Tag: Review

Enchanted Kingdoms: We’re All Mad Here

Written by duo J.A. Armitage and J.A. Cullican, We’re All Mad Here is an Alice and Wonderland retelling that kicks off the Enchanted Kingdoms anthology, paying homage to this quirky classic with several twists.

Style

Together, Armitage and Cullican write in realistic narrative style that is similar to the narrative style to the book The Duff. The two aren’t afraid to throw some slang into the proses, and use witty ellipsis (for example: “…sorry dead lady’s house.”) The descriptions, however, relate to pop culture that anyone with knowledge of the classic and the live-action Disney version of the tale. The setting is well-developed but also left to the reader’s imagination. One setting description that stands out to me is “croquet garden;” it’s the most poetic description of them all.

The authors’ dialogue is interesting. It pays respect to the original characters of the classic and each is unique to the characters.

The authors pay attention to the thoughts of the narrator and the dialogue between the characters.

Characters

There are several characters in this book. The main character is Alice, who goes to help her mom clear an old house for antiques on her eighteenth birthday. The one rule is don’t disturb the mirror on the second floor. However, her mom causes the mirror on the second floor to fall on Alice, transporting Alice back 1852 England. She joins forces with Albus Rabbit, Kit, Kit’s grandmother, and the Mad Hatter to get back to her own time while she helps out in a political campaign against Mrs. Heart.

The Mad Hatter, ironically, is described as having Johnny Depp looks from his Edward Scissorhands era. He’s brightly complex and moody, and has something in common with Alice that forms a romantic bond between the two while external forces (the citizens of the town in 1852, and Mrs. Heart) try to keep them apart.

The mirror qualifies as a character or at least an entity that has powers that are meant to be hidden and not disturbed. But together, Hatter and Alice try to defeat Mrs. Heart.

Overall

If you’re looking for something witty and quirky and unexpected twists, please, read We’re All Mad Here and support the Enchanted Kingdoms anthology.

Enchanted Kingdoms – The Ruin of Snow

In this anthology of fairy tale retellings called Enchanted Kingdoms, there’s one of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It’s called The Ruin of Snow by up-and-coming fantasy author Lacy Sheridan. It’s one of my favorite retellings and creates an empowering, complex female protagonist as opposed to the classic telling in which Snow White is a damsel in distress.

The Style

Sheridan writes descriptions intricately to the point you can envision the world she has created and the emotions coursing through the narrator’s veins. There is clever word choice and the proses are realistic to a human.

Characters

In The Ruin of Snow, Sheridan creates realistic characters that fit into their alignment and makes clever changes to make an appealing twist on this fairy tale. In addition, most characters are written complexly, but if they aren’t there alignment is justified.

The protagonist is a witch named Nevya who was raised to use magic to kill and hide her magic. She has two older sisters named Serafina and Tulia, who are full witches. As siblings, they were raised to compete against each other for their mother’s approval.

In this complex world, things go wrong in Neyva’s world after she kills her suitor. Nevya eventually finds out what she has to do in order to become a full witch and decides to flee her situation after one of her sisters tries to kill her.

In a hefty turn of events, Neyva stumbles upon seven people cursed into shapeshifters, a good twist instead of them being dwarves. In exchange for shelter and safety, she offers to break their curse.

Character wise, there’s an appeal to the LGBT+ audience with one of the characters named Kye, who is also one of the seven shapeshifters. Overall, this is exciting because not a lot of fairy tales rewrite history to allow the LGBT community into the lore.

Overall

For those who are looking for something different and uniquely-written, I suggest The Ruin of Snow to you.