Monday, June 24, 2013

Retelling of a fairytale - good... or bad?

When I first heard a friend recommend this book, a retelling of a classic fairy tale, with high praise, I have to admit I wasn't to impressed. Neither was I excited to read it. She said it was a sweet book, very nicely done, and I wasn't denying that it was, I trust her judgment - a lot. I just wasn't very
By Jessica Day George (I just love her covers!)
interested. I had seen this book before on a blog or two I know and they liked it a lot, so I didn't have people telling me it wasn't good... I think my main reason for not wanting read it was that, from what I know modern romance novels (or should I say romance novels written within the last 10 or more years) are not something to really spend your time on. I'm sure they're sweet and some of them well written, but do we really need our minds filled with frivolous romance?

I haven't personally read these 'Modern Romances' but I get a bad feeling whenever I consider reading these books. The main thing in these books that I don't... appreciate, I guess is the word for it, is the way the romance is written. The facts they give are most of the time, not needed. (Such as the very detailed love scenes.) All they do is send you off to the clouds where you make a fool of yourself thinking that this is how real life is. Which isn't true! Life isn't a fairy tale. Yes, there is love and romance, but not quite this type. Life isn't about finding your 'One True Love'. Naturally I like romance every girl does, that's how God made us. But I think we should guard our hearts against too much romance. My experience with this sort of writing is from Elise Dinsmore which was very romantic and not really worth my time, though I didn't realize it at the time. However there was some books that were really good and I really liked.

One author who I think does a very good job with writing romance, is Charles Dickens. (Yes, I do love his writing, can you tell?) Now I admit I haven't read a ton of his books, but the ones I have I was pleasantly surprised by the way he writes his romance. The facts he give helps with your imagination to see how the scene looks, but they don't make you feel slightly uncomfortable about reading it. (Almost in the sense that if it was a movie you would probably look away) Now for all I know some of these books could be really good, I just wonder how much of these books are total romance and how much is story line, especially when I see covers like this:

Beautifully done though, I would say!
 Anyway.. umm.. *sheepish grin* I'm suppose to be telling you about the book. =)

After considering it for awhile (and partly wanting to wait until finishing the book I was reading at the time) I decided to give it a try. But not before my sister and 3 other friends had read it and had all told me how good it was, how sweet, how well the romance was, and that I just 'had to read it!' =) So after glancing at the large print and easy reading, I figured I could finish it in a small enough amount of time not to be to long from my other book - a Charles Dickens'. =)

The book is called The Princess of the Midnight Ball. It's a twist on the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. And were all of my friends right about it? Yes, they were. I found that even though the chapters were short and the reading was very easy I really enjoyed it. It was very well done, because even if I did know what was going to happen (I've known of the 12 dancing princesses for a long time) they put a twist on it that made you want to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. Even with the shortness of the story and the small amount of time to get to know the characters, I found myself liking the princesses very much, admiring Galen (the young man of the story) and disliking very much the evil that they fought. (I won't spoil who that is =) ) Here's a quick summary.. just for fun since I'm sure you know the story already.  

Every third night, without fail, all 12 of the Princesses' dancing shoes are worn to tatters, but when asked why, the girls are silent. After years of worn out slippers and silent, yet unhappy girls, the royal family's respect and health starts to go downhill and much is hanging in balance. The king puts a reward out for any prince who would find out the reason of his daughters worn dancing slippers. But when that doesn't seem to help, Galen, a soldier from the finally ended war, now an under-gardener of the King's Garden, decides to see what he could do.

I have to admit that's a terrible summary, so if you want to go look it up yourself go ahead. =) It's hard not to spoil anything!

I was pleased with how the romance was written, it was very sweet, respectful, and pleasing to read. I also really liked the twist of the story and the way it ended. This book is actually one of a three book series this Author has written, and I might read the others someday. =) They are all retold fairy tales, and the next two actually take characters from the first book, which I thought was a fun idea. So while it took me only a day or two to read, I definitely enjoyed it! And I think you would too. =) After reading this I admit my opinion has gotten better on re-told Fairytales... but I'm still wary of 'Modern' romances. =)

What do you think about this type of book? Have you read this one?

-Eva
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One of the illustrations from a picture book version of the Grimm Brother's Fairy Tale, The 12 Dancing Princesses

3 comments:

  1. Hello!
    I found your blog through Rissi's blog Dreaming Under the same moon.
    I really liked 'Princess of the Midnight Ball'. I hope to re-read it someday.

    Have a great day!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ella!!

      Thanks for visiting, and for the comment. :) I hope that you'll visit often in the future!

      I really liked 'The Princess of the Midnight Ball' as well, very sweet overall! I was sorely disappointed by the following two in the series, however, and didn't like them much at all. =( But the first one is still one of my favorites!!

      Thank you, I will - and I hope you do too!

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    2. Thanks Evelyn!
      I didn't like the other two books in the series much; the third was okay.
      I wish they had been more like the first one.
      I am having a good day, Thank you!

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