Showing posts from September, 2023

Review: The Winter Prince

The Winter Prince  by Constance Lopez  is the fourth ARC I have read from the upcoming Once Upon a Prince series. Constance was the frontrunner for the series, so I expected her book to capture the essence of what Once Upon a Prince was meant to represent. It was not my favorite of the ones I've read so far, but it did have some unique elements. The Winter Prince  is a relatively standard retelling of "Beauty and the Beast"  with the main difference being that the Gaston archetype is the prince's cousin instead of a person that the Beauty character knew from her hometown. I was hoping for a gender-bent retelling of the fairy tale since I wasn't too impressed with the ones I've read so far . Still, the timeless classic of "Beauty and the Beast" is always a pleasant read with much to offer to gothic romance and fantasy fans. Revi is a fae prince of the Winter Court whose kingdom suffered under a curse that was enacted by their enemies. Though Revi al

The Swan Princess Lasted Far Longer Than Forever, But It's Over Now

The twelfth and final installment in The Swan Princess franchise was aptly titled Far Longer Than Forever  in tribute to the romance theme from the original film . As some fans have pointed out, the title accurately represents how long the filmmakers have been milking the series  for almost 30 years with one awful sequel after another. Some of the later sequels had potential , but this movie did not do them any favors as a finale. Written as a direct follow-up to A FairyTale Is Born , the eleventh film in the series,  Far Longer Than Forever  ties up some loose ends after a tedious and forgettable journey that fails to acknowledge many characters and plot points that had been introduced over the course of the other eleven movies. Despite the obvious nod to the famous song that this latest installment uses as its title,  A FairyTale Is Born  seemed more suitable as a conclusion because it contained more tributes to the original film. Far Longer Than Forever  makes the mistake of focus

Review: Once Upon a Crime

When I think of Japanese fantasy media, the first thing that comes to mind is anime . That's why I was surprised to see a live-action Japanese movie centered around fairy tales.  Once Upon a Crime  is a recent Netflix release in which Little Red Riding Hood is a detective who attends the infamous royal ball with Cinderella to solve a murder. The movie uses a similar concept to Once Upon a Time  by combining fairy tales and changing the circumstances around certain characters to add an element of surprise. With its lack of wide shots and cheesy visual effects, it was by no means a cinematic masterpiece. However, it did something different with these characters that I have never seen in any other iteration, which is really saying something considering how many versions of "Cinderella" are out there. The movie presents itself as pure camp from the very beginning when a witch named Barbara asks Little Red Riding Hood if she's impressed by the fact that she's a wit

Review: Fierce Heart

Fierce Heart  by Tara Grayce  is the first book in the Elven Alliance series , a love story between a human princess and an elf. Unlike her  Princess by Night series, which only has one book, Elven Alliance has a healthy amount of both primary and tie-in novels. It contains a fully fleshed-out fantasy world with Tolkien-style elves that live hundreds of years. One of the many things I liked about it is that it demonstrates how true love  can be a choice if both parties are willing and isn't something a person needs to sit around waiting for, hoping that the perfect partner will just show up one day. This is the second book I've read by this author in which the main couple falls in love after the wedding. The first is Stolen Midsummer Bride , which focuses on the fae court instead of the elven one and does an equally good job of showing how arranged marriages don't always result in misery for either party. The main character in Fierce Heart  is a princess named Elspeth, or

Review: The Prince's Mage

I was very excited to receive an ARC of the second book in the Runes of Pain and Peace  series by Celeste Baxendell . The Prince's Mage  is the sequel to The Prince's Captive  and the highly anticipated conclusion to Marcella and Gavril's tantalizing love story. The first book had me on the edge of my seat from all the juicy romance and suspense but left me with a feeling of discomfort due to the awful situations that Marcella ends up in because of the feud between her clan and Gavril's. This book resolves those issues so they can have a chance to live in peace. Gavril and Marcella are star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet. The more passionate their feelings are toward each other, the more people seem to get hurt along the way. The Prince's Mage  provides a thrilling conclusion to their love story demonstrating how true love can overcome seemingly impossible odds. When we left Marcella at the end of The Prince's Captive , her worst fear became realized. In

Disenchantment Goes Out with a Whimper

At this point, Disenchantment feels like a failed experiment. It sounded like a great idea at first. Using Matt Groening's irreverent humor to deconstruct modern princess stereotypes  could have gone in the way of a cleverly nuanced series like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend . Instead, it tried to recreate outdated techniques from shows like The Simpsons  that were made for syndication. By releasing entire seasons all at once with a year between each one on Netflix, Disenchantment needed to break the mold to match its new format, and it could not do that. Each season or "part" of the series had a bunch of irrelevant or mediocre episodes in between finales that would barely advance the plot and end on cliffhangers , requiring viewers to wait a full year to find out what would happen next. Even though this final installment cleverly included a background character who would pointed out these inconsistencies, it wasn't enough to save the show. Part 5 of Disenchantment begins wit