May. 13th, 2010

anaraine: The word "dreamer" emblazoned across a picture of clouds in a blue sky (for 3W4DW). ([dw] dreamer)
[personal profile] anaraine
Once Upon a Winter's Night by Dennis L. McKiernan

I found this novel about eight years ago in my library and I loved it so much that I actually hunted down a hardback copy for myself. It's an excellent retelling of a fairytale that stuck with the author through his childhood, and the book remains at the top of my "reread pile". It's a sweet fantasy romance that I would recommend for light reading.

From the inside cover:

Once upon a winter's night, a poor crofter's daughter is traded by her family for a lifetime of riches. Golden-haired Camille is sent away from all that she has ever known to marry a man she has never met: Prince Alain of the Summerwood, in the realm of Faery.

Carried to her fate by a huge white bear, Camille enters a land where time holds no sway—and where wonders both marvelous and malevolent abound. And though love blossoms between Camille and her prince, an unknown sadness seems to haunt him and he will never let her see his unmasked face. But then one night, thinking to break whatever curse has been laid upon him, Camille acts on her own—with dreadful results, and all she loves is terribly, magically swept away.

Now, to regain what she has lost, Camille must embark on a desperate quest through the hinterlands of Faery, seeking a mysterious place lying somewhere east of the sun and west of the moon...

ISBN: 0-451-45840-0
Length: 380 pages (hardback)

(And if you like this book, there are apparently sequels! I just discovered this last week, so I haven't read them yet, but I'll be very excited to get my hands on them.)
merlinpendragon: (Default)
[personal profile] merlinpendragon
I first read this a few years after I got out of the US Army (early 1980's) and loved it.  I kind of thought of it as America's version of James Bond.

Title:  Fire Below Zero
Authors:  Barnaby Conrad and Niko Mastorakis

ISBN:  0440125243

ettegoom: (Bat)
[personal profile] ettegoom
I don't know if this book counts or not, but I know very few people who have ever heard of it, and it can be difficult to find.

"Beauty tells the story of Beauty, the daughter of the Duke of Westfaire, and begins in 14th Century England. However, this is an England of an alternate universe, as magic abounds here, and we find out that Beauty is half faerie. Because of a social slight, one of her faerie aunts laid a curse upon her, stating that upon her sixteenth birthday, the daughter of the Duke of Westfaire would prick her finger upon a spindle and die. This sounds like the typical version of Sleeping Beauty that we all heard our parents read to us as children, right? Wrong. Beauty has an illegitimate half-sister who--technically--is also the daughter of the Duke of Westfaire, and was born on the same day as Beauty. The curse comes to fruition, with Beauty's sister, Beloved, pricking her finger and falling into a deep sleep, as do the rest of the occupants of the castle keep.

In a departure from the typical fairy tale or fantasy tale, Beauty herself bravely sets out to attempt to right this wrong. She vows to find her mother in order to learn how to break the enchantment

This is an interesting book that I first encountered at the tender age of 14.  I really enjoyed the way the author links a huge number of well known fairy tales to the single character of Beauty.  Rereading it again recently as an adult, I still enjoyed this aspect, but also found the environmental, political and spiritual messages in the book fascinating.  I found the style easy to read, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy. I also  like the fact that it has a strong female heroine who takes charge of her own destiny, rather than leaving it to fate!


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October 2012


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