Hello! Today I am taking part in my very first blog tour – for The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross, a book I completely loved! If you would like to read my review, check it out here. And definitely check out the other blog tour posts – there’s some fab posts 🙂
I am hosting a blog post from Leife about her favourite fairytales. Mine is definitely Beauty and the Beast, and I always love a good retelling. I totally agree with Leife on a lot of her picks for that one haha.
Leife’s fave fairy tales
I love fairy tales as much for their romance and enchantment, as for their darkness. Speaking of which, only the very darkest of hearts would force me to choose just 5 favourite fairy tales. But in lieu of having to offer up my firstborn or some other unspeakable act, here are my top five (this week, anyway…)
- Beauty and the Beast
Well, no prizes for guessing that one. This tale is such a rich and beautiful story and has been retold so many times in so many ways. My favourite retelling is Robin McKinley’s Beauty, and more recent versions worth checking out are Kate Forsyth’s The Beast’s Garden and Meagan Spooner’s Hunted. The part of the story that makes me love this one so much is the way Beauty and her Beast get to spend time falling in love.
In this Norwegian fairy tale, the heroine is a raucous, odd-looking princess whose clothes are always torn and dirty who rides a goat and defends her kingdom from trolls by whacking them with a wooden spoon. She rescues her sister, whose head is stolen by the vengeful trolls, but instead of going meekly home, she then convinces her sister to sail away with her to see the world. When she finally meets a handsome prince that piques her interest, his reaction to her appearance is one of my all-time favourite romantic fairy tale encounters.
This is a variant of Cinderella (which I also love), but its beginning is even more deeply tragic, and instead of being reliant on a fairy godmother, Catskin herself holds the key to her own transformation in order to attend the ball and win her prince. Catskin’s story gave me one of the most potent fairy tale images to ever take hold of my imagination – a dress that sparkles with all the stars of the night sky. My favourite version of this story is the episode of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller titled Sapsorrow.
As much as I love a happy ending, fairy (and folk) tales aren’t always about happy-ever-afters. This one involves a magical harp made out of the bones and hair of a young woman murdered by her sister over the love of a man. Why do I love the idea of a harp made of human remains that sings its accusations when in the presence of its murderer? Who knows? *delicious shivers*
- Tam Lin
Oh my goodness, this one has everything. Forbidden love, a secret pregnancy, midnight trysts, faerie hosts (beautiful and terrifying), a determined heroine and a daring rescue. And it’s set in Scotland. *swoon*