Do you like retelling of fairy-tales? Gail Carson Levine is the author for you. She is witty, and pokes fun at fairy-tales all the while making you love the story even more.
“King Harrumphrey tapped the scroll. “Not that ‘any harrumph.’”
The scribe wrote noble in tiny letters to the left of man.
The king was getting annoyed. “Not ‘any harrumphman.’ ‘Any harrumph.’”
– For Biddle’s Sake by Gail Carson Levine
Just by this part of the book, you can grasp the humor Levine puts in her words. Her use of run-on sentences leaves you out of breath and laughing from the repetitiveness. Her objective to point out the obvious will keep you entertained. In this instance, she has a king that replaces words with harrumph and expects people to know what he means.
The Fairy’s Return, a fairy-tale based on the German fairy-tale The Goose Girl by Brothers Grimm, is about a little princess and a baker’s son who fall in love. The baker’s son [Robin] never gets to finish a job with his two word-inventing brothers and rhymer father. The Princess [Lark] never gets to play a game fairly because everyone is afraid to let her fail at one.
King Harrumphrey will not let her marry Robin when he finally treats her like a real person. The baker will not let Robin marry Lark when she listens and laughs at all his jokes.
The king decided to hold a contest for all the princes to come make her laugh! So Princess Lark thinks of sad things to make herself cry for days because of her love for Robin.
Fairy Ethelinda [remember her from ‘The Fairy’s Mistake?!] gifts Robin with a golden goose after a series of events. That won’t accomplish his dream to marry the princess, but it is a start…
Will Fairy Ethelinda get over her fear of gifting/curing people? Will Robin have to marry the innkeeper’s third daughter Golly? Will Lark laugh at an unexpected prince and be forced to marry him? Will Robin ever finish a joke with his family? Will Lark ever be treated as a normal person? Will the end up happily ever after? Will the goose ever get a break?
Levine has a splash of humor you will not find anyone else. Using plays on words and awkward humor, this is perfect for a story for a young girl or for a grown woman who can’t get enough of fairy-tales (cough me). I will always be a fan of Levine’s writing and I am so happy I picked them up first on my own quest to reread all my favorite books.