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Showing posts from September, 2021

Review: The Thorn Princess

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After taking a brief hiatus from the weirdly specific genre of girls from the real world who find out they're actually faery princesses , I decided to take a risk and dive into  The Thorn Princess  by Bekah Harris . This wasn't the worst book I've read with this plot, but it had all the usual suspects of paranormal YA fantasy romance novels. There's the average down-on-her-luck teen protagonist who's so unremarkable that any reader can place themselves in her shoes, the quirky best friend, and the oh-so-sexy supernatural love interest who comes into her life like a whirlwind to whisk her away to a fantasy land. Despite all of these stereotypes, the story was enjoyable enough for what it was. There were no major plotholes, and the characters remained consistent throughout. However, it was so similar to other books in this genre that I felt no motivation to read more of the series once I completed it. The Thorn Princess  centers around Ivy Hawthorne, the lost heir

Why Are Princesses Always Targets?

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This is a sort of follow-up to my post about "How Princesses Represent Hope."  Being a princess in a fantasy world often means having a neon target on your head. I do not want to use the word "victim" because that is separate from being a target. Modern princesses are more capable than ever of defending themselves , something that has changed over time  as a direct response to the "Damsel in Distress" stigma . Yet, the fact that princesses can defend themselves from threats has not changed the fact that they are constantly being threatened. Even in stories with male leads, it is usually the princess or female love interest who is threatened, not the hero himself. Take for example Megara's binding servitude to Hades in Hercules  or Frollo's relentless obsession with Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame . There is a reason that princesses are coveted by heroes and villains alike.   I was inspired to write this post after being introduced to yet a

Review: Enspelled

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This book popped up as a surprise in Aya Ling 's latest newsletter. I could not be more pleased to learn that she wrote another book along the same lines as her Unfinished Fairy Tales series , which was a guilty pleasure of mine. Both books feature girls from the real world who are transported into less-than-desirable roles in well-known fairy tales, go on a new adventure in the same setting, and live happily ever after. Enspelled  is more overtly inspired by izekai anime and manga  than the Unfinished Fairy Tales books because the main character is transported into the story of "The Goose Girl" after getting killed by a truck, which is a classic trope in modern anime. In fact, the story bears an extremely strong resemblance to an anime I watched recently called My Next Life as a Villainess . Both stories feature a girl who wakes up in the body of the villain from a story she is already familiar with after getting hit by a truck and must struggle to block all the "d

Review: The Desert Princess

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Melanie Cellier  is the author who introduced me to the wide world of indie authors with her first fairy tale retelling, The Princess Companion . Since then, she has written roughly a dozen more adaptations of classic fairy tales set in the same world of fairy godmothers and true love. The most recent of these is The Desert Princess . After reading so many books from the world of the Four Kingdoms already, it's a little difficult to experience a new book from these series that feels fresh and exciting. The prospect of a gender-bent "Aladdin" retelling  is nothing new, but I was eager to see Melanie's unique take on it. However, this adaptation did not add any new developments to her many other fairy tale retellings set in this world. If you have never read another Melanie Cellier book before, this is a good introduction to her storytelling style. It has become a predictable trope for all of Melanie Cellier's fairy tale books to begin with a caravan raid that sends

Review: Cinderella (Amazon Prime 2021)

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The wait is finally over. The newest version of   Cinderella  starring pop sensation  Camila Cabello  is one of the films that was most affected by the theater closures during the lockdown. It was supposed to be released by Sony at the beginning of this year but was sold to Amazon Prime and released today instead. Does it live up to the hype ? Many fans of the original fairy tale  and its countless adaptations frown upon "jukebox musicals" that incorporate pre-existing songs, especially when there are already so many original musical adaptations of the story, including one that was just released in England this year . Though original songs are more creative and inspirational than something I've heard on the radio a million times, I appreciate that the marketing for this movie was honest and straightforward. Plus, the film's featured original song, "Million To One,"  is incredibly catchy and fun. Cinderella  was filmed prior to the pandemic when the world w