When her mother dies in childbirth, the young Princess Hallgerd finds sanctuary with her family's caregiver--a centuries old Irish witch, Carae Mna', known to her charges simply as "Nanna." In this retelling of the Grimm Brothers' tale "Allerleirau," Hallgerd grows up in exile under the witch's tutelage while the realm stagnates in the hands of her grieving father, who hasWhen her mother dies in childbirth, the young Princess Hallgerd finds sanctuary with her family's caregiver--a centuries old Irish witch, Carae Mna', known to her charges simply as "Nanna." In this retelling of the Grimm Brothers' tale "Allerleirau," Hallgerd grows up in exile under the witch's tutelage while the realm stagnates in the hands of her grieving father, who has come to be under the control of Thomas, a mage from Nanna's homeland. The story is told from Nanna's point of view, allowing her to weave many other tales into the telling of Hallgerd adventures. The narrative is infused with actual stories from medieval Ireland and Scandinavia as well as inventions nonetheless firmly grounded in the author's thorough knowledge of the time period. Medieval magick plays a major role, from genuine herbal cures to complex prognostications about the dangers facing the young royal. The focus throughout the novel remains on women's experiences in the medieval world, revealing the complexity and richness of this less well-known sphere....
|Title||:||Pelzmantel: A Medieval Tale|
|Number of Pages||:||216 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Pelzmantel: A Medieval Tale Reviews
Absolutely wonderful. A new favorite I know I will read again. I hope to write a better review eventuallly.
I was a bit leery of this book, since I've neither heard of the publisher nor of the author but I adore "Donkeyskin" and "Allerleirauh" retellings, so I figured I'd take a wild leap of faith and give it a try. And to my surprise, it has a glowing intro by the wonderful Elizabeth Hand. Hopefully, that fact will reassure any doubters as much as it reassured me!The summary talks about the medieval magic - magic that is portrayed as someone of that era would have known and thought of it. I particularly enjoyed that aspect of the book, as well as the concluding essay on the topic.I also liked the fact that Laity manages to make the traditional ending make sense. (view spoiler)[The potentially incestuous father being forgiven for his sins has always rather bugged me. Laity adds in a detail that he was influenced by an evil mage, and thus his sins aren't entirely his fault. It makes his character and the happily-ever-after ending a lot more palatable, and I certainly enjoyed this version more than Lackey's horrible "he was insane but now he's magically better!"(hide spoiler)]I'm definitely going to be reading more of Laity's work in the future.There's a couple of formatting issues, though. Most important was the lack of a table of contents. With it being an anthology, it was aggravating not knowing how long the story was. For any future reference, the titular retelling is approximately 90% of the book.
I will probably write more coherent review later, but just so you have some idea: as the synopsis suggests, this is an Allerleirauh retelling told from the Witch's/Nanny's point of view. It's worth reading - especially for its portrayal of magic and some really great twists (the Princess getting the foreign Prince's attention deliberately so she can ask him for help against the evil wizard who took over her kingdom). The ending was somewhat anticlimatic though. The Princess was a mold of perfection which was kinda boring. A little bit of romance is there towards the end but since the story is not viewed through the eyes of the Princess, we miss all the juicy bits.
Retelling of Allerleirau.