Apologies, it has been a while since my last post. With a worldwide epidemic I, like many others, have retreated to my family bubbles and have not really dared to peek out much. Good news is all this time has given me a chance to read book—lots of books. So there will me quite a number of reviews over the next few weeks.
Like many, I have not wanted to spend time in reality, so I dipped into a couple of new faery tale releases from two Australian authors. Although they both fit into the faery tale genre, they are two very different offerings. The first is an original Australian fairytale, and the second is a retelling—dare I even say improvement— of Snow White.
The Swan Maiden by Serene Conneeley
I really did not know what to expect when I decided to read a modern day faery tale, but I loved the idea of it being set in my adoptive home—Australia—and decided to give it a go. Right from the first moment when the swan started telling of her relationship with a young girl I was caught hook, line and sinker.
The Swan Maiden is a story about love in all its forms, and its ability to heal, to transform and to enrich life. Told through the eyes of Signet, and following the swan mother’s relationship with a young girl she meets in a park we are swept into a modern day world where magic still exists and love can still save us.
A faery tale is defined at literaryterms.net as a fanciful wondrous story with magical elements that spark imagination and where we can experience thinks in our mind before we experience them in the real world. In her beautifully told tale, Serene Conneeley takes us out of time and challenges our imagination with real world problems, and her tale is definitely wondrous. Not only that, but she managed to take me back to my time in Ireland when I fell in love with Irish Faery Tales, and for that alone I would have loved this book.
When I started reading I felt this book would be great for that hard to buy for age—the tweens, and I have to say it is a perfect story for them. But like all good children’s book, this story has another whole level that will be enjoyed by adults who still love a good faery tale and by romantics of all ages
Chasing Neve by K.A.Last
I am not a fairy princess girl—never have been, never will be. So it won’t come as no shock to you that Snow White was one of those stories that never appealed to me as a child. Still, I like K.A Last as an author, so I decided to give her re-telling of Chasing Neve a whirl.
I could be flip and say this book is nothing like the Snow White of my childhood, and to a certain extent that would be correct—but it would also be untrue. Chasing Never has; an orphan girl, a wicked step mother, a magic mirror, a huntsmen, an apple and even the dwarves are there—sort of. There the similarities end.
Snow White—or Neve as she is in this book—is not waiting for anyone to rescue her and get rid of her step-mother. No, she is quite prepared to do that herself, even if that means going on an adventure through magical lands to get what she needs to save her country and her people—even if that means facing a dragon.
There are still enough of the elements of the original story to keep Snow White fans happy, and there may even be a little romance, but the happy ever after is a little different, and Neve is a kick-ass heroine.
Early teens and above who love the retellings of faery tales should definitely add this to their shelves, but fantasy readers who love a strong female facing adversity will also enjoy this read.