Monday, June 12, 2017

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: Gretel: A Fairytale Retold

"It takes more that a little fire to kill a witch," Maeve whispered to Gretel.

I love retellings of classic fairy tales. I do.  I ESPECIALLY love ones where the witch is not the monster, but the hero of the tale.

I get such a tale from Niamh Murphy in her retelling of "Gretel: A Fairytale Retold".  In this, we have an older version of Hansel and Gretel. Here they are in the woods, hungry and chased by wolves.
That is till the Witch shows up to scare way the wolves and take Hans and Gretel back to her home.
The tropes are all here. She fattens them up, she lives alone. But that is where the similarities end.
The "witch", Maeve, lives alone because she dared to love someone her village did not approve of.
While Hans does not trust her, Gretel is taken with her charm, her intellect, and her independent nature.  Maeve knows the secrets of the forest and in her own words she was not exiled but set free.
Maeve is easy to like.
I thought the relationship between Maeve and Gretel felt natural. Afterall, Gretel knew she was missing something, she just didn't know it was this.
I was disappointed, but not surprised, in Hans' reaction. I had hoped for more, but it does set up the final act.

The story is a quick read, but a lot of fun and you can grab it for free from her website.  I lament that the story was too short, to be honest, but it is a fairy tale retold, so it can't be too long.
Of course there is a happily ever after, it's a fairytale still.  OR as we used to say to my kids when reading fairytales to them "they all went home and had tea."

She has other stories too, I just grabbed one that is longer.

Niamh Murphy can be found on the web at her website, http://www.authorniamh.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNiamh/


2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
2017 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
Books Read so far: 15
Level: Mother
Witches in this book: Maeve. She might not be a "real" spell-casting witch, but I choose to think she is.
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Good!
Best RPG to Emulate it: Blue Rose is a good choice.  Maeve lives inside the  Pavin Weald.  She very much fits with my idea of a Green Witch.  I would use my new Witchcraft Specialization for her.  I'd make about a 4th level witch.
Use in WotWQ: I plan on using all sort of fairy tales in my War of the Witch Queens.  A Fairytale re-told is also good material if that re-telling is good.  This is a good retelling.

Something like this would also make for a good Blue Rose adventure.
Much like the Frog Princess is a retelling, this would make a great adventure.  Hans and Gretl can be part of an adventuring party sent to investigate the so-called Witch of the Woods and determine her true intent.   But it turns out she is not evil, but the nearby village is making it look like she is.  She does control the wolves, but not magically, they just treat her as their Alpha.
Gretel, or some other female character, ends up falling in love with Maeve.

And they all go home and have tea.

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