This short story comes from a collection called Five Magic Spindles, which was developed from a writing contest of stories based on a fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. How fun is that right? I had a chance to review Rachel Kovaciny’s The Man on the Buckskin Horse. A Sleeping Beauty retelling, Western style!
Awaken the Magic! Emma, a good-hearted midwife, rushes to warn a neighbor about the hired gunman headed to his ranch but can’t prevent the catastrophe in store for his daughter. Palli, the prophesied daughter of a king, is fated to rescue her people from the destruction called forth by a vengeful priest. Roselee, a ghost with a faulty memory, flits through the halls of an insane asylum in search of the mortal boy who can help her save the day. Arabella, a living spirit trapped in her own comatose body, helplessly watches from the realm of dreams as her usurping cousin plots to destroy her once and for all. Tanza, a tomb raider on a distant planet, struggles to make a living and doesn’t need a long-lost prince to complicate her difficult life. One way or another, these beauties have no intention of sleeping away their problems.
Fairy tale retellings are a popular genre and while some are fun to read, some you know exactly what to expect (it is, after all, a retelling), but I can say that I was pleasantly surprised with what Kovaciny did with her short story!
From the beginning, she stayed true to Sleeping Beauty’s story, but also made it her own in a fun and entertaining tale for us readers. I really enjoyed the voice of the narrator and the way she told Sleeping Beauty in her unique Western vibe. Emma, the narrator, had some spunk and I loved that. You wouldn’t think you could connect with characters so quickly in a short story, but Kovaciny managed just that!
I haven’t had a chance to read the others in the collection, but if they’re anything like Rachel’s, then this whole collection is a win!
What’s one of your favorite fairy tale and retelling?
(Thank you to Rooglewood Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)