At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy's gift -- the "gift' of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse -- once and for all. (from Goodreads)
I haven’t read Ella Enchanted for a while, but it remains one of my favorite fantasy books nonetheless. Every time I read it, I fall more and more in love with the characters and the setting and the writing!
The best part is, I think, the fact that Ella saves herself. She isn’t a damsel in distress; she has a prince, but she doesn’t need him to come rushing in with sword drawn. Multiple times throughout the book, Ella figures out a way to get herself out of danger using her wits and her talents. She’s heroic and wonderful and yay for Ella!
Besides Ella, I also love how different traditional fairytale elements are woven effortlessly into the story. Fairy godmothers, glass slippers, trolls and curses and princes! It’s not so much like in Enchanted, where the stories are stuck into the main plot. More like story elements, instead. The whole book, then, feels very familiar and magical without ever ending up on the “boring” side of things.
Reading books like Ella Enchanted reminds me of how AMAZING fairy tale retellings can be! I like how the retellings give voices to people who might not otherwise be heard, and how they can “fix” (nowadays) problematic plot points. The best ones, though, keep the magic and charm of the original stories while letting the characters become more and more real. Ella Enchanted does just that, and you really need to read it SOON if you haven’t already done so.
Read: June 22, 2013
Did you know Ella Enchanted was the first book in a series? There are four books total now! I’ve only read Fairest, which unfortunately wasn’t as good as Ella Enchanted is. Maybe because I listened to the audiobook– the voices were kinda…eh. I’m planning on reading it again, in text this time, and I’m going to read the other books as well! Yay!
So I wasn’t EVER going to watch the Ella Enchanted movie but then I remembered that Hugh Dancy is in it and I’m kind of torn? Hmmmmm.