Monday, September 25, 2017

New Book: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo



The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo (Author), Sara Kipin (Illustrator) is officially released this week. This is for Bardugo's fans as well as those interested in what an author writes when she creates fairy tales for her fictional world. Intriguing.

According to an LA Times article about the book (the article by Tracy Brown is much longer and interesting, so do read it all by following the link!):

Fans of Bardugo can continue to visit the dark fantasy universe in the writer’s next work, “The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic.” And yes, it’s set in the world of Grisha.

“It’s a collection of stories,” Bardugo said. “The kind of stories that the characters in the books might have heard growing up. They’re basically the fairy tales and folk tales of the Grisha world.”

Book description:

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Enter the Grishaverse...

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, the tales in The Language of Thorns will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, each of them lavishly illustrated and culminating in stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Book: Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale by Corey Rosen Schwartz



Twinderella, A Fractioned Fairy Tale by Corey Rosen Schwartz (Author) and Deborah Marcero (Illustrator) was released earlier this month and promptly entered a small, small subgenre of books that use fairy tales to teach math concepts. If you were paying attention, you noticed that this book is not subtitled a "Fractured Fairy Tale" but actually a "Fractioned Fairy Tale." Got ya, didn't they?

I've only been able to preview the book so I don't know the ending, but the reviews are positive and I am rather insanely curious to know how the story is resolved with two sisters and one prince! And this is a kid's book so keep in mind it will be clever and innocent, not something needing a brown paper wrapper.

Be sure to page down to preview the first pages of the book yourself.

Book description:

Have you heard the story of Cinderella? Well, you don't know the half of it.

Cinderella had a twin sister, Tinderella. They each did half the housework, half the mending, and half the mean step-sister tending. But when they meet only one prince, what will they do?

The whole story has twice the magic and double the fun!

From the author The Three Ninja Pigs comes the fractioned fairy tale of Cinderella and her less-famous sister.






Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip



Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia A. McKillip is on sale in ebook format TODAY ONLY for $1.99. McKillip uses many folklore themes to create her stories.

Book description:

Featuring three brand-new stories and an original introduction by Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn.

Bestselling author Patricia A. McKillip (The Riddle-Master of Hed) is one of the most lyrical writers gracing the fantasy genre. With the debut of her newest work, Dreams of Distant Shores is a true ode to her many talents. Within these pages you will find a youthful artist possessed by both his painting and his muse and seductive travelers from the sea enrapturing distant lovers. The statue of a mermaid comes suddenly to life, and two friends are transfixed by a haunted estate.

Fans of McKillip’s ethereal fiction will find much to delight them; those lucky enough to be discovering her work will find much to enchant them.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bargain Ebook: Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon for $1.99



Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale by Carolyn Turgeon is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. It is usually in the $9 or more range.

Book description:

Two sheltered princesses, one wounded warrior; who will live happily ever after?

Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.

Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart….

A surprising take on the classic tale, Mermaid is the story of two women with everything to lose. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, it will make you think twice about the fairytale you heard as a child, keeping you in suspense until the very last page.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

New Book: Relief after Hardship: The Ottoman Turkish Model for The Thousand and One Days by Ulrich Marzolph



Relief after Hardship: The Ottoman Turkish Model for The Thousand and One Days (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Ulrich Marzolph was released earlier this year, another entry in Wayne State University Press's Series in Fairy-Tale Studies.

Marzolph is a scholar of Islamic studies and has previously published books about the Arabian Nights (Thousand and One Nights), not to be confused with this book's topic, The Thousand and One Days, of which I admit to not having been very familiar when I read this--mostly because reliable English translations are not really around. One public domain version can be found at The thousand and one days; a companion to the "Arabian nights" by Miss (Julia) Pardoe at archives.org, a version that is much abbreviated and intended for a "safe" audience.

You can also find early editions (in two volumes) at The Persian and Turkish tales, compleat, Volume 1 By François Pétis de La Croix and The Thousand and One Days: Persian Tales compleat, Volume 1 By François Pétis de La Croix at Google Books.

Anyway, this is a fascinating volume about a relatively forgotten book of folk tales with a discussion of their sources, their influences, as well as summaries and discussions of the tales. If this area of folklore interests you, this is a must read.

Book description:

The Thousand and One Days, a companion collection to The Thousand and One Nights, was published in 1710-1712 by French Orientalist scholar François Pétis de la Croix who advertised it as the faithful, albeit selective translation of a Persian work. Subsequent research has found that The Thousand and One Days is actually the adapted translation of a fifteenth-century anonymous Ottoman Turkish compilation titled Relief after Hardship. This compilation, in turn, is the enlarged translation of an equally anonymous Persian collection of tales that likely dates back to as early as the thirteenth century. The tales in both the Ottoman Turkish and the Persian collections are mostly tales of the marvelous and the strange, a genre that dominated much of the narrative literatures of the pre-modern Muslim world.

Ulrich Marzolph's Relief after Hardship: The Ottoman Turkish Model for The Thousand and One Days is a detailed assessment of the Ottoman Turkish compilation and its Persian precursor. Based upon Andreas Tietze's unpublished German translation of the Ottoman Turkish Ferec ba'd es-sidde, it traces the origins of the collection's various tales in the pre-modern Persian and Arabic literatures and its impact on Middle Eastern and world tradition and folklore. Ottoman Turkish literature proves to be a suitable candidate for the transmission of tales from East to West long before the European translation of The Thousand and One Nights. Additionally, the concept of "relief after hardship" has the same basic structure as the European fairy tale, wherein the protagonist undergoes a series of trials and tribulations before he attains a betterment of his status. Marzolph contends that the early reception of these tales from Muslim narrative tradition might well have had an inspiring impact on the nascent genre of the European fairy tale that has come to know international success today.

This fascinating compilation of tales is being presented for the first time to an English language audience along with a comprehensive survey of its history, as well as detailed summaries and extensive comparative annotations to the tales that will be of interest to literature and folklore scholars.

About the Author

Ulrich Marzolph is a professor of Islamic studies at the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany. Having served on the editorial board of the Enzyklopädie des Märchens (1986-2015), he is now conducting a research project studying the impact of narratives from the Muslim Middle East on Western tradition. He is the editor of The Arabian Nights Reader (Wayne State University Press, 2006) and The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective (Wayne State University Press, 2007).

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

New Book: The Pleasures of Metamorphosis: Japanese and English Fairy Tale Transformations of "The Little Mermaid"



The Pleasures of Metamorphosis: Japanese and English Fairy Tale Transformations of "The Little Mermaid" (Series in Fairy-Tale Studies) by Lucy Fraser was officially released in June, the latest release in Wayne State University Press's Series in Fairy-Tale Studies.

Okay, I received a review copy of this and I admit although mermaids, Japanese folklore, etc. are not my primary areas of focus of interest lately, this book is fascinating and kept me reading. And really, I find the fascination with Andersen's Little Mermaid, well, fascinating. It has never been my favorite fairy tale, but this book helped me understand the ongoing resonance it has with English and Japanese readers (and viewers). It makes me want to revamp the Little Mermaid annotated tale section on SurLaLune site (which is going to get relaunched someday, hopefully by the end of the year!). In the end, this book is catnip because it does study the story cross-culturally which truly is one of my primary interests in fairy tale studies in general.

The Series in Fairy-Tale Studies continues to impress and capture me. So grateful for it and the opportunity it is providing scholars to publish a wide variety of studies in the field.

Book description:

Lucy Fraser's The Pleasures of Metamorphosis: Japanese and English Fairy Tale Transformations of "The Little Mermaid" explores Japanese and English transformations of Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 Danish fairy tale "The Little Mermaid" by focusing on pleasure as a means to analyze the huge variety of texts that transform a canonical fairy tale such as Andersen's. Fraser examines over twenty Japanese and English transformations, including literary texts, illustrated books, films, and television series. This monograph also draws upon criticism in both Japanese and English, meeting a need in Western fairy-tale studies for more culturally diverse perspectives. Fraser provides a model for critical cross-cultural fairy tale analysis in her examination of the journey of a single fairy tale across two languages.

The book begins with the various approaches to reading and writing fairy tales, with a history of "The Little Mermaid" in Japanese and English culture. Disney's The Little Mermaid and Studio Ghibli's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea are discussed as examples that simulate pleasurable physical experiences through animation's tools of music and voice, and visual effects of movement and metamorphosis. Fraser then explores the literary effects of the fairy tale by male authors, such as Oscar Wilde, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, and Abe Kobo, who invoke familiar fairy-tale conventions and delineate some of the pleasures of what can be painful enchantment with a mermaid or with the fairy tale itself. The author examines the portrayals of the mermaid in three short stories by Matsumoto Yuko, Kurahashi Yumiko, and Ogawa Yoko, engaging with familiar fairy tales, reference to fairy-tale research, and reflections on the immersive experience of reading. Women characters and authors are also hyperaware of the possible meanings of Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" and of the fairy tale itself, furthering the discussion with Nonaka Hiiragi's novel Ningyo-hime no kutsu, and D[di?]'s novel Sento no ningyo-hime to majo no mori, as well as an episode of the science fiction television series Dark Angel. Fraser concludes that the "pleasure" framework is useful for a cross-cultural study of creative engagements with and transformations of a particular fairy tale.

Few studies have examined Japanese fairy-tale transformations to the extent that Fraser has, presenting fascinating information that will intrigue fairy-tale scholars and those wanting to learn more about the representation of pleasure behind the imaginative and fantastical.

About the Author

Lucy Fraser is a lecturer in Japanese at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research on Japanese and English retellings of fairy tales in literature and popular culture has appeared in Marvels and Tales: Journal of Fairy-Tale Studies, Japan Forum, and Global Manga Studies. She has also published translations of literature by leading writers such as Kawakami Hiromi and Hoshino Tomoyuki and of literary criticism by academics such as Honda Masuko and Kan Satoko.

Monday, September 4, 2017

New Book: Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf Vol. 1 by Hachijou Shin



Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf Vol. 1 by Hachijou Shin was released in June with the second volume due out in October, see Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf Vol. 2.

There's no description for the book other than "Based on the video game by Bandai Namco Entertainment, Inc."

But I did find the following description about the series on Crunchy Roll when they announced the publication plans for this series:

Red Riding Hood and the Big Sad Wolf is a cheeky take on the Red Riding Hood story for fans of Alice in the Country of... and Dictatorial Grimoire, and includes plenty of familiar faces from Grimm fairy tales. This clever reinvention of the classic tale reverses the roles of the original, giving readers a lovable, cry-baby Wolf and an outgoing Red Riding Hood who just can’t help but want to tease him.

Once upon a time there lived a kind, sensitive Wolf. He loved the warm sun, the beautiful flowers, and the song of the birds. But one day the Wolf encountered a girl in a red hood. She delighted in making the Wolf cry, and immediately fell in love with his sorrowful face. Now she brings her colorful friends to torment him every day! What is the story behind all the strange characters populating the deep dark wood, and what is a big, sad wolf to do?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bargain Ebook: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg




Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. If you read the description you can see inspiration from Gingerbread Man and Hansel and Gretel in its pages, at least the food tropes from those tales.

Book description:

Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Newish Book: Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella (Tyme #2) by Megan Morrison



Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella (Tyme #2) by Megan Morrison was released last year but never made it onto the SurLaLune Blog. This is the second in a series by Morrison. The book is the sequel to Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel.

Book description:

Ella Coach has one wish: revolution. Her mother died working in a sweatshop, and Ella wants every laborer in the Blue Kingdom to receive fairer treatment. But to make that happen, she'll need some high-level support...

Prince Dash Charming has one wish: evolution. The Charming Curse forced generations of Charming men to lie, cheat, and break hearts -- but with the witch Envearia's death, the curse has ended. Now Dash wants to be a better person, but he doesn't know where to start...

Serge can grant any wish -- and has: As an executive fairy godfather, he's catered to the wildest whims of spoiled teenagers from the richest, most entitled families in Blue. But now a new name has come up on his list, someone nobody's ever heard of... Ella Coach.

This is a story about three people who want something better and who together find the faith to change their worlds. It's "Cinderella," brilliantly reimagined, and a delightful expansion of the wonderful world of Tyme.