Monthly Archives: February 2022

Retellings Revisited


Okay, so I get into a genre groove sometimes and I just have to ride it out until the next wave. Sorry? Anyway, today’s post is about a trilogy based on the Beauty and the Beast tale. The themes of love, betrayal, truth, and healing connect all three books beautifully. A beast is not always an evil creature, a man is not always a good man, but decisions always have consequences. Oh, and be on the look out for a Groundhog’s Day (the movie) vibe.

Year after year forever the curse visits Rhen and what is left of his kingdom. The beast ravages the castle and the surrounding villages. The royal family has been decimated, only Rhen  is left. The curse can only be lifted when a girl falls in love with him. He’s lost track of how many girls Grey, his faithful to a fault guard, has brought him, each one a failure. On this day, however, something different happens.

Harper is on guard as her brother, an enforcer for a local gang, “does his business”. From the shadows of her hideout she spots a suspicious looking man carrying a young woman. Though she suffers with a damaged foot due to cerebral palsy, she has a strong sense of right and wrong and what is happening right in front of her is definitely wrong. She attacks the man with the only weapon she has, a crowbar. Her selfless action lands her in a place unlike anything she’s ever seen, a fantastical world with monsters and magic. She is tough and stubborn and Rhen is resigned to his fate. Can the two ever find common ground? Will love finally break the curse?

The story continues in the second and third books where each character is transformed into something else. As they navigate these new roles, magic weaves around them making their lives both easier and worse. Their strength, resolve and bonds will be sorely tested as they must figure out a way to vanquish the force of evil in their lands.

OMG…these books are absolutely fabulous! I was left wrung out as I read the last page of the last book. It was a satisfying ending that I didn’t want to happen. Brigid Kemmer’s world building is brilliant. The relationships between the characters is authentic and compelling; the betrayals, love, respect, and strengths combine to make a complex dynamic. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good story.


Fairy Tales and Legends, Revisited, Again


So, do you remember when I was talking about retellings of fairy tales being some of my favorite stories? Right, just a couple of posts ago, yes. I’m here again to tell you about another couple of authors who shake things up in the land of tales. Two I loved and one I am still trying to get my head and heart around. Hunted and Sherwood by Meagan Spooner and Gilded by Marissa Meyer are all excellent books and I highly recommend each one.

She knows the forest by heart. Every path and tree are as familiar to her as her own hand. Though she now lives in the city with her family, she longs to be back in the mists and moss of it. Her chance comes at a heavy price though. Yeva’s father is a successful merchant who gambled everything on one shipment which was lost to bandits. With nothing left, they pack up their meager belongings and make the trek to the old hunting cabin. Her father is greatly changed and begins to go out hunting for weeks at a time. When he returns, he is haunted and mumbles about the beast that tracks him. He begs Beauty, Yeva’s pet name, to stay away but she can’t. She has to take care of her sisters who depend on her superior hunting skills to survive. One day, months after her father left for his latest hunting trip, she finds something that changes everything. The hunter has become the hunted but can her wits save her or will the beast deal the final blow.

I first thought that this book was going to be a straight forward retelling of Beauty and the Beast until the BIG TWIST! This was an excellent version of the story…not quite as good as Beauty by Robin McKinley (which is my absolute favorite), but it was different.


The tragic news that Robin of Locksley is dead reaches home. Marion, his betrothed and best friend since childhood is left shattered. How will she go on? How will the people of Locksley survive without Robin? Nottingham is under the thumb of the greedy Sheriff who raises taxes regularly and the people just don’t have anything left. She desperately wants to help but doesn’t know how. When a man in a green cloak appears and begins to harass the Sheriff and his henchman Guy of Gisborne, people begin to whisper Robin’s name again. As tensions increase, Robin of the Hood grows bold with his crimes but Gisborne has laid a trap for him. Will he fall for it or does he know better or…is it really Robin?

HOLY SMOKES!!! This one really caught me off guard. This is the one I’m still trying to wrap my head around. What happens is…well, you’ll see. Get back to me when you do and tell me how you feel about it.



Depending on who you ask, Serilda is either a master storyteller or a consummate liar. Her stories are full of magic and adventure, dark and light. She was blessed at birth by the god of lies and no one believes a word she says. One night, she runs afoul of the Erlking and his hunt by hiding his quarry. She tells him a fantastical tale and he halfway believes it. When the Hunt rides again, he calls to her and she is forced to go with him to his castle behind the veil. He demands that she prove her story is true or she will be killed and trapped forever in his world. She must spin straw into gold by morning. It’s an impossible task and she prays to the gods to help her. Salvation comes in the form of a strange boy who agrees to help her. Help, however, comes at a price. By morning, there is a pile of gold threaded bobbins and Serilda is allowed to go home. Over the next few months, she is summoned each month during the Hunt. She soon realizes there there is much more going on in the twisted mind of Erlking and it will take all of her cunning and some help from an unexpected source to break the curse and defeat the Erlking.

Wow, another fairy tale with some major twists! Meyer is an excellent writer as is evidenced by the popularity of all her other books. She knows how to make a once-familiar story something completely new. The Gilded series promises to be another fantastic read. If you are like me and love a good fairy tale retelling, this is MUST to add to your list.