To celebrate the release of Burning Rose (her first collection of retold fairy tale novellas), Hope Ann shared some intriguing information about Hansel and Gretel (the inspiration for my personal favorite in the collection, Shadows of the Hersweald):
Hansel and Gretel’s Original Plot: Two children are abandoned in a great forest, where they stumble across an old woman who captures them and tries to eat them before being tricked into her own oven where she dies a miserable death. [Cela: Because nothing says “bed-time story” like a bit of attempted cannibalism followed by total immolation, right?]
Hope Ann’s Take on Hansel and Gretel: One of the darker fairy tales, Hansel and Gretel was great fun to work with. I chose it for my Shadows of the Hersweald novella (the third novella in my new paperback book, Burning Rose) because I enjoyed the element of siblings. And the forest offered a perfect setting for post-war rebel bands. It isn’t my favorite fairy tale by far, but that is what retellings are for: to change some elements, add others, and create something new.
Hansel and Gretel Fun Facts:
- The original title for this story was Roland and May-Bird.
- The title Hansel and Gretel originally belonged to a different plot, in which Hansel was turned into a deer and Gretel eventually married the prince who saved them.
- The fairy tale that inspired the Grimm brothers’ Hansel and Gretel is a French story called The Lost Children, and is even more morbid. [Cela: Ew!]
- The step-mother who abandoned her children was originally their real mother. The Grimm brothers changed the character into a step-mother after their stories became popular and they wanted to make them more acceptable to a wider audience. [Cela: And obviously they knew what they were doing, because the rest, as they say, is fairy tale history….]
To learn more about Burning Rose, keep reading!
Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before
If you’re already looking for that perfect Christmas read for a fantasy lover or fairy tale fanatic on your list, then guess what? I have great news: your search can end here, because Burning Rose is the book for you!
Hope Ann’s work has everything a fantasy lover could want: strange creatures, interesting lore, bantering dialogue, threatening shadows, pulse-pounding adventure, and an underlying allegorical significance that ensures the parts add up to a greater whole. And if you love Christian fantasy in particular, then you’ll find much to appreciate in these resonant, interlocking stories.
Here’s a look at what you get in Burning Rose:
Rose of the Oath (Beauty and the Beast): As civil war threatens Aslaria, Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.
Song of the Sword (Rapunzel): The war is raging as Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.
Shadows of the Hersweald (Hansel and Gretel): Although the war is finally over in Aslaria, the battle for individual loyalties rages on. Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.
The collection also includes a bonus story, Rose of the Night (prequel to Rose of the Oath): Before the war, before the legends, before the Separation, there was a man who started it all. There was a curse, a promise, a sacrifice. There was the Oathkeeper.
Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated author. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, playing with inspirational photos, blogging, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She is the author of Legends of Light, and is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her at authorhopeann.com.