read the guest post by the Ms Charlotte Henley Babb here.
Ok, so our novel begins with our protagonist Maven, who's out-of-luck (and a job). But her day starts to get better after she sees a book about wishin. Meanwhile, Fiona, the head-honcho of fairy-godmothers looks worried and before you know it, she's hired Maven to become a fairy-godmother (in training).
Maven, being a modern women from Mudane (commonly referred to as "the world we live in"), brings a very different perspective. She causes the unlikable Cinderella character to run away from the prince (and into the arms of the caterer), encourages the girl who wishes for small feet (so the prince will fall in love with her) to work for the princess instead, and generally behaves in an unconventional manner.
The characters in this book are, on the whole, excellent. Maven is marvellously portrayed, as is Tulip the (other) fairy godmother in training. So is, for that matter, everyone involved in the castle plot - Vivienne (sp?), cook, Daisy, Henry, H.R. All of them are really amusing and on the whole sympathetic characters.
Less easy to understand characters are Belle and Fiona (although I have a sneaking suspiscion this might be on purpose). They're entertaining, but I don't quite fully understand them.
And then, there are the two who's existence I don't see the point of - Jones (a human from Mudane who keeps passing through) and the Snake (really, is it good or bad?). Well, I think they played a part in the plot, but I wasn't sure how and most of the time, I preferred to forget about them. Oh well, they weren't very key characters anyway.
Through this book, I was made to think about the role of fairy-tales. For some reason, even though I grew up on sanitised Disney versions of fairytales, I never ever wanted to wait for a Prince Charming. In fact, I went around telling everyone that girls were better than boys (and got into a lot of fights with boys bigger than me as a result). So, I've never actually considered the implications of fairy-tales. Well, leaving out the question of weather the girls in the fairytales are likable, why is it that only young beautiful girls get to make wishes (meaning I don't fufill the requirements to get a wish). And what about the guys making a wish?
Well, if you haven't thought about this, this book will get you to think, and explore with you some of the possible answers.