Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. There’s something about the idea of the story, the timelessness (in the fairy tales by Perrault and Grimm she sleeps for a hundred years) and the stillness of sleep and the wonder of coming across that stillness – the raging tempests of fairy troubles or political troubles and the thorns around the castle contrasted with that stillness – that has always appealed to me.
Anyway, my cousin and fellow blogger, Andrea Lundgren, and I love to write and one of our favorite things to write are short story twists on fairy tales. We started with The Twelve Dancing Princess. I was accused of making my version sound like Dostoyevsky (which is unfair, since I haven’t read much by him) and she wrote her version giving more time to the romance than appears in the original. We next did Sleeping Beauty and have been working on our Cinderallas. Cinderella’s hard to do because it’s been told so many ways it’s difficult to find a fresh approach, but we each think we’ve found one.
But Andrea not only wrote her version of Sleeping Beauty, but she published it online. It is available for free on her website (click here) and on Goodreads and I wanted to share my review of her story and my love of this fairy tale.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Journalism meets Fairy Tales meets Political Intrigue meets Romance, all contained in “But Kisses Never Hurt Me”. What really was fun was the perspective taken on this story. It is told from the view of Briswold, who is a journalist. The man telling him the story, and then recruiting him in his schemes, is Eustace, a con artist now involved in court politics. And at the center of all the scheming is Aurora, more active than in the traditional tale.
The original story is all there – spindle, fairies, the curse – but with a new twist. My brother said it reminded him of those 1930-40s film noirs and movies about journalists…only set in a kingdom, near a forest, in a more medieval time.
I definitely recommend it, especially if you like fairy tales, but even if you don’t usually, it’s not a usual fairy tale.
If you are at all interested in the history of the story, Andrea wrote an article in which she discusses it – how it changed and became increasingly less dark and more moral through the years. She also discusses the general trend in fairy tales from dark to lighter and now (such as with Maleficent) a little darker again.
Click here to read all three versions of the fairy tale by Giambattista Basile, Charles Perrault, and the Brothers Grimm.