Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: The Turnip Princess

The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth, February 24, 2015. 288 pages. Published by Penguin Classics. Source: publisher.
A rare discovery in the world of fairy tales - now for the first time in English. With this volume, the holy trinity of fairy tales - the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen - becomes a quartet.

In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the forests, lowlands, and mountains of northern Bavaria to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth's work was lost - until a few years ago, when thirty boxes of manu­scripts were uncovered in a German municipal archive. Now, for the first time, Schönwerth's lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, these more than seventy stories bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre.
First Sentence:
One day a prince lost his way in the woods.

While you know my love for fairy tale retellings, I'm not sure you guys are aware of my love of old fairy tales. So, when Penguin Classics approached me with the opportunity to read and review The Turnip Princess, a collection of newly discovered fairy tales, I could not resist. I'm pretty sure Penguin Classics has discovered my weakness for their beautifully bound books.

Even though The Turnip Princess is the titular story within this collection of fairy tales, I must say that while I liked it it was not my favorite. It was good but did not leave as strong of an impression as some of the other stories. Mayhap my reason for liking it but not feeling strongly about it was due in part to how brief the actual story was. I felt that it had just started and then it was ending. Although, I should note that most of the stories contained within this collection are marked by shortness.

One of the reasons I enjoyed the entire collection of fairy tales that makes up The Turnip Princess was that the writing style highly reminded me of the Grimm brothers and their work. While the tales were somewhat less gruesome in nature, there are similarities that abound if one is familiar with German fairy tales. So, yeah, I enjoyed them because their were some that I've read before by the Grimms' that had a slight difference when told by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth. I enjoye seeing the contrasting and yet at times similarities between the two (or should I say three authors).

Overall, I really enjoyed the variety of tales collected but what especially made this an interesting read was...wait for it...that there were many parts to the book with different types of fairy tales. Yes!! I really enjoyed this book because it had your typical fairy tales and ones about legends, enchanted animals, otherworldly creatures, and ones about nature. Really, The Turnip Princess ran the gauntlet of fairy tale tellings and had something would probably interest just about nay reader.

Final Verdict: The Turnip Princess- An interesting collection of fairy tales along the vein of the Brothers Grimm.

The Turnip Princess earns

This book was received from Penguin Classics in exchange for an honest review.

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