Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Book: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is officially released today. It mixes Beauty and the Beast with Greek Mythology from the description.

Which would be Cupid and Psyche, but I digress. :) The cover is intriguing, too, with the rose and staircase intertwined. Of course, a woman running down steps is usually more of a Cinderella image, but it doesn't have to be. I'm just pointing that out to those who look at the cover and think Cinderella.

I have a review copy (ARC) of the book but haven't had a chance to read it yet. When I do, I will report back.

Book description:

The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny.

But on her seventeenth birthday, when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is as she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband.

Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

For fans of bestselling authors Kristin Cashore and Alex Flinn, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Terry Pratchett Bargain Books

Witches Abroad (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett has dropped from $6.99 to $3.99 for the ebook format. Several Pratchett titles have dropped in price actually, but this is one of his that specifically deals with fairy tales and their themes. There's a fairy godmother, prince, etc. in this one. With the usual Pratchett humor which you will either adore or walk away from. I imagine these price drops are temporary as they usually are for well established authors. Usually these drops are because a new title is coming out and the publisher wants to capitalize on people wanting to rebuy a beloved book they own in paper for their e-readers or to try out another title they haven't yet with a sale price.

Book description:

Be careful what you wish for...

Once upon a time there was a fairy godmother named Desiderata who had a good heart, a wise head, and poor planning skills—which unforunately left the Princess Emberella in the care of her other (not quite so good and wise) godmother when DEATH came for Desiderata. So now it's up to Magrat Garlick, Granny Weatherwax, and Nanny Ogg to hop on broomsticks and make for far-distant Genua to ensure the servant girl doesn't marry the Prince.

But the road to Genua is bumpy, and along the way the trio of witches encounters the occasional vampire, werewolf, and falling house (well this is a fairy tale, after all). The trouble really begins once these reluctant foster-godmothers arrive in Genua and must outwit their power-hungry counterpart who'll stop at nothing to achieve a proper "happy ending"—even if it means destroying a kingdom.

Wyrd Sisters (Discworld) is another Pratchett title that has dropped to $3.99. It isn't fairy tale themed--although all of these are fantasy--but draws from several Shakespeare plays which I thought would entertain many here.

Book description:

Terry Pratchett’s fantasy classic Wyrd Sisters, a novel in the Discworld series, is the story of Granny Weatherwax, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have.

Generally, these loners don't get involved in anything, mush less royal intrigue. but then there are those times they can't help it. As Granny Weatherwax is about to discover, though, it's a lot harder to stir up trouble in the castle than some theatrical types would have you think. Even when you've got a few unexpected spells up your sleeve.

Granny Weatherwax teams with two other witches — Nanny Ogg and Margat Garlick - as an unlikely alliance to save a prince and restore him to the throne of Lancre, in a tale that borrows — or is it parodies — some of William Shakespeare's best-loved works.

While other Pratchett titles have dropped occasionally this is the first time these two titles have dropped this low--I've been watching them for years!

Marvelous Transformations Giveaway: Victoria T.'s List

(US / UK Links)

Today is the last day to enter! Post your entries by 11:59 PST 1/27/2014.

Victoria T. was the next to submit a list of fairy tale and folklore nonfiction titles that have most influenced her for her entries in the Marvelous Transformations Giveaway.

Here are her list of titles. Thanks for sharing Victoria T. You have five entries in the giveaway!

And thanks for explaining why the books are important to you, Victoria. I really enjoyed your comments.

(US / UK Links)

1. Jack Zipes' The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood: When Zipes resembled how the tale's protagonist is defamed by victim blaming, I found it revolutionising.

(US / UK Links)

2. Marina Warner's From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers: Reading this book made me want to specialise in fairy tale literature for my current PhD. Its emphasis on female folklorists has not been surpassed since.

(US / UK Links)

3. Boria Sax's Serpent & Swan: Animal Bride Folklore & Literature: For rediscovering that the figure of the beast is more man than animal after all.

(US / UK Links)

4. Martin Sutton's The Sin-Complex: a Critical Study of English Versions of the Grimm's Kinder Und Hausmaechen in the Nineteenth Century: for introducing me to so many amazing English translations of the Grimms' text. Without these translators, the English-speaking world would never know the power of the Grimms' amazing tales.

Heidi's note: The Sin-Complex was Sutton's thesis and is available for reading in PDF format on the University of Auckland's website. It is very much copyrighted and the published edition is long out of print (and quite expensive usually if you can find it). According to WorldCat, only 74 libraries in the world have a copy in their holdings, so getting a copy of it to study may be a challenge otherwise.

(US / UK Links)

5. Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (Vintage): For making me laugh when he called Snow White's dwarves 'stunted penises' due to their skillful penetration into dark holes and caves!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Marvelous Transformations Giveaway: Beth G.'s List

(US / UK Links)

Only 2 days left to enter!

Beth G. was the next to submit a list of fairy tale and folklore nonfiction titles that have most influenced her for her entries in the Marvelous Transformations Giveaway.

Here are her list of titles. Thanks for sharing Beth G. You have five entries in the giveaway!

(US / UK Links)

1. The Teller's Tale: Lives of the Classic Fairy Tale Writers by Sophie Raynard

(US / UK Links)

2. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales edited by Jack Zipes

(US / UK Links)

3. Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies by Cristina Bacchilega

(US / UK Links)

4. Critical and Creative Perspectives on Fairy Tales: An Intertextual Dialogue between Fairy-Tale Scholarship and Postmodern Retellings (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Vanessa Joosen

(US / UK Links)

5. Clever Maids: The Secret History of the Grimm Fairy Tales by Valerie Paradiz