~Blog Tour~ Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant, and she’s sharing her review with you guys along with a story from the authors! First though, here’s all of the bookish information you need to know!

About the book:

Disenchanted cover.jpg

Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding.
Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister?
Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn?
Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her in
to her happily ever after.
Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.
Buy the book:
Ellen’s Review:

I’ve been in need of something fun to read recently, so when I was given the chance to review Disenchanted I was quick to offer my services. I have read and loved the Clovenhoof series and knew that I was guaranteed giggles galore.

 

Before we get to me actual review, I have to mention the cover which is absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of the Zap lollies I used to get from the ice-cream van as a child; totally lickable!

 

Now to the story – I was not disappointed in the slightest: snorts/giggles and guffaws aplenty. This twisted fairytale was absolutely on my humour wavelength. At one point I lost the plot over the word shepherd’s pie and it’s still making me laugh to think about it!  I loved Ella’s no-nonsense attitude and her refusal to accept the “happy ever after” ending that her intimidating fairy godmother has planned. It is difficult to pick a favourite character as they all had a certain charm but if pressed I’ll go for the talking teapot with potterycide on his mind, Grandma Rose for her tough Yorkshire outlook (I’m Yorkshire born and bred myself tha’ knows) and I’m a little worried that I may have peculiar feelings over a certain Mr Wolf….

 

An unconditional five stars for this intelligent and hugely entertaining book. I look forward to the next from Heide and Iain!

Short story:

Heide and Iains latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was
written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield Universitys Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present one of Dr Alexanders letters to the author duo.
My Dear Friends,
I came home from my trip to Leeds to find a copy of your book,
Disenchanted, on my doormat. The
artwork is delightful and the jacket text suggests a very, um, eventful narrative. I
m sure I will love it
and will no doubt be able to give you a critical opinion when we
meet a week on Saturday. It is my
habit to read in the rear study perhaps with a round of cucumber sandwic
hes and a pot of tea. Pak
Choi, my loyal retainer, brews a superior dandelion tea but is, sadly, no
help with the sandwiches (its the cutlery; his folk cannot abide the cold touch of iron). H
owever, I realise now that such niceties
as tea and reading will have to wait for the time being as I must be off again tomorrow.
[Pak Choi has drawn a superior picture of my usual tea]
As I say, I came home to Sheffield to find your book on my doormat
but, in all honesty, I was more
distracted by the vellum parchment I had brought home with me. Its
gruesome origins
notwithstanding, it was a peculiar piece, covered as it was with writing in
a precise hand but of an
ink that had faded to almost total
illegibility. There was little of it I could make out but there was a
clear mention of Langs Black Fairy Book and that alone was enough to send me all aquiver.
I am sure as amateur students of fairy tales, you are aware of the Victorian scholars incomparable
work in collecting and categorising fairy tales. His twelve
coloured
books of fairy tales are well-
known and widely published but I had only ever heard scandalous and dark rumours of this
thirteenth volume. The only other word I could truly make out in the text was
domunculus
which,
whilst seeming tantalisingly familiar, was unknown to me.
To clear my head and perhaps inspire thought, Pak Choi and I took a walk. My house backs onto
Wardsend Cemetery, home to the final resting place of a Lakota Sioux who died in
the city while
performing with Buffalo Bills Wild West Show. There is a local story about how the ghost of the
Sioux flagged down a train and thereby prevented a collision with a derailed coal t
ruck but, delicious
though it is, my research into the matter traces the story back to no
earlier than 1973 and an
argument between two drunken Sheffield Wednesday fans in the Masons Arms. This is how
fairy
tales are born.
We cut through the cemetery, past the Trebor sweet factory and down to the banks of the River
Don. There is a veritable forest of fig trees growing along the Don towards the east of the city. The
trees are hardly native. As best anyone can tell, their roots
not their literal roots, dear friends
are
the fig roll factories that dotted the area. However, used to a Mediterranean climate, the original fig
trees were only able to grow because of the hot water being continually
pumped into the Don by the
riverside steel works. Pak Choi and I did not make it as far as the fig trees but when we do, I always
try to spot any flowers on the trees, just like Dunzfel in the old
Eastern European tale.
The Six Tasks of Dunzfel appears in Langs Lilac Fairy Book. It is one of a broad range of fairy tales in
which the poor protagonist
in this case, a young man who wished to marry the princess
is forced
to undertake a number of seemingly impossible tasks. In Dunzfels case, the tasks are to fill a barrel
of water from a well using only a sieve, to state the number of hairs on the kings head, to hold his
breath from one year to the next, to collect a posy of a thousand fig flowers, to weave a carpet from
spider
s silk, and to summon all the wolves in the world. Dunzfel achieves most
of these by cunning
(he plucks a hair from the kings head and tells him he has one less hair than before and holds his
breath just before midnight on New Years Eve) and through the assistance of animal friends (who
line his sieve with moss and find a thousand of the elusive fig flowers fo
r him). The request for a rug
of spider silk is answered with sarcasm (Dunzfel presents the king with a twig and
says he will weave
the rug on a loom fashioned by the king from the twig). The king waives
the final task, seeing that
Dunzfel has completed the other five and not wishing to have all the wolv
es in the world turn up on
his doorstep.
We returned home in good spirits –
Pak Choi once again regaled me with the tale of why he had set
fire to the Trebor factory in the early seventies (it is said that the ferocious
fire that consumed the
mountains of sugar in the factory created a burned toffee smell across the city
for weeks)
only to
find that our house had been burgled! The downstairs rooms were in some disarray. Furniture had
been overturned, drawers ransacked and items thrown from shelves. Anything and every
thing of
value or interest had been taken. You will be pleased to hear that my copy of your book was
untouched. But, most alarming of all, the vellum parchment I had placed at the very back of the desk
drawer had been found and taken. Pak Choi thought this most suspicious.
I was suddenly reminded of the French tale of Rum Baba Boy. Perhaps the recollection
was caused
by the sight of the destruction of my home, coupled with Pak Chois talk of sweet factories
.
Rum
Baba Boy is a curious variant of the gingerbread man story, except in this instance, the young
protagonist is not made from gingerbread but alcohol-soaked pastry. The poor,
drunken creature
spends nearly the entire narrative running through the city, crying
lack-a-day, lack-a-day, who will
find a cure for my malady?
Rum Baba Boy runs through the houses of Paris, looking for a cure for
his drunken madness. He ransacks the home of a baker, a doctor, a lawyer, a priest
and a merchant.
Only when he reaches the poorest part of the city does a stray terrier offer him a
cure for all his ills
and gobbles him up. Unlike the gingerbread man, Rum Baba Boy does gain
some form of revenge
from beyond the grave; the terrier, intoxicated by the rum-soaked cake, falls i
n the Seine and
drowns.
[here is a picture of a drunk terrier falling into the Seine]
The human mind is
a
curious thing; the recalling of that story reminded me where I had encountered
the word
domunculus
before. I gave a sudden shout of
Bunty Jangles!
which, I can assure you, is
not something I shout out often. I followed it with a shout of
I must go to Uttoxeter!
which is
something I shout out even less.
While Pak Choi packed a small valise for me, I telephoned for a taxi-cab. T
he young man who came
to the door had a bit of a terrier look about him and his not insi
gnificant eyebrows put me in mind of
the hotel-boy I met in Leeds. But we shouldn
t judge people by their appearances, should we?
I am taking my copy of your book with me and shall read it as I go
on this little adventure of my own.
I will write again,
Yours,
Dr E. Alexander
Dr Epiphany Alexanders latest book,
Get Your Head Out Of The Clouds: Why Jack Shouldnt Have
Climbed That Beanstalk
is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.
Heide Goody and Iain Grants novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

Make sure to follow the blog tour:

Disenchanted blog Tour Banner.png

 

2 thoughts on “~Blog Tour~ Disenchanted by Heide Goody and Iain Grant~ Ellen’s Review

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