Fortune’s Folly, while not a direct fairy tale retelling, involves a lot of fairy tale elements. And beauty is most definitely a theme in a lot of fairy tales. If you do a scan of Western European fairy tales (for example, those collected by the Brothers Grimm) you will find that “beautiful” or “handsome” is often used as shorthand for “good”. And while there are exceptions (such as the beautiful but wicked queen in Snow White) it is often the case that those who are “ugly” are also “evil”.
Since Fortune’s Folly is partly about subverting and overturning certain fairy tale tropes, however, I did try to break that pattern. There are certainly beautiful or handsome characters who are goodly, but some of the villains are quite good-looking too, and not everyone who is ill-favored physically is necessarily evil.
Anyone interested in books that subvert some of the traditional conceptions of beauty in fairy tales might enjoy reading Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter, which puts quite a different spin on the story of Beauty and the Beast. And of course, there’s always the movie Shrek!
More About Fortune’s Folly
Ever since her mother died and her father lost his shoemaking skills, Fortunata has survived by telling fake fortunes. But when she’s tricked into telling a grand fortune for a prince, she is faced with the impossible task of fulfilling her wild prophecy-or her father will be put to death. Now Fortunata has to help Prince Leonato secure a magic sword, vanquish a wicked witch, discover a long-lost golden shoe, and rescue the princess who fits it. If only she hadn’t fallen in love with the prince herself. . . . Buy your own copy here!
Deva likes searching for patterns, which is how she explains both her degree in mathematics and the echoes of old fairy-tales in her stories. She also loves tea, gardening, and playing the fiddle. She lives in Maine with her husband and her dog. Find out more about Deva at www.devafagan.com.