Sunday, April 19, 2015

Once Upon a Winter's Night

Today's Book Recommendation is Once Upon A Winter's Night by Dennis L. McKiernan.

Once upon a winter's night a poor ailing man trades his daughter's life for riches that he has never imagined that will last a lifetime. Now his poor daughter Camille is sent to live with the mysterious Prince Alain of the Summerwood. Here in this Kingdom of Summer love blossoms between Camille and the Prince who she never sees behind a mask of sadness. For Alain is under a dreadful curse and he believes that nothing can be done to lift the curse. Camille believes that together they can overcome this obstacle and decides to take matters into her own hands despite the warnings given to her. Now, she must deal with the consequences as everything is swept away from her. Now she must journey through the Faery realm in search of somewhere east of the sun and west of the moon.

If you haven't picked up on it yet, you should know that I love a good fairy tale retelling. This is one of the better ones. It reminded me of a favorite childhood movie, The Polar Bear King, which is retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This also happens to be one of my favorite fairy tales. However McKiernan takes it one step further and also weaves in a retelling that draws from a few other fairy tales and also Greek mythology. This is no easy take and the author does it with a beautiful edge.

Specifically the fairy tale is East of the Sun and West of the Moon whose themes are true love can conquer all. Where it delves into the Beast mythos is with the fact that Alain takes the shape of a bear during the day and he becomes a man only at night. While this might sound cliche it is only because the story is so familiar. What makes this stand out is how gracefully McKiernan writes.

This is a favorite series as well as there are three other books that follow this one and apparently a fifth book that I have yet to come across. I will warn you that these novels are sometimes hard to come by and you might have to venture onto Amazon or Barnes and Noble online to find them. Your best bet might also be to buy them used. Trust me though, it is well worth the leg work.

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