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Review: Thorn

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"The Goose Girl" by the Brothers Grimm seems to be one of the hottest fairy tales to adapt right now. It is one of the only fairy tales featuring a princess that has not been turned into a Disney movie. Thorn by Intisar Khanani is the fourth adaptation I've read of this identity-swapping fable, but I can't say that it's one of my favorites. It is the most loyal adaptation I have read, incorporating darker elements that had been graciously removed from other versions, such as the slaughter of the princess's prized horse. Though I appreciate Intisar's attempts to stay true to the tale as well as her incorporation of her culture within the language of the story, the book seems to drag on for ages before anything interesting happens. The climax of Thorn has a big payoff that conveys a strong anti-violence message, which implies that it may have been more enjoyable if it were a little shorter.

For the most part, Thorn is a faithful retelling of "The Goose …

PattyCake Productions Pays Tribute to ABC's Once Upon a Time!

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It's been two years since we left Storybrooke, and many people still aren't ready to say goodbye. ABC's Once Upon a Time is a bit of an enigma to me. It started out as a clever concept featuring Snow White's estranged daughter, Emma Swan, who grew up in our miserable reality having no idea that she had an epic destiny ahead of her. Over time, the show weened off from its original characters and turned into a blatant marketing ploy for Disney's newest franchises. I guess that's what happens when you put a show about fairy tales on a channel owned by a studio that produces the most well-known theatrical versions of them. Many of us look back at the first season when the show was new and innovative with a nostalgic optimism for what it could have been. This weekend, PattyCake Productions released their take on this iconic series with a new music video called "Once Upon a Time: The Musical".

From what I have seen, PattyCake Productions makes two kinds of m…

Review: The Cursed Hunter

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Back in April, I was introduced to the enchanting world of Bethany Atazadeh's Stolen Kingdom series. The first two books, The Stolen Kingdom and The Jinni Key, told the story of two princesses and their struggles to find love and save a kingdom. I eagerly awaited The Cursed Hunter, the third book in the series, in the hopes that it would continue the story and expand the world. When I finally got the opportunity to read it, it felt like it was from a completely different series that lacked the robust setting that was teased in the first two books. This book contains a simple story that feels dry and empty despite taking place in the same world. The expansive lore of Jinnis and Meremaids is replaced by a tale of a lone woman on a boring quest. I wish I could say this book was just as engaging and emotionally provocative as the first two, but I'm afraid The Cursed Hunter is a different beast entirely. Bethany Atazadeh is clearly a talented author, so I'm not sure what happen…

Will We Ever See These Princess Movies?

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The virus in Corona has drastically changed life as we know it. One of the industries that got hit the hardest by this pandemic was the entertainment industry. Back in April, Disney announced that their upcoming live-action adaptation of Mulan would be delayed until July 24th. Now, it has been delayed again to August 21st. How much faith can we place in this new release date after so much disappointment? Theatrical delays are at least understandable due to the difficulty of social distancing in a crowded theater. Not every princess movie in the works was set for a theatrical release, though. I was hoping that Disney would at least stick to their July 17th release date for Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, since that was going to be uploaded to their Disney+ streaming service to watch from home. Yet, it seems that even superheroes lack the powers to maintain their release as this action-packed fairy tale has been pushed back to September 25th.


Disney isn't the only studio to de…

Review: Spindle

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Spindle is the third book I've read from Kimberly A. Rogers' Love's Enchanted Tales series. It felt appropriate to read a book from the middle of the series after completing the second to last book, Dragon's Maid, and the first book, Selkie's Song. Spindle is about on par with the sweet love story from Dragon's Maid and is a vast improvement over the faux Disney-mocking from Selkie's Song, though it did contain some welcome cameos of Naia and Malik. This book stood out among the ten in the series because "Sleeping Beauty" is such a versatile story to adapt. The fairy tale is so simple that every novelization is unique in how it chooses to expand upon the details. This version follows the protagonist's journey after she wakes up to learn that a century has passed and her kingdom is in turmoil. It has everything you would expect from a contemporary retelling of "Sleeping Beauty."

Spindle is the story of Celena, the cousin of King Eric f…

Does Tiana Deserve Better Than a Splash Mountain Revamp?

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The internet has been buzzing today with news that the classic Disney Parks ride, Splash Mountain, will replace its animatronic characters from Disney's forgotten 1946 feature Song of the South with new ones from their 2009 classic, The Princess and the Frog. The announcement was made right on the heels of massive civil unrest in the middle of a pandemic that forced closures of Disney parks around the world. It would seem that Disney was keeping this project in their back pocket for over a year as they waited for the right time to announce it to the public. They could not have picked a better time to reveal an attraction dedicated to the first black Disney Princess than this very moment. Yet, the timing seems almost too coincidental after so many complaints masses about a ride featuring a movie that has been virtually deleted from the Disney library for generations. Is this really a tribute to the fantastic reimagining of "The Frog Prince" that Disney released a little o…

Three of the Most Messed Up Princess Tales Ever

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Many people like to talk about how much darker the Brothers Grimm stories were than their movie counterparts. Yes, we all know Cinderella's stepsisters had their eyes pecked out by birds, and Snow White's stepmother was forced to dance in burning hot iron shoes until she died. However, I find medieval punishments for wicked deeds far less disturbing than glorifying or rewarding characters for malicious actions. Did you know that in the story of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp," Aladdin wins the princess's hand in marriage by teleporting her into his bed on her wedding night and teleporting her new husband outside to sleep in the cold? Author A.G. Marshall wrote a fantastic short story about this aspect of the fairy tale called "The Princess and the Lamp." Women being treated as property is quite disturbing by today's standards, but here are three examples of even more disturbing stories where princesses are rewarded for downright wicked behavior.
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Review: The Dark Mermaid

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I recently sent out a survey on several of my social media accounts to get a better idea of what types of posts you would like to read on The Princess Blog. One of you requested reviews of princess content from black creators. It just so happened that I had a new adaptation of "The Little Mermaid" on my reading list by a black author that I was dying to get started on. I review many "Little Mermaid' adaptations and even wrote my own, yet I never get tired of reading them becuase the story is so versatile. Will she end up with the prince? How does she communicate? Is she a mermaid or a selkie? Does she already have experience as a human or is their world completely new to her? The Dark Mermaid by Christina L. Barr is a refreshing and expertly crafted new take on Hans Christian Andersen's tale that explores the risk the mermaid underwent by chasing after her dreams. It also builds a rich undersea setting that rivals the land of Sirenea in the Filipino mermaid seri…

Princesses and the Power of Forgiveness

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There has been a growing trend among princess shows over the past few years. Princesses always forgive the ones who hurt them the most. Though the Warrior Princess archetype has grown more popular now than ever before, it is still an inborn characteristic of a princess to choose the path of the lover over the fighter unless she is given no other option. The parallels between the endings of Tangled: The Series and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power this year are so prominent that they could have been written by the same person. Both shows feature a princess who is betrayed by her best friend and end with the two frenemies working out their differences and confessing their love for each other with the fate of the world at stake. Even though both Cassandra and Catra chose to lash out against their former princess allies with violence, Rapunzel and Adora proved to be the bigger person by refusing to fight back because violence only leads to more violence. This is an important and powerful…

Review: Enchantment

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Yesterday, Camille Peters released her latest book in the Kingdom Chronicles, and I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC. Enchantment is a loose adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" about a merchant's daughter who finds herself trapped in a castle by an enchanted garden. It takes place in the same world as the other Kingdom Chronicles books, which I've had some mixed feelings about. My favorite by far is Identity, which was the first in the series to introduce a formidable villain. Enchantment has some conflict and adversaries, but none of it comes into play until the last few chapters. The majority of the book is a traditional love story, which works fine if you are looking for a peaceful read. However, if you are seeking action and adventure, it might be better to skip ahead to the end.


Enchantment begins in the middle of Maren's story, when she finds herself bound to the grounds of a castle after plucking a rose from its enchanted garden. She explains to the …

The Stolen Queen Is Here!

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If you are already subscribed to my mailing list, you probably received an email this morning that my book The Stolen Queen is now available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback. I was going to wait until August for the anniversary of The Princess Blog, but with all the awful things going on right now, I thought it would be nice to give my readers a chance to relax and escape from their towers. The Stolen Queen is a sequel to The Stolen Jewel, but it can easily be enjoyed as a standalone story due to the new protagonist and setting. I decided to follow in the footsteps of the other authors I read and give each of the royal ladies of Klingland her own book. In case you missed it, I also published a short story from the perspective of Denise in my blog a few months ago as a free prequel to The Stolen Trilogy. The final book will be told from the perspective of Lady Krystal, who has a great number of misdeeds to make up for.


Just like The Stolen Jewel, The Stolen Queenstarted out as a scre…

Review: Selkie's Song

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A few months ago, I reviewed the book Dragon's Maid from the Love's Enchanted Tales series by Kimberly A. Rogers. I enjoyed the fantasy, originality, and romance of Dragon's Maid, so I decided to go back and read the first book in the series, which was based on my favorite fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid."Selkie's Song was not the first "Little Mermaid" adaptation I've read with a selkie protagonist, but I still prefer KM Shea's version, The Little Selkie, due to its faster pacing and stronger heroine. There was so much I wanted to like about Selkie's Song, especially due to its many tongue-in-cheek references to the Disney movie, but most of the story drags like crazy due to poor decision-making on behalf of the main character. I can see from reading Dragon's Maid that Kimberly Rogers improved her writing as the series progressed, so I suppose this was more of an experimental book to set up the vast dragon-centric world of Love'…

Review: The Secret Princess

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If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably noticed that I posted book reviews almost every week for the past couple of years. All of that started when I received the first book in Melanie Cellier's Four Kingdoms series, The Princess Companion, as a Hanukkah present from a friend. That got me started on a long-running obsession with reading every princess ebook I could get my hands on. I've read and reviewed all of her books since then and was a little disappointed when she switched from her fairy tale retellings to The Spoken Mage series. Now, the world of the Four Kingdoms is back with The Secret Princess, the first book in a new series called Return to the Four Kingdoms that takes place in the same world as her other retellings. The book features Princess Giselle, a minor character from A Crown of Snow and Ice, and it just might be the most perfect fairy tale book ever.

The Secret Princess is a retelling of the underappreciated Grimm fairy tale, "The…

The Secret Is Almost Out!

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Reports of recent production delays made me question whether or not the upcoming Disney+ original movie Secret Society of Second-Born Royals was far enough along to premiere this summer as initially promised. Two days ago, I received my answer when a long-anticipated trailer for the action-packed princess flick was finally dropped alongside a release date of July 17th. I was excited about this movie not because I have a preference for princesses who kick butt, but instead because of its lead actress, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, who starred in the brilliant Disney Channel sitcom Andi Mack. Peyton is an endearing and talented actress who will take on the role of Sam, the younger sister of the crown princess of Illyria. Another familiar face in the Secret Society is its teacher, Skylar Astin, the second actor to take on the role of Greg in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend that currently portrays the character of Max in another musical drama, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. The trailer gives us a first g…