Showing posts with label fairy tale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fairy tale. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Nerd Church - Where Do We Go From Here?

Are we too old, too bitter, too disenchanted, for happily ever after? Do we believe that the princess lived a happy life, after she and the prince rode into the sunset together? Are we able to believe that everything, from the moment the book ends, is sunshine and rainbows?
True, a lot of books do not end happily - and/or don't end with the characters actually living - but is this our fault? Do we, as fans and readers, not want the ra-ra happy ending, but instead the dark, the ambiguous, the uncertain?
Obviously, it's difficult to talk about endings without wandering into spoilerific territory - and that is not something I really want to do - but if you think of a lot of popular books and series, do they end in happiness?
Those that do go for the fairy-tale style ending are often ridiculed and lambasted for being too unbelievable. That, in a way, is kind of sad; happiness and good fortune is no longer something that we believe we can have - so we don't want the characters in the books we read to have it either.
But then, despite the happy endings (though not for the villains,) fairy tales were originally quite violent. There was torture. There was death. There were beheadings and all sorts of random magical crap. (If you're interested in some good quality retellings of original fairy tales then I'd go for Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales: For Young and Old - I utterly love that book.)
My dear lovely nerds, I honestly wish you to find some hope in your lives - it's ok to be realistic, and often it's quite frankly beautiful to err on the gothic side of life (I certainly do!) - but sometimes you have to look to the brighter things. Even if that means a splash of the unreal.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Reviewing the Evidence Time Again - Charm by Sarah Pinborough

Title: Charm (US Link)
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Romance
Series: Tales From the Kingdom (#2)

A few starting notes:

Even though this is the second book in Sarah Pinborough's Tales From the Kingdom series, it's not really a sequel as such. Oh, I'm sure there are elements which tie-in with the other books of the series, but I haven't read any of the others, and can confirm that this can certainly be taken as a stand-alone book.


Handsome prince? Check. Magic? Check. Ball? Check. Fairy godmother? Urm... there's a bit more to that one. Cinderella? Well, yeah... but she's a bit... different. So, come to think of it, are the step-sisters, and the happily ever after deal is quite complex... This is a fairy-tale, sure, but are you ready for it?

Best bits:

I love the whole inter-weaving fairy-tale world that Sarah Pinborough has created - it's full of magic, but also a creepy gothic-ness that creeps into everything.

I also really admire anyone who can bring a zing of freshness to a tale that's been told so many times - and Pinborough does, by showing that even in fairy-tales, reality is different to what you were expecting.

The illustrations give a welcome portion of gothic pizzazz to the mix, and the book is most definitely readable. I finished it in a matter of days, and found it oh-so-easy to pick up and read, and not so easy to put down again.

Not so great bits:

A lot of people will find the degree of naughtiness going on here jarring when compared to the squeaky Disney-clean image of Cinderella et. al. they were provided with in childhood. Some may even find it distasteful - I'm honestly not all that bothered, since it didn't really get in the way of the plot, but a lot of people won't like Cinders erring towards debauchery!

I know this is fantasy - own world, own rules, etc. But, the main thing that bothered me here was that I felt I couldn't get a good enough feel for the setting - was this medieval levels of technology and styles of fashion, or closer to Victorian? I just couldn't get a handle on it.


Ahhh, this is a book for the ladies (and the men who are secure with their identities.) Grab a cuppa, a cat, and a blanket (and maybe some chocolate? Yes?) and enjoy the hell out of it.