Tag: Rapunzel

Oct 16

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

Fairy Tales, Historical Fiction 26

Bookworms, Bookworms, let down your hair!

I’m eeeeeeeevil and have locked you in a tower and forced you to grow your hair to unimaginable lengths that don’t occur in nature and now I want to use it as a rope, damnit! Heck yes, y’all, I just finished reading Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, a re-telling of Rapunzel. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration through NetGalley. May I be locked in a tower if this review is untrue.*

bittergreensBitter Greens begins with a note about how the folk tale Rapunzel originally surfaced in Italy but its best known published version appeared in France. What follows is Forsyth’s imagining of how the tale managed to travel. It gives a fictionalized account of the life of the French author, Charlotte-Rose de la Force as well as a creative interpretation of Rapunzel’s origin story.

Charlotte-Rose was a courtier in Louis XIV’s lavish and fickle court. After a series of scandals, Charlotte-Rose is, for all intents and purposes, disposed of in a poverty ridden convent. Out of sight, out of mind, no? Her greatest love was writing, but even that is denied to her inside the cloisters. It certainly doesn’t help anything that Charlotte-Rose was raised a Huguenot and was forced to convert to Catholicism… And then, you know, unceremoniously dumped in a convent. Bad form, Louis.

In any case, Charlotte-Rose is in a bit of a pickle, but comes to befriend Sœur Seraphina who comes to teach her the glories of gardening and shares her stories. What story do you think she starts with?! Why, a young maiden locked in a tower with a ginormous length of hair, of course!

Fairy tale retellings can be a bit hit or miss for me, but Bitter Greens was a big hit. It had all my favorite historical fiction elements; I felt like I was IN these times. And there was plague. MUAHAHAHAHA! Really though, the best part of this novel from my perspective was that the witch got a fantastically developed back story. I like my villains to have depth, and Selena Leonelli was one complex lady. If you like historical fiction, fairy tales, and interwoven storylines, Bitter Greens is your book, y’all!

Alright Bookworms, let’s talk villains! Who’s your favorite fairy tale villain? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I will NOT be using it on hair extensions, because at the moment, long hair seems incredibly over-rated.*

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Apr 24

Give Me a Head of Hair, Long, Beautiful Hair: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Fairy Tales, Young Adult Fiction 16

Hello Bookity Bookworms!

You know I dig a fractured fairy tale, right? I just finished up the latest installment of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles by reading Cress. If you’re interested, I read and reviewed both Cinder (review) and Scarlet (review) once upon a time as well. Re-reading those posts, I don’t think they reflect how much I really enjoyed these books. I’m going to try to be better this time! Obviously, this is the third book in the series, so talking about it might be a little SPOILERY for the preceding books, and maybe a tiny bit spoilery for Cress  (but only if you can’t guess at super obvious things.) Of course, the books are all based on fairy tales, so you probably know where it’s going anyway. Still. Warning.

cressCress is a retelling of Rapunzel. Cress was born on the moon, but since the Lunars are all evil and stuff, she was sent to die when it was discovered she was a “shell” (that’s the equivalent of a Squib to you Potterheads.) Instead of being killed, Cress was raised in some creepy moon tunnels and imprisoned in a satellite when her talent for computer programming and hacking was discerned. She was stuck in the satellite (er, “tower”) and her hair grew super long. Then, you know, Cinder and Scarlet and the gang are chilling in their spaceship and decide to rescue Cress. Only, things go wrong, adventure ensues. Adventure with androids and spaceships and crashes and deserts and wicked Lunars, naturally.

I think this series is a blast- it’s a lot of fun to toy around with fairy tales and give them new life. As far as Cress goes, I liked that Meyer didn’t fixate on the whole hair thing overmuch, and used some of the elements of the Rapunzel legend that people tend to forget about. Thorne as a character reminds me a LOT of the dashing Flynn Rider (or Eugene Fitzherbert, as it were) from Disney’s Tangled. The thing is, it felt a little too borrowed maybe, because in old school Rapunzel, the handsome prince was just a plain old prince, not a bad boy gone good. That said, I still totally would have fallen for a smolder look from Thorne.

And because I’m nitpicking, Wolf’s ongoing obsession with Scarlet felt very Twilight to me— the fixation seemed a lot like the whole “imprinting” thing. Then again, wolves do have their alphas, so maybe that’s more a wolf trait than a Twilight trait? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure if it came to a wolf fight, Wolf the mutant super soldier could kick Jacob Black’s furry backside. I’m pretty stoked for the final installment, because it’s based on Snow White , and I’m anticipating the mother of all happily ever afters!

Bookworms! I must know. Anybody else out there digging The Lunar Chronicles? Do you love a good fractured fairy tale? What’s your favorite? I’m all ears! (The better to hear you with, of course.)

*If you make a purchase through this site I will receive a small commission. It will be re-invested into books, most likely, because I have a problem.*

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