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Goosegirl: Witch, Princess or so much more then the Classic Fairy Tale

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Fantasy edited by Sean Wallace & Paul Tremblay
Goosegirl
Margaret Ronald

Have you ever read a story and know that it would have been better if the author had only paved their own path instead of following the normal archetypes and plot lines. Goosegirl is that story you were wishing for, Margaret Ronald takes the classic fairy tale of the same name and manages to create a unique and riveting tale of magic and personal choices sure to delight readers of all ages.

Goosegirl is a story about a lady’s struggle with her memories and self identity. It starts with the protagonist entering an unfamiliar city at the back of the princess’s entourage with her only possession being a red book. Quickly it is revealed that some witchery is afoot as she can not remember her name or what she is doing as her memory and mind is disjointed and comes and goes from her.

Circumstances lead her to being assigned to watching the geese and coming into contact with the castle’s swine handler who is more then he appears. Over the weeks leading up to the princess’s wedding to the crown prince, the goosegirl slowly learns what magic has been cast upon her and is left with a choice to become what she always has been or to become whatever she chooses to be.

Margaret Ronald masterfully weaves a rich ephemeral world not by detailing it with descriptions of places but by creating one rich in briefly touched upon gods and characters. Although their appearances in the plot are fleeting they give a depth to the world that matches the almost dream like echo the story invokes in its readers.

The most enjoyable aspect of the story was the main character herself. You can feel her suffering and doubt as she comes to terms with her segmented mind and conflicting memories from 2 separate lives. That of a princess and the words of a stately and sorrowful mother the queen, and a witch-woman with a wizened old hag for a mother who has nothing but misgivings and the need to pass on her legacy. Slowly we watch as her sense of self grows and her acceptance of who she was, is, and could have been.

An enchanting twist on a classic fairy tale, Goosegirl is a delectable read sure to leave you content and dreamy. For those interested the story can be read for free online at Fantasy Magazine, and if you find yourself thoroughly enjoying the tale be sure to pick up Fantasy an anthology of short stories matching those that can be found in the quarterly publications of Fantasy Magazine

If you enjoyed this book you may also like:

Wild Hunt by Margaret Ronald Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection edited by Gardnre Dozois
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