Showing posts from June, 2021

Review: Day of Wishes and Wonder

After I completed Waiting in the Water , I jumped right into another fantasy series by Anne Stryker . Day of Wishes and Wonder  is the first, and so far, only book in her Starlight Fae series. It had a tonal shift from Waiting in the Water  and even Crumbling Towers , her "Rapunzel" adaptation from the Enchanted Kingdoms anthology that motivated me to read more of her work. I realize that in older mythology, the fae are a dark, mischievous, and often deadly species that hardly resemble the sparkly faery princesses  that we see in modern media. As fan of the latter, I prefer some sort of middle ground when I read books inspired by this mythology, such as Brittany Fichter's Autumn Fairy trilogy . Even the Disney Princesses update their fairy tales and characters every few years to go along with the times. The other books that I had read by Anne Stryker gave me certain expectations that this missed, despite its gorgeous cover. Day of Wishes and Wonder  follows the "l

The Lost Princess Trope

Tangled  wasn't the first movie to feature a mistreated girl who learned she was a princess, but it was the first to popularize the "lost princess" archetype. Why is this trope so appealing throughout so many recent books and films? Secretly being a princess is a fantasy that many little girls have when they're growing up, especially when they face difficult times. This popular story narrative gives a literal interpretation Sara Crewe's philosophy from A Little Princess  that every girl is a princess even if they don't know it. One of the reasons this is such a common theme in princess stories is that it goes along with one of the seven basic plot archetypes , the "Rags to Riches" trope. In the past, that trope was used more often for stories based on  "Cinderella,"  but the "lost princess" trope has become more common in modern media due to the lack of dependency on a man that the "Cinderella" trope  requires. The first

Review: Waiting in the Water

My favorite book in the Enchanted Kingdoms anthology  was Crumbling Towers  by Anne Stryker . I was so impressed by her innocent and whimsical imagery that I decided to look into some of her other works. From what I've seen on her website, she appears to be very good at starting series, but not at continuing them. She has a number of fantasy series that only contain one or two books each. I selected two of her books to introduce myself to her fantasy realms. One is about faeries , and the other is about mermaids . Though I was going to start with the faery book, Day of Wishes and Wonder , I had trouble opening it on the Kindle Cloud Reader, so I switched to  Waiting in the Water  instead. Waiting in the Water  is the second book in Anne's Beyond the Veil series. It made no references to any earlier story or series of events, so it can easily work as a standalone. Waiting in the Water  is inspired by "The Little Mermaid," but not based on it. It reads like a gender-be

Review: Yes, Your Grace

Yes, Your Grace  is a charming video game with strategy and visual novel elements in which the player takes on the role of a king who has daily meetings with his subjects in order to maintain the well-being of his kingdom. Though you cannot play as a princess, the king has three daughters, who each have unique personalities and quirks. The decisions that the player makes throughout the story directly affects their fates. Though it is possible to give two of the princesses a happy ending, one of them is a victim of circumstance, and there is nothing you can do to save her, which diminishes some of the replay value. Yes, Your Grace can be completed in about half a day and has a surprisingly engaging story filled with fun characters and challenging situations that simulate what it might be like to run an actual kingdom. The story kicks off when soldiers from an enemy kingdom show up to claim Lorsulia, the eldest daughter of King Eryk and Queen Aurelea, who was promised to them as an act

Review: The Mirror and the Curse

It's been a while since the last Faraway Castle book , so I was pleased to jump back into JM Stengl's creative world  of modern-day teens living in a realm of magic and fairy tales. Like the other books in this series , The Mirror and the Curse  is loosely inspired by a well-known fairy tale, which in this case is "Snow White."  The book actually reminded me more of Sofia the First than any fairy tale due to its focal point on a flying horse competition. Like Lucy Tempest's recent "Snow White" retelling , The Mirror and the Curse  does not contain seven dwarfs and instead features cameos of characters from the previous books in the series along with a new love interest who is part dwarf. It doesn't quite hit the same level of imaginative fantasy as The Rose and the Briar , but it is still a pleasant read. The Mirror and the Curse  is the story of Princess Eddi, who was a "best friend" character in previous Faraway Castle books. In this sto

Sailor Moon Crystal Returns with a Double Feature!

As a '90s kid, it was difficult not to get swept up in the hype surrounding  Sailor Moon . Referred to at the time as a "gateway anime," Sailor Moon was the first Magical Girl show  that attained viral popularity among a western audience. Though I, personally, was more passionate about Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders , I had a mild curiosity about the pop culture princess phenomenon from Japan that everyone was talking about. A story about an ordinary girl who discovers she's the princess of a magical kingdom should have been right up my alley, but I had a lot of trouble relating to Usagi/Serena/Sailor Moon due to her immaturity and complete lack of motivation or responsibility. I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of the series as a whole, but I did enjoy the English soundtrack and the sparkly aesthetic. My favorite sailor was Mercury, since she seemed like the only level-headed member of the girl-powered team. In 2014, Sailor Moon Crystal rolled aro