra reboot premiered on Netflix with its masterfully executed premiere season. Just a few months later, the show's Facebook page posted an announcement that the second season would drop on April 26th. That's less than a month away! The page had also been heavily promoting their presence at WonderCon this weekend. Last night, I finally found out why. As it turns out, the WonderCon panel for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power premiered the trailer for the second season! The trailer doesn't reveal a whole lot of the new season's story, but since it is reported to have a scant seven episodes, there might not be much that they could reveal in a minute and a half. Reports from the panel reveal that an additional five clips that were previewed there as well. Hopefully, these clips will also be released to the public as the second season grows closer.

The majority of the trailer's visuals consist of traditional cartoon …

Review: The Frog Prince by A.G. Marshall

I was so impressed with A.G. Marshall's adaptation of The Princess and the Pea that I simply could not wait to dive into the next book in the Fairy Tale Adventures series. The Frog Prince takes place immediately after the events of The Princess and the Pea, so it's best to read these two in order. The book starts out with Prince Alaric's brother, Prince Stefan, sneaking away to find Princess Carina so that she can be Lina's maid of honor in her wedding. Carina is the only friend Lina made after being asleep for a hundred years and waking up to find that everyone she knew was gone. Once Stefan sets off on his quest, the book becomes a whirlwind adventure of magic, romance, and fun that is every bit as engaging as its predecessor. I was amazed by how well A.G. Marshall was able to combine the elements of the original "Frog Prince" with mermaids, sea monsters, and more.

If you recall from my review of The Princess and the Pea, Princess Carina is from a fierce wa…

What Writing an Original Princess Screenplay Taught Me

Some time ago, I promised that I would turn my story The Stolen Jewel into an original full-length screenplay under the UCLA Professional Program for Screenwriting. I am pleased to announce that I successfully completed my polished first draft a few weeks ago. The Stolen Jewel is not the first princess story I have ever written, but it is one of the few that was not adapted from a pre-existing fairy tale. Through the program, I received incredibly valuable feedback that carried my writing to a level that I didn't even realize was possible. I also learned a lot about how people respond to modern princess stories and how that attitude has changed over the years. I am so happy with how The Stolen Jewel has turned out, and I would like to share some of my experience working on it with you.

My intention with The Stolen Jewel was to reverse the tired old "Cinderella" formula of "rags to riches" by telling the story of a princess who starts out having everything she c…

Review: Thief of Cahraman Trilogy

Lucy Tempest is the hottest new author among the indie fairy tale adaptation scene. I was a little hesitant to read her premiere gender-bent "Aladdin" novel Thief of Cahraman because it required me to purchase and read two other novels, Prince of Cahraman and Queen of Cahraman just to find out how it ends. I've enjoyed other trilogies that told a complete story within each book while just leaving one thing unresolved at the end to make way for a sequel, but that was not the case here. It was a bit of a struggle for me to complete all three books within the course of a week so that I could write a review, especially when so few important things happened in the story until the end. In fact, I would even say it would be possible to skip over the second book entirely without missing too much of the overall story. Of course, this is speaking from my own personal preference. If you're the type of person who doesn't like your stories to end in a single book, you might l…

Has Rapunzel Gone Goth?

It would be impossible for me to write this post without spoiling the latest episode, so go ahead and watch Rapunzel and the Great Tree if you haven't seen it yet before reading on. I was surprised that this hour-long episode was not promoted as a major special at all as far as I could tell. Rapunzel and the Great Tree was a crucial turning point in the plot and should have been treated as such. It brought back all of the things that we have been waiting since the season premiere to learn more about, such as the character of Adira, the significance of Varian's father, the meaning of the moon symbol next to the Sun Drop symbol on Adira's scroll, and the black rocks, which created the events that kicked off the series from the very beginning. Rapunzel and her friends are traveling to a place called the Dark Kingdom, which is where the mysterious rocks originate from. If that doesn't sound foreboding enough already, Disney also took some pretty big risks in the latest spe…

Review: The Princess and the Pea by A.G. Marshall

I was fortunate enough to receive a free ebook of The Princess and the Pea by up-and-coming fairy tale author A.G. Marshall from a promotion on Facebook. Since the book was named directly after the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, I was expecting a fairly direct adaptation. Instead, I was blown away by A.G. Marshall's originality. The book is a "fish out of water" story that delves into the creation of mythology and legend. The protagonist wakes up in another time that she knows nothing about, which allows the reader to explore this new world with her. I am a huge proponent of "fish out of water" stories, so the Fairy Tale Adventures series is one that I will be following closely from this point on.

A.G. Marshall's The Princess and the Pea tells the story of a girl named Lina who wields a magic ring and fights goblins in the shadow world. Due to a sleeping spell that allowed her to stay in the protect the world from some dangerous threats, she wakes up t…

Sequels and Remakes and Trailers, Oh My!

Is Disney ever going to slow down? You would think with all the live-action remakes and sequels that they are releasing this year, they would want to save something for the next year or two, but you would be wrong. It isn't enough that 2019 is jam-packed with live-action remakes and animated sequels because Disney announced last week that they are pushing up the release date for a sequel to one of their live-action remakes. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the next chapter to their 2014 flick that told the story of Sleeping Beauty from an new perspective, is coming this October. To be fair, Maleficent is different from Disney's other live-action remakes because it is not an unapologetic carbon copy that is doomed from to be inferior to the original from conception. With a script by the Disney Princess of screenwriting, Linda Woolverton, the movie puts a feminist spin on a fairly outdated tale about a damsel in distress who needed true love's kiss to restore her vitality. With…