Monday, January 7, 2008


The Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine

Gail Carson Levine is well-known for taking familiar fairy tales and weaving them with her own magic. THE FAIRY'S REUTRN AND OTHER PRINCESS TALES is no exception. In this collection of the six popular Princess Tales, Levine has rewritten six familiar (and some not-so-familiar) stories until they are virtually unrecognizable.

In THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE, which is based on the fairy tale "Toads and Diamonds," two very different sisters are each granted a gift by the fairy Ethelinda. Ethelinda feels that her gifts are both well-deserved, so it comes as a great surprise when she discovers that neither gift brought the results she had planned.

THE PRINCESS TEST, which is based on "The Princess and the Pea," tells the story of Lorelei, a blacksmith's daughter, and the prince who falls in love with her. However, the prince's father is determined that his son should marry a princess, so he designs a series of tests to ensure the bride's pedigree. Nicholas still wants to marry Lorelei, but how can she ever pass the tests if she's not a real princess?

PRINCESS SONORA AND THE LONG SLEEP is based on "Sleeping Beauty." As a baby, Princess Sonora is granted many gifts, each fairy trying to outdo the others and bestow the best gift. As a result, Sonora is a beautiful, precocious young child, and she decides to wait until the opportune moment to prick her finger, which will put the castle to sleep for 100 years, as promised by the fairy Belladonna. Her plan, however, doesn't exactly go as planned.

In CINDERELLIS AND THE GLASS HILL, which is based on "The Princess on the Glass Hill," Cinderellis is a lonely boy inventor who is ignored and made fun of by his brothers. Princess Marigold is equally lonely, and wishes she had someone to talk to other than her cat. When Marigold's father decides that it's time for her to marry, he puts her on a glass hill that suitors will have to climb, and it will take Cinderellis' best invention yet to win her hand.

FOR BIDDLE'S SAKE is based on "Puddocky," and tells the story of Parsley, a young girl who loves eating parsley. Unfortunately, the only place that parsley grows is in the garden of the fairy Bombina, who is in jail for turning too many people into toads. When Bombina is released and Parsley is accidentally turned into a toad, she must find a way to make the most of the situation, and maybe even help someone else along the way.

In THE FAIRY'S RETURN, which is based on "The Golden Goose," the fairy Ethelinda is back, and she's nervous about giving any more gifts. But when a baker's son and a princess fall in love and the king forbids their marriage, she just has to do something! So she hopes that everything goes well and gives the baker's son a golden goose.

All six of these stories were absolutely wonderful, full of humor, magic, and love. If you're a fan of ELLA ENCHANTED or THE TWO PRINCESSES OF BAMARRE, you definitely shouldn't miss this!

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