Category Archives: Thursday’s Tales

Thursday’s Tale: Trolls of Reynisdrangar

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Reynisdrangar. Photo from National Geographic

Earlier this month I saw a National Geographic article on-line about the folktales behind Iceland’s natural formations, like rocks, islands, and lava formations. I’ve also enjoyed Icelandic folk tales, even before I knew that’s where they came. I might just have an affinity for trolls.

I couldn’t find the full version of the story of the trolls of Reynisdrangar on-line, but I’ve pulled together a couple sources, including National Geographic and a geo-caching site.

Trolls, in Iceland, are night-dwellers. One night, three mischievous trolls, Skessudrangur, Laddrangur and Langhamar were pulling a ship onto shore. Apparently the task took longer than they anticipated and they lost track of time. When dawn came, they were instantly turned to stone. If you drive by the cliffs near Vik, you can still hear their wails as they dream of their home in the mountains.

Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks. As basaltic lava cools over an extended period of time, geometric forms emerge, including the cliffs at Vik. The stacks are usually formed from the erosion of the headland, which I assume is what happened here. The process usually begins when the sea flows through small cracks in a headland and opens them. The cracks then gradually get larger and turn into a small cave. When the cave wears through the headland, an arch forms. Further erosion causes the arch to collapse, leaving the pillar of hard rock standing away from the coast—the stack. Stacks typically form in sedimentary or volcanic rocks. These rocks’ medium hardness means they have a medium resistance to erosion. Cliffs with weaker rock, like clay, tend to slump and erode too quickly to form stacks, while harder rocks, such as granite, erode in different ways.

Image from http://www.bbc.co.uk/education

A little folklore and a little science today.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

Thursday’s Tale: Beauty and the Goblin King

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Thursday’s Tale: Beauty and the Goblin King Beauty and the Goblin King by Lidiya Foxglove
Series: Fairy Tale Heat #1
Published by the author on April 27, 2017
Source: Purchased
Genres: Erotic Romance, Fairy tale
Pages: 154
Format: eBook
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For the past ten years, the Goblin King has stayed locked away in his caverns. He only opens his doors for one purpose: he will give one gold coin for every night a girl is willing to spend with him. Despite his fearsome reputation, his fangs and claws, the girls come back safe and sound, and they never say a word about it. One must be very desperate to accept such an offer…or very curious. Well, everyone says curiosity has always been my downfall. Too clever for a girl so beautiful.

Now my family is on the brink of losing everything. My sister Clara knows the goblin king’s story has always intrigued me, and she’s willing to sacrifice me to get her hands on his money. But I finally have the chance to sate my curiosity.

What will I find when I get there? A man who is cruelly cursed, haunted by a past misdeed? Or the man who will unlock all of my secret desires?

It has been a long time since the Goblin King trusted anyone, but if he is willing to trust me, I might be able to save him and his people. But the witch who cursed him is close at hand, and she doesn’t play fair.

Beauty and the Goblin King is definitely a re-telling for grown-ups. Our beauty, Sabela, goes the Goblin King’s castle by choice. Her family needs the gold that the Goblin King gives to girls willing to spend the night with him. Okay, her family definitely pressures her to do it, but she always been a bit fascinated by the stories and this gives her an excuse to allow herself to go.

This is erotica. There are several steamy scenes, but you do get to actually like Sabela and Nyar, the King, and believe in their relationship. She’s brave and curious and open-minded. He’s caring, under his rough exterior, and sexy. It’s only 150-ish pages so we don’t get quite as much character and world-building as we might in a longer story, but I think I prefer my erotic romances on the shorter side. I was rooting for their happily-ever-after, which they do get.

As a re-telling it borrows mostly from Disney’s version, complete with animate forks , plates, etc. This time, however, they are goblins who have been trapped. A couple of them are well-done for minor characters, willing to do whatever they can to help their king. I really appreciated that the supporting female characters were so strong and independent.

I actually enjoyed this re-telling more than I thought I would. It was a fun, quick read. It was a good balance between the tale and the romance. There were some touching bits, a few tense moments, and the ending made me smile.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

About Lidiya Foxglove

Lidiya Foxglove likes her fairy tales to be very naughty indeed. She grew up on a steady diet of fairy tales, folklore and fantasy and loves the swoon-worthy romance and happily ever afters, but thinks the best fairy tales also have the thrill of forbidden desires. If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading.

Thursday’s Tale: Brave Red, Smart Frog

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Thursday’s Tale: Brave Red, Smart Frog Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins
Illustrator: Rohan Daniel Eason
Published by Candlewick Press on September 5, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Childrens, Fairy tale
Pages: 104
Format: eARC
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Step into a wintry forest where seven iconic fairy tales unfold, retold with keen insight and touches of humor. There once was a frozen forest so cold, you could feel it through the soles of your boots. It was a strange place where some kisses broke enchantments and others began them. Many said witches lived there -- some with cold hearts, others with hot ovens and ugly appetites -- and also dwarves in tiny houses made of stones. In this icy wood, a stepmother might eat a girl's heart to restore her own beauty, while a woodcutter might become stupid with grief at the death of his donkey. Here a princess with too many dresses grows spiteful out of loneliness, while a mistreated girl who is kind to a crone finds pearls dropping from her mouth whenever she speaks. With empathy and an ear for emotion, Emily Jenkins retells seven fairy tales in contemporary language that reveals both the pathos and humor of some of our most beloved stories. Charming illustrations by Rohan Daniel Eason add whimsical details that enhance every new reading.

I truly enjoyed these lovingly retold fairy tales. Jenkins has taken some favorite, familiar tales and while not adding anything new, has made them into charming tales. We have Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, the Frog Prince, and Diamonds and Toads among others. While she keeps the traditional plots and characters. she gives some extra depth, like why the Frog Prince loved the princes or how Hansel and Gretel’s father could have let them be left in the woods. She asks why the step-mother was so cruel and how Red could have been tricked by the wolf. I also love how the cold, frosty wood figures into the tales. The tales have touches of humor and amusing dialogue, especially in Three Wishes and the Frog Prince. I appreciate how the tales are connected in ways that make the book fit together well, rather than just a random collection. For example, the same huntsman who doesn’t kill Snow White does kill the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood’s story.

Overall, while the stories here don’t offer anything unique, they are told well and I enjoyed them. Everyone gets a happy ending, well except the dead step-mothers and witch.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

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