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|Curse of the Thirteenth Fey : the true tale of Sleeping Beauty|
Author: Yolen, Jane
Accident-prone, thirteen-year-old Gorse, the youngest fairy in her family, falls into a trap while on her way to the palace to bless the newborn princess, Talia, but arrives in time to give a gift which, although seemingly horrific, may prove to be a real blessing in this take-off on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 155980
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 59562
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Range of Reading & LEvel of Text Complexity
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/12)
School Library Journal (10/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (M) (01/13)
The Hornbook (00/11/12)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2012 Gr 7–10—In this imaginative retelling, the jealous, overlooked fairy who curses Sleeping Beauty is recast as a sickly, bookish teenager. Thirteen-year-old Gorse belongs to the Shouting Fey, a clan of mischievous fairies with powerful voices. In a subversive departure from the original tale in which benevolent fairies bestow gifts at the infant's christening, Yolen portrays the relationship between the royal family and the Shouting Fey as downright feudal. Tied to their land by an ancient oath, the Fey are compelled to perform spells at the whim of their capricious monarchs. On the day of the christening, Gorse rushes to the palace only to fall down a hole into a cave where she discovers two fey princes who have been banished for years, as well as revelations about her family's past. The frequent references to fairy lore are occasionally overwhelming; however, Yolen has crafted an intricate world full of well-developed characters. The incantations that the fey often invoke ("Blow and sow/This fertile ground/Until the knot/Be all unwound") add a lyrical quality to the elegant prose. Readers who typically prefer fairy-tale retellings, such as those by Donna Jo Napoli or Robin McKinley, may be put off because the plot largely revolves around Gorse's escape from the cave rather than Sleeping Beauty herself, but fans of more unconventional fantasy adaptations, such as Gregory Maguire's Wicked (HarperCollins, 1995), will enjoy seeing an antagonist receive a rich, compelling backstory.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2013 Magic tends to give thirteen-year-old Gorse a headache, and unfortunately she has to deal with a lot of it: as the thirteenth child of a fey mother and an elven father, she is part of a magical family whose powers are often called upon by the human king. Gorse is laid up in bed yet again when her family gets the call to attend the infant princess’ christening (and bestow magical gifts upon her), but she manages to drag herself after them; unfortunately, she doesn’t quite make it to the palace but instead falls down a “magick trap” that has her imprisoned underground and beholden to yet another unyielding royal, this time a member of the cruel Unseelie court. Culling material from several short stories she published in the 1980s, the prolific Yolen offers an uncharacteristic misstep here with a muddled plotline, an uneven pace, and an uninspiring heroine. Though the book is billed as the “true tale of Sleeping Beauty,” the connection to the original story isn’t made clear until nearly the final pages and even then, the reveal of Gorse as the fairy who accidentally cursed the princess is anticlimactic and convoluted. Fans of retold fairy tales will be better served by Yolen’s other offerings or Diane Zahler’s recent interpretations (The Thirteenth Princess, BCCB 3/10, The Princess of the Wild Swans, BCCB 2/12). KQG - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.