I enjoy this book soooooooooooo much! I hope some of you read it and enjoyed it as well, it’s such a silly little delight.
I read this book for the first time when I was 8 or 9 I think and it BLEW MY MIND. I was a fairy tale kid, I read all the Lang collections (or had them read aloud to me) and I knew all the fairy tale rules and stuff. So to have this book that takes all that fairy tale content and turns it over and around was just shocking to me. I think I can safely say that this book series had a big effect on my growth into media criticism, seeing that you can look at a fictional universe and see something different. And it FOR SURE had an effect on my growth as a feminist. This book absolutely NAILS the way women can be dismissed and ignored, and how that can be a strength and a weakness.
Questions for those of you who read it:
Did you notice that all the good people were women and all the bad people were men or was that seamless? For me, it was seamless. The point of the book is being willing to look past custom and the way things “have” to be done, and part of that is the way things “have” to be done tends to benefit men. So of course there will be dumb knights who have way too much power to mess up your life, and power mad men who are angry when they don’t get what they think they deserve. And there will be women who are ultimately harmless because they just don’t have the ability to do real harm. And women who are smart and outside the box thinkers because the box is so frustrating to them.
Was our heroine TOO perfect? The whole point of Cimerone is to be a smart practical princess instead of the usual dim proper pretty princesses. So she sort of HAS to be smart and practical. But it is a bit dull having a heroine that perfect. Honestly, re-reading the book, I like Alianore better just because she is silly sometimes and doesn’t know everything.
Would you rather be a Dragon’s Princess, a Regular Princess, or a Witch? WITCH! I have always wanted Morwen’s life, ever since I first read these books. A lovely little house, interesting challenging work, friends visiting, lots of pets. I’d have dogs instead of cats, but otherwise, everything is perfect. Second choice, regular princess. So long as they let me read whatever I wanted and pick my own prince, I wouldn’t mind brushing my hair and embroidering and talking to people all day. Third choice, Dragon’s Princess. Organizing the library sounds really fun, but I don’t want to cook.
Would you rather be melted, turned to stone, or turned into a toad? Melted, for sure! It probably feels very unpleasant, but then I can get myself back together again and reappear in a few days. Turned to stone may not feel bad at all, but you would lose so much time while being stone and that seems weird. And toad, obviously, is the worst because it is irreversible.