A Grimm Curse (Grimm Tales, prequel) by Janna Jennings (2015)
YA Fiction | Fantasy
“In this form you shall remain until a princess shows no disdain.”
Long before Andi woke up in a world that was not her own, her grandmother, Cynthia was entangled in the palace’s circle of glitter and privilege. Explore the dramatic history of Elorium in this standalone prequel to the Grimm Tales series.
Lady Wellington’s obsessive quest to thrust a crown on one of her daughters’ head at any cost has ensnared Cynthia in a scheme that has her sidestepping the arrogant Prince Wilhelm who is determined to make her his bride. With a twist that could only transpire in a fairy tale, Cynthia rescues her own prince, Remington Landry III—cursed by a spiteful witch into the form of a frog.
In the search for a willing princess to lift Remi’s curse, things do not go as planned. The frog-prince disappears, leaving Cynthia wondering at the state of their friendship. Without Remi, Cynthia finds herself a pawn of the ruler of Elorium and imprisoned by his henchman, Prince Wilhelm, who won’t take no for an answer. Cynthia’s life in Elorium is upended as revelations of who she is and the truth about their world comes to light in this stunningly reimagined fairy tale.” -Goodreads
pooled ink Review:
This stand-alone prequel to the Grimm Tales series is all things fabulous combining a few well-known fairy tales, particularly those of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and the frog prince. The writing is feisty, funny, clever, and all around fun. The time period is rather muddled and ambiguous but it only adds to the intriguing swirl of stories melded into one. And it turns out this world of Elorium has a few dark secrets of its own.
Several favorites pop up: Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters, Rapunzel and, well, a prince, Snow White & the Evil Queen, the frog prince, Jack and the Giant and the goose, and even “Prince Charming,” plus other fairy tale tid-bits. Of course Cinderella (okay well in this story her name is Cynthia) and Rapunzel are best friends, well, until poor Rapunzel got herself trapped in a tower and Cynthia takes lead as the protagonist of this whole book/novella. Over the course of the story we meet Cynthia and her wretched life and we’re plodding along curiously as she rescues a frog who turns out to not only be able to speak but also happens to be a prince! Enter Prince Remi, the frog prince. He’s kind, funny, sly, and determined and makes a wonderful friend for Cynthia as well as a perfect attribute to the whole tale.
Cynthia is a lovely modern take on a very old story character. Cinderella is great and all but Cynthia brings out the classic charm and ignites it with the spice of a modern heroine standing up for herself, pulling pranks, and being quite immune to prince-induced swoons. Together Cynthia and Remi make a fantastic team and I’m so glad that they starred in this tale because they really brought the plot to life with both sorrow and humor.
The villains are horrible, of course, but I’m pleased that Jennings kept some of the old twists such as the “lesser” stepsister finding a teeny tiny compassionate place in her heart, and the drool-worthy Prince Charming turning out to be a complete a– uh brat. Ooo! Another twist that I love is how Jennings even tossed in the Beauty & the Beast story but the “beast” in this case is the other stepsister! What?? Yep! Perfect.
I admit I have not read Jennings’ Grimm Tales series (includes A Grimm Legacy, Grim Memories, and this prequel A Grim Curse) but after reading this delightful novella I am definitely adding it to my ‘To Be Read’ list! (Although it appears that for some reason this novella has higher ratings on Goodreads than its fellows…how odd). In some ways, perhaps the spunk or the twist on a fairy tale world, this book reminded me of The Tales of the Frog Princess series by E.D. Baker that I read ages ago. I haven’t read them in years but I remember absolutely loving them (did your school host Scholastic book fairs? Mine did and it was the best part of the year).
The Grimm Curse is a spunky, fun, conglomerate twist on Grimm’s fairytales. A prequel to what I am sure must be an equally thrilling story. A quick read that will make you snort and grin with each turn of the page The Grimm Curse is adapted fairytales at its best.
Purchase here: A Grimm Curse
Meet Janna Jennings!
Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale. She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny. Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.