I’ve had fairytale retellings on my mind for a while now. I’ve been reading a few, reading the originals, and kind of am ready for a big ole fairytale binge to get myself back in the princess spirit. However, something has been wriggling in the back of my mind about fairytale retellings ever since I read Heart of Iron by Ash Poston.
How much of a fairytale do you want in your fairytale retelling?
I mean, it says it all in the name – FAIRYTALE RETELLING. You’re going to have some sort of fairytale in a fairytale retelling clearly. Wow, I’m being really astute there, Mandy. Very impressive. However, I’ve beginning to realize that authors do different amounts of the original fairytale in their retelling and I’m kind of totally picky about it???
Heart of Iron…where Mandy coined the phrase “bat thing”
Recently, I read the book Heart of Iron by Ash Poston after it being a most anticipated book for ageeeeeeeeeesssssss. It was toted as an Anastasia retelling, and despite her lack of Disney princess status, it’s one of my all time favorite princess movies. When I found out Ash Poston – queen of the adorably nerdy, fun, and SO FEELY Geekerella – was doing it, I think I died.
However, when I opened up the book, I found myself, well, sorely disappointed. There was no bat sidekick. No evil green glowing zombie Rasputin. Like, no Rasputin at all???? There was no ball. No sweet grandmother that was waiting in Paris. No plot to convince grandmother. And the big reveal? Was done by this guy named Robb who could I be convinced could be bat thing.
Basically, we got a lost princess, an android named D, and…that’s it.
In fact, Heart of Iron was really only loosely based on Anastasia, but I think just about everyone (in Mandy’s head and not in the YA society) told me it was going to be an Anastasia retelling, and then all of a sudden it was not. And it made me upset. It might have even affected my review and rating of it – it certainly affected my Goodreads updates. I wanted my beloved Anastasia, and I got sci-fi space adventure. HOW DARE SHE.
Isn’t that exactly what my holy grail of Cinder did?
I mean, Marissa Meyer only took the loose plot of Cinderella and mashed up sci-fi space adventure with a crazy aliens, a plague, and a plot of a missing princess. There was a lot more than just Cinderella going to a ball and Kai trying to find her shoe. In fact, Cinder did a lot of things backward with Kai already knowing and caring for Cinder before ever meeting at the ball. And I mean, he didn’t have to do any kind of search for the glass slipper – mostly because it was Cinder’s leg and she was still sprawled out in front of him on the ground.
However, if you compare it with Heart of Iron, it doesn’t compare. It still involves a ball. A girl losing her shoe (with her leg attached with it, but I mean). It still has a pumpkin carriage (lol orange hovercraft thing). Evil stepmother and a stepsister that demand everything from her. Her mice friends are an epic android. There is a prince.
While it still has a separate, exciting plot, it also takes a lot of the original elements on Cinderella and incorporates it in.
So, did Mandy just answer her own question?
I mean, I ask for a Cinderella retelling, I expect certain things just like what I got in Cinder: a girl with an evil stepfamily that is mistreated; a ball; a dashing prince-figure; and losing some sort of shoe to be chased down.
If I ask for a Sleeping Beauty retelling, I better get a sleeping curse, a spindle, some fairies, and an epic witch that may or may turn into a dragon.
If I ask for an Anastasia retelling, I apparently expect bat thing.
I’m all about the fairytale retellings; however I didn’t realize just how much of the fairytale I wanted in a fairytale retelling. I always thought I was good with the whole loosely based on thing, but I’m just going to blame Marissa Meyer for forever ruining me on fairytale retellings. She provides creative standalone storylines while also bringing all of the elements of the original fairytale. I mean, I guess I’m good with something loosely based on a fairytale if it’s repeatedly told to me over and over and over and over so I don’t accidentally think it’s a full on retelling like Heart of Iron.
Verdict: Mandy needs losts of fairytale in her fairytale retelling.
UN Right #27
27. Copyright. Copyright is a special law that protects one’s own artistic creations and writings; others cannot make copies without permission. We all have the right to our own way of life and to enjoy the good things that art, science and learning bring.
When Sha and I were coming up with post ideas for the UN rights, we knew right away that we had to do something with copyright and fairytales. At first, we thought, FAIRYTALE RETELLING TAG. And then Mandy was like, um, maybe not since I’m feeling some sort of burnout on creativity and apparently rambling is easier than creativity? Who knew.
Anyway, fairytale retellings are such an intriguing concept with copyright. In order to do a fairytale retelling, you have to take someone else’s original story and then take it as your own. I mean, you’re still doing unique and creative things with it, but it’s still someone else’s original idea. I mean, I’m all good with it as long as the original is given credit, but I know things got weird with it. I know I used to be on Wattpad and my own story was stolen and tried to create it for their own. No credit was given, and Mandy promptly quit Wattpad. So, um, please give credit? D: