Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury
I finished the book in one sitting.
Allerleirauh is a retelling of the fairytale of the same name. If you're not familiar with it, well, does the name "Thousandfurs" or "Cape O' Rushes" ring a bell? That's an alternative title. It's about a king, who promised his wife that he would only remarry someone who had hair as golden as she. Unfortunately, the only person who fit the bill was his daughter, and the king did not have enough moral sense to realise all the problems with that. As a way of stalling, his daughter requested for three dresses, one like the sun, and one like the stars, plus a coat made of a thousand furs. Somehow, perhaps because he's mad, the king managed to do it. The smart princess decides to run away.
The later half of the retelling is slightly different from the fairy tale I remembered, but overall, the retelling follows the same arc as the book, so if you've read the fairy tale, you'll roughly know where it's going. It is, however, a lot deeper into the world and the story than the original fairy tale. In that sense, it was a comfortable read for me, because I knew (albeit somewhat subconsciously) what was going to come next.
Oh, and there's a romance in the later half of this book too. I'm not much a romance person, as most of you already know, but there was one thing I liked about it (I can hear gasps of shock already). I liked how the prince (again, later half) treated Allerleirauh. Seriously. It was fantastic. He treated her like a person, not a poor girl, not a wild beast. He was truly a gentlemen, and that was what I really liked about their relationship. There was no negging or demeaning one another, just mutual trust and respect (even as Allerleirauh is guarded about who she really is).
And it took me until the end of the book, but I finally realised what this book reminds me of - Melanie Dickerson's fairytale retellings, like her The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. And if you're familiar with Melanie Dickerson, you'll know that her retellings are also somewhat Christian. I found this to be the same too - there are references to God, but nothing that I would consider overt preaching. I do know, however, that there are others who found Melanie Dickerson's stories to fall firmly in the "Christian fiction" realm, so your mileage may vary.
Overall, this was what I needed. An easy and encouraging read.
Disclaimer: Not only did I receive a free book from the author, I've also written a book in the fairytale retelling. I really did like the book, but as you can see, I really like the genre.