‘Once Upon a Time…
In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he’ll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king’s eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.
She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.’
The first time I came across this Fairy Tale, was in Kate Forsyth’s novel The Wild Girl. Dortchen Wild, the wife of Wilhelm Grimm tells it to him, as A Thousand Furs. I thought it was a tragic and beautiful story and I used reference to it in my poem The Wild Deer.
When I seen Chantal Gadoury post about her novel I was so excited to check it out, I pre-ordered it straight away, although it’s a shame I didn’t get a hard copy as it has the most stunning cover!
It was nice to get a deeper insight into the Fairy Tale characters. As much as I love Fairy Tales, it’s much harder to connect to the characters with the distant voice generally used. Not that Aurelia story is easy to connect with, but it is easy to sympathize with. She isn’t always completely likable, as at times she can be slightly passive, but she is brave enough to bring her request for the dresses and the cloak to her father, and it was her own idea to attempt to burn them.
I generally thought that this was a well thought out retelling. I love the original story, but it’s great to go your own way with a story, there’s no point keeping it the exact same. Something I’d like to accomplish with my own retellings as well.
Unfortunately I did spot a few spelling and grammar issues in it, which was a bit disappointing because it did take me out of the magic of the world. I’ll forgive these mistakes, as we all make some mistakes. I definitely do in my writing.
Overall I would give this book 4 silver Starry dresses!