There is something gnarled and bramble-y about Winter Rose. Patricia A McKillip dreamily draws out something deep, romantic and a little magical in her retelling of Tam Lin.
Rois, who looks nothing like a Rose, whose “skin is not fit for fairy tales” sees Corbet Lynn walk out of the light, a blur of gold:
“I turned, walked into the hot noon light, and saw him, with his pale gold hair and light-filled eyes, riding his horse the color of buttermilk across the green grass, as if he were human as the rest of us, not something that had stepped out of light into time. I could not move; I could not breathe. And then, as if he read my thoughts, his eyes met mine. Pale green seemed to melt through me, and I thought: How could they be any other color?”
Rois is obsessed with Corbet and his past – his grandfather was murdered by his own son and laid a wicked curse “You are the last of us and you will die the last: As many as you have, your children will never be your own”. So then who is Corbet Lynn and why does he appear in Rois’ intoxicating dreams?
Her language can be a tad flowery so it is not for everyone. But when I read her words, I hear this voice in my head, a whispery, echoey kind of voice, the kind of voice that sounds as if spoken in an ageing castle. The writer sits with a goblet of wine, a quill resting on the paper. A heavy rug is underfoot for it is the depths of winter and snow is ever so quietly falling outside. A fire is roaring and crackling, breaking the stillness.
Her book, her words are so very dreamy, I drift off into her dark world where curses are laid and enchantments are made. And it is difficult to emerge from her wintery world and into the bright sunshine, colourful toys around, decorations from the party still hanging, kids napping upstairs.
The Cinderella adaptation Ella Enchanted is such a very different read. Things move at a faster clip and the language is far simpler and less descriptive. It is still a rather entertaining story, at times a little silly (which would make its intended audience giggle – OK so I did too), and just such a fun read. I mean, how could a fairy’s blessing become such a pain?
Well it can if the blessing is obedience, leaving the poor child condemned to obey every order she’s given, even if it’s something as simple as “eat”.
A short but very satisfactory read with a strong-spirited and intelligent lead character and a refreshing retelling of the Cinderella tale.
At first I wondered if I had seen the movie version but then I realised it was the image of Drew Barrymore in Ever After that kept popping into my head – Anne Hathaway stars in Ella Enchanted so said the Internet. And the consensus (at least on Goodreads) seems to be that one should stay far away from the Ella Enchanted movie. I’ll be heeding that advice, but if you’ve watched it, was it really that bad?
Winter Rose and Ella Enchanted were my second and third reads for Once Upon A Time VIII.