“Allerleirauh” By Chantal Gadoury
A Triumphant Retelling of the Grimm Fairy Tale
By Samantha Shrider / January 12th 2017
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Series(?): Stand Alone
Publisher: Parliament House Press
Publication Date: August 22nd 2017
Source & Format: Author, ePub ARC
Page Count: 286
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy Tales, Retellings
Once Upon a Time…
In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he’ll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king’s eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.
She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.
I grew up loving Disney so as an adult I became obsessed with reading the original fairy tales that some of my favorite movies were based off of: everything from the Grimm brother’s to Hans Christian Anderson.
When Chantal Gadoury contacted me about reading her retelling of the Grimm’s fairy tale “Allerleirauh” of the same name I immediately accepted. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the tale, Allerleirauh is the story of a King whose dying wife makes him vow only to re-marry if the woman was as beautiful as she was. The King, in madness, comes to the conclusion that the only woman as beautiful as his late wife is the daughter they share together and forces her into an engagement. Desperate to escape the marriage the daughter requests three impossible gowns and a mantle made from the fur of every animal and bird in the kingdom. The night before she is to be wed to her father she uses these gowns and the mantel to escape into the woods to another kingdom.
Chantal’s retelling kept me reading well into the night, the first half like a car wreck I couldn’t look away from as Aurelia strives to make her father and kingdom proud but realizes that the cost will be too much for her to bare. It’s important to note that this book does focus on sexual assault, incest, and PTSD- which while it’s told tastefully and is an important theme, those who are triggered by such subjects should avoid. Chantal takes great care in portraying how victims of sexual abuse tend to blame themselves and the healing process can take a lot of time to recover from. The story arc is wonderfully done, but Aurelia’s own character arc is what drove the second half of the book for me, showing that a woman or survivor doesn’t need to pick up a weapon in order to become strong.
“You have no power over me anymore.”
Allerleirauh is a lesser known fairy tale and Chantal Gadoury sticks to the themes of the original while also making it her own. I highly recommend this book to those who love fairy tales, retellings, and stories that focus on women becoming their own hero.
About the Author
Chantal Gadoury is an Amazon Best Selling Author who is originally from the countryside of Muncy, PA. Chantal likes anything Disney, plays a mean game of Disney trivia, enjoys painting and has a interest in British History. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues that love of writing today. As a recent college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels is a dream come true.