Book Title: A Goose Girl
Book Author: K.M. Shea
Page Count: 117
Publishing Date: February 5th, 2018
Publisher: Self Published
Date Read: March 2nd, 2018
Synopsis: As a royal lady’s maid, Rynn has one task: Escort the princess of Astoria to her intended’s kingdom and return home. Unfortunately for the former goose girl, the princess has other plans.
When her charge flees, Rynn’s not only forced to take the princess’s place, but she must also contend with a spiteful fairy horse, a good dose of political intrigue, and Conrad…the mysterious and all-too observant lord who consumes more of her thoughts than he should.
But with war looming on the horizon, Rynn stands to lose more than her heart. Can she convince the princess to return, end the charade, and make peace between the kingdoms?
More importantly, can she possibly avoid a death sentence when the truth is revealed?
The Original Faerie Tale:
The original tale of The Goose Girl was collected by (surprise, surprise) The Brothers Grimm. It appears to have been first published in 1815 in their collection Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales — Grimms’ Fairy Tales).
A Goose Girl is fun, fabulous, and frivolous! It has magic, sweetness, and humor. For those who love a story that is short, but packs a punch, this one is for you!
I loved this one so much. Shea has once again written in some strong female characters who overcome crazy obstacles. The story had whimsy and intrigue and plenty of good humor!
I loved the predictability of the retelling, and the little unpredictable bits that came from Shea’s imagination. What I loved the most was how she gave rhyme and reason to some of the unexplained aspects of the original tale. There was a purpose and reason behind the handkerchief with the drops of blood, the switching of the princess and lady’s maid, and the talking horse. I even loved the nods to the original aspects of the tale that were changed to fit this story.
I really loved Rynn and her spirit and conscience, and Davina and her hilarious frivolity, but Falada was the best part. Man, he was sassy! That horse had me laughing every time he opened his mouth!
If you were on the hunt for a quick read with a pleasant mood, I’d suggest getting the entire Entwined Tales series! This one was charming and whimsical, and full of hilarity! I also found it wildly entertaining and refreshing to have a snarky, male god faerie. A Goose Girl made me incredibly excited to read the rest of the series and find out what shenanigans ensue from our sarcastic faerie godfather!!
Thank you to the author for providing me with this free e-copy in exchange for my honest review and as part of my Faerie Tale Friday post.
Discussion (mild spoiler alert):
Have you read the original?
The original tale had a gruesome ending for both Falada and the lady’s maid. The lady’s maid was the true villain of the tale, and had a very unpleasant demeanor. Poor Falada was a victim of her selfishness, and fear of being found out.
The tale never really explained the handkerchief and the drops of blood. It held power for the princess when she held it, and held power over her when the lady’s maid retrieved it from the princess dropping it in to the river. It also never explained why the lady’s maid did what she did, and why the princess took so long to speak up.
So, the plot of the original tale involved the lady’s maid refusing to follow the princesses orders. She found the lost handkerchief floating in the river and used it to order the princess to trade places with her so she could marry the prince. She ordered the execution of poor Falada since he observed the whole situation. The King took pity on the princess, when he thought she was the lady’s made, and found her a job herding geese with a goose boy that ends up telling the King about her strange behavior. When it was found out that the lady’s maid made the switch between herself and the princess (due to the princess confessing to an iron stove with the King listening outside of it since she inexplicably couldn’t tell him to his face), she was sentenced to death by being dragged by horses inside a spiked barrel while nude.
So, what was the moral of the tale?
In my opinion, the moral was to be honest and to treat each other with respect. The princess ordered the maid about, and the maid seemed to hate it. Shea kept that in her tale, as Davina was a little spoiled and did not pay attention to her treatment of Rynn.
How much similarity, and difference, is too much in a retelling?
I felt like Shea found a good balance of similarities and differences. She kept some of the names, like Conrad and Falada. She kept the handkerchief and bloods drops, and the power it held. She even threw in a barrel in the story, and kept the plot line pretty close. But I loved the differences she threw in, mainly in the plot and by adding several new characters. I enjoyed having reasons why the handkerchief had power, and why Falada talked. Conrad had a bigger role in the story, and the gruesome deaths were left out. The princess confessed in a different manner, and the most enjoyable part for me was that Falada had a huge role in the story besides being a mounted head on a wall that was spoken to each day. Plus, we had a fairy god father (whom will follow us through the entire series I’m told)!
Would you read a retelling that you knew was close to the original?
I would, and have, obviously. I like seeing subtle differences in retellings, and I like seeing major differences. I like predictability and unpredictability. Sometimes it is nice to sit with a story that feels familiar but has a few surprises.
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