Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tattered Slippers Tour: Guest Post!: Worn Out Shoes but Not Worn Tales ft. E. J. Kitchens!


Hello, everyone! Welcome back to the Tattered Slippers blog tour! Today's release Wrought of Silver and Ravens by the lovely E.J. Kitchens, a truly impressive epic of a novel with very classic Twelve Dancing Princess vibes, yet many new twists. I have more thoughts over on my other blog, Light and Shadows, but here at Dreams and Dragons, I'm sharing a guest post from the author that I think you'll all enjoy. But first, a little about the book and author.

About . . .

Wrought of Silver and Ravens

Of Magic Made #1
The rarest magic is the most dangerous.

Athdar Owain is a hunted wanderer, one determined to keep his secrets and the treasure he carries safe at all costs. When he rescues the Kingdom of Giliosthay’s prince from raiders, he’s rewarded by being forced into the king’s elite Silver Guard. While this gives Athdar a temporary home and some protection from those hunting him, it also makes him responsible for the young prince, who still bears curses from the raiders, and seven enchantress princesses with curses as mysterious and dangerous as their brother’s.

Princess Thea of Giliosthay is a Realm Walker. Betrayed by a trusted guard, her rare gift of enchantment is used to curse her brother and trap herself and her six sisters into a nightly dance with dragons in a secret Realm. The Realm’s prince has the ability to take and twist her magic for his own purposes, and Thea fears what those might be. For when one dances with a prince, a kingdom might be at stake.

Athdar alone can save them, but to trust enchanters is to risk exposure. And Athdar isn’t sure where his loyalties lie.

Wrought of Silver and Ravens is a clean adventure-romance retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses set in The Magic Collectors story world.

Find it on: Retailers || Goodreads

E.J. Kitchens

E.J. Kitchens loves tales of romance, adventure, and happily-ever-afters and strives to write such tales herself. When she’s not thinking about dashing heroes or how awesome bacteria are—she is a microbiologist after all—she’s taking photos, reading, or talking about classic books and black-and-white movies. She is the author of the historical fantasy series THE MAGIC COLLECTORS and of several fairytale retellings. She is a member of Realm Makers and lives in Alabama.

Find her online at: Website || Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Newsletter || Amazon 




The Tattered Slippers

The Tattered Slippers are six retellings of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale, each one fantastical and magical. You don't want to miss any of them! You can learn more about the books and find the full tour schedule on the tour page.

The Tattered Slippers are the result of the 2019 Arista Challenge. The Arista Challenge is hosted by Kendra E. Ardnek; it invites fairy tale authors to come together in community as they work on unique retellings of a selected fairy tale.

Worn Out Shoes but Not Worn Tales

When I was young, my sister shared an illustrated fairytale with me that, though there was no Disney movie to go with it, I’ve always remembered. It was of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” There was no dragon to slay or evil stepmother to escape, just a mystery to solve as we followed an old soldier—one gifted an enchanted cloak and wise advice from an old woman he’d helped—in his attempt to discover why the twelve daughters of a king had worn-out dancing slippers every night. The tale was intriguing and the illustrations beautiful.

I don’t remember exactly which version of the story I read, but the "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (also called "The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes" or "The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces") is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm and published in Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1812. As with many other fairytales, there are similar stories from other regions, including French, Russian, and Scottish versions (it’s a prince who dances every night in this version).

Also, as with other fairytales, it has many modern retellings. It’s a strange thing in a way to love something and then redo it, but I guess redoing something is another way to spend time with, so it makes sense in a way. Some aspects of fairytales are disturbing, however, and that gives us another reason to re-write them—to make them more acceptable or fun. In “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” the princesses are actually not very nice. They drug the princes trying to solve the riddle of the dancing slippers even though they know the men will die if they don’t solve it within the three-day limit set by the king. Not exactly the kind of heroines I’d want in my story.

One of my favorite retellings of the story is Lea Doue’s Firethorn Crown. She changes it up so that the princesses are kind and are forced to dance every night against their will. I preferred that approach, and so in my story, the princesses (only seven of them to make it easier to keep track of all my many characters) are cursed and forced to travel via magic to a mysterious Realm of Caves where a prince is stealing their magic and their kingdom dance by dance.

Remembering the illustrated story’s focus on the soldier rather than the princesses, however, I wanted him to be a major part of my book. Fairytale retellings tend to focus on the female character, in general, but I wanted the soldier in this one. I made him young and changed how he got the cloak. As I started writing him, I really fell in love with him and the story became a lot more about his adventures and his relationship with the Silver Guards as these older men take him—a wanderer who doesn’t trust others easily—in and give him a home and family. It has romance too—don’t worry—it’s just that I wasn’t expecting the other relationships to be so important.

My retelling, Wrought of Silver and Ravens, is part of a larger story world that I have other books set in, so that background also influenced the way I retold the story. For one thing, it’s set in a place like Ancient Greece, so instead of slippers, the girls have sandals, and instead of them simply being worn through, they are burnt because of how the prince is stealing their magic.

So retellings are often another way to enjoy something we love or an attempt to make it better, and there are lots of ways to change things—our character of interest, that character’s character, the setting, the overarching storyline—it is mostly the fairytale or is the fairytale simply a part of it?—and the aspects of the story we choose to pull out. So while dancing slippers (or sandals) may wear out, a fairytale rarely does.


Wow! Thanks for sharing that story, E. J.! I really enjoyed hearing about your journey with this fairy tale.

Are you excited for Wrought of Silver and Ravens? Do you prefer your 12DP retellings to focus on the princesses or the soldier-character? Please tell me in the comments! And don't forget to check out the rest of the tour stops!
Thanks for reading!

August 25 Tour Stops

Five Reasons to Read:
Knitted by God's Plan
Author Interviews:
Guest Posts:
Erudessa's News Blog: Favorite Fairytale Dances
Dreams and Dragons: Worn Out Shoes but Not Worn Tales
Rachel Rossano's Words: The Writer Who Pricked Her Finger
Reality Reflected: A Dance through Time
Live. Love. Read. + Mini Interview!

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