16 December 2011

Scarlet Moon and the Once Upon a Time Series

Scarlet Moon
Simon Pulse
Part of the Once Upon a Time series

Fairytales will always have a special place in my heart.  When I was a girl, I loved fairytales because of the knight in shining armor.  When I was a teenager, I loved fairytales because they made me feel nostalgic (I know, nostalgia as a teenager?  But think about it, childhood stories would be something we had shed by that age and could look back on with fond memories).  In college, I was able to see and appreciate the strength the female characters possessed in fairytales.  Now as an adult, I have loved reading fairytales to my nieces because I get to re-experience the stories through their eyes.
Last year I discovered the Once Upon a Time series, and I was hooked.  The series takes all of our favorite fairytales and retells them with historical twists.  Scarlet Moon is the retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.  Only in this story, the grandmother lives in the woods because she has been banished from the village for being a “witch”, and Ruth (Little Red Riding Hood) is first attacked by the wolf when she is young because her red cloak attracts his attention.  She survives the attack as a child because her brother stabs the wolf.  Then her brother must go off to fight in the Crusades, and Ruth spends the next nine years helping her father in his blacksmith shop.  As a young woman, she meets the mysterious nobleman William enters her life, she can’t help but fall for him – he’s the only man who not only accepts that she is a woman doing a man’s work, he is attracted to her because of it.  One problem:  William has a very dark secret.  His family was cursed generations before, and, well, he’s a werewolf.
Yep, you guessed it.  He’s the wolf that attacked Ruth so many years before.  And now she has the hots for him and he has the hots for her.  It’s twisted and awesome and I couldn’t put it down.
What I love about Scarlet Moon and all the books in the Once Upon a Time series is that the twist they put on each of the fairytales has to do with different historical periods, making them almost historical fiction.  Scarlet Moon is just as much about the Crusades and how difficult they were on families as it is about werewolves and witches.  Crimson Thread, the retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, tells the story of American immigrants at the turn of the century.  What a great way for girls to learn history!
So obviously I’m completely in love with this series.  Scarlet Moon is one of my favorites, and I’ve read about 8 of the series.  Yes the series is a bit older, but it is TOTALLY worth reading, regardless of age.  The books are written at about a 6th grade level, so if you have young daughters, they are great books to read with them before bedtime.  If you have sons, yeah…you’re going to want to find a different series.  These books are all girl.  I would highly recommend these books to any female who has fond memories of fairytales.

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