Greetings and salutations everyone! I'm here today to talk about my favorite fairy tales. You may already know about some of them because of my Fairy Tale Commentaries, but you can never talk about fairy tales too much.
In no particular order:
The Little Good Mouse. Also known as "The Jolly King's Daughter" in the collection I first found it in, this is a rather unique fairy tale, involving a fairy who's best spell is turning herself into a mouse, a grumpy king and his son, and a beautiful princess who's kidnapped by the first fairy's rival. It's hard to sum this fairy tale up in a few words, so just go read it for yourself. (Also, it's a good story for when you're not in the mood for a romance, because the princess's love interest only appears in the last paragraph as a "Oh, by the way, she did get married so she could have a king." I'd love to see Disney make a movie out of this, because strong female protagonists right here.)
The Evil Enchanter. (I know Lang called it "Prince Narcissus and Princess Potentilla ... but I prefer "The Evil Enchanter better.) This is a fun story of a youngest-son prince under the protection of a fairy and in possession of a magic ring that turns him invisible but doesn't have the side affect of being consumed by the dark lord (which you would think would make this story less interesting, but it doesn't. Trust me, it doesn't). He uses the ring to spy on the daughter of a neighboring king who is rumored to be hideous, but the truth of the matter is that she's so breathtakingly beautiful that her very vain mother doesn't want her to be seen by anyone. Prince Narcissus falls in love with Lucetta (her name in the version I'm used to), but she also catches the eye of Grumadam, the Evil Enchanter.
The Golden Mermaid and The Golden Bird. These are two very similar tales that I love almost equally. For the first half of the fairy tale, they're identical, even, the only difference being that in the first, the young prince is helped by a talking wolf, and in the second, a talking golden fox. Their endings are similar, too. The biggest difference between the two stories is the third challenge the prince must face in order to capture the golden bird that has been eating his father's crops - in one, the prince is supposed to fetch the Golden Mermaid (which is accomplished by the wolf turning into a boat) and the other he's sent after the princess of the Golden Castle.
The White Cat, The Frog, The Frog Princess, and Puddocky, Four very similar tales that I love very much. "The White Cat" is a stand-out because it's the only one where the heroine is a cat, and "The Frog" stands out because it's the only one where the three brothers aren't princes competing for their father's throne. Puddocky also has some Rapunzel elements.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses (French Version). While the Grim version is good, there is a lack of depth to it. None of the princesses have any personality, the reason they dance is unclear, and there's no love between the soldier and the princess he marries. The French improves in every way, including presenting a completely different young man - Michael, or Stargazer, as he's called - a young cow-boy who is sent by a vision to the castle, giving personality to the youngest and eldest princesses - the youngest even gets a name, Lina - and having there be three trips down into the dance, rather than one.
Little One-Eye, Little Two-Eyes, and Little Three-Eyes, A Cinderella-esque tale that is hilariously unique. There are no words to describe it short of its title. Just go read it.
Casperl and the Princess. You might recognize this one from the Bookania Quests. That doesn't stop it from being my favorites.
Princess on the Glass Hill Another Cinderella-esque story, though in a genderswapped manner. And a challenge to climb a glass mountain instead of a ball. Horses instead of a fairy godmother. Golden apples instead of glass slippers. There is also a variant called "The Glass Mountain" that's sort of a cross between this story and the above "Casperl and the Princess."
Dorani A Fairy tale with elements from Cinderella and Rapunzel, this one is truly unique. And interesting.
Fairer-than-a-Fairy. Not only is that the most impractical name you could name your daughter, but indicating that your daughter is more beautiful than the fairies is downright dangerous. This story has elements of Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty, which should and does make for an awesome story - even if the logic occasionally leaves a bit to be desired. (But this is a fairy tale. What else can you expect?)
The Little Green Frog. I discovered this one while trying to hunt down the previous frog stories. This story, however, is more to the tune of "The Golden Bird" since it involves the prince seeking a bird for his father, and failing brilliantly to not wake up a castle as he sneaks out with a valuable. This one has a frog instead of a fox/wolf and the romantic plot is completely different. Also there are meddling fairies.
Felicia and the Pot of Pinks. Upon their father's death, the brother gets everything while the daughter only receives a ring and a pot of pinks. Brother (fittingly named Bruno) immediately becomes a jerk and does everything in his power to make his sister miserable. Except - gasp! - the chicken starts talking and reveals that they aren't truly siblings. And the cabbages talk, too. It's ... it's better than this, but ... just go read it.
Those are some of my favorite tales. So how many of these have you heard of before? What are some of your favorites? Doesn't fairy tale logic just make you want to laugh?
Swing by Alyssa's blog for an interview with Kimberley, and be sure to pick up some free books.
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