Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury
Genre: YA Fantasy / Fairy Tale / Romance
Date of Publication: December 21st 2015
Number of pages: 232
Rating: 4 stars
Today, I’m going to be reviewing this book and there will be a guest post and more about the author after. This review is spoiler free so be happy to read it whenever.
Once Upon a Time…
In the Kingdom of Tränen, a King makes a promise to his dying wife to only remarry someone who has her golden hair. With time, the King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars and a coat made of a thousand furs. When Aurelia discovers his success, she knows she must run away from her privileged life and escapes the kingdom disguised by the cloak and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.”
Aurelia enters the safe haven of the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht, where she is taken under the care of the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus. Hoping to not be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Aurelia tries to remain hidden under her new false identity. Unexpected love is found between Aurelia and Prince Klaus and is challenged with an approaching arranged marriage between the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht and a neighboring ruler. With the possibility of discovery hanging in the air, Aurelia must face the difficulties of her past with her father in her journey of self-discovery before the Prince and his entire Kingdom learns the truth of her real identity, and she looses him forever.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/lEB-X-A5f44
Ever since the beginning, I was already sucked in the story. It holds a very original plot and Chantal knows how to keep her readers asking for more. It takes a lot of courage and risk to write about paternal rape in a fairy tale, but Chantal did it. It also holds a good premise, that we shouldn’t let other people decide who we are and what we’re supposed to do. We should be able to follow what we believe in and this book illustrated this perfectly. It was beautifully written and didn’t exactly took me a long time to read it. The character’s evolution (Aurelia) was utterly amazing. At the beginning, she was naive and let herself being used by others, but by the end, she learned how to love again and fight for herself, fight her ghosts. Now, let’s talk about Klaus. He is like the perfect man; gentleman, caring, protective, supportive and the list goes on. I think that his personality made his dialogues with Aurelia more alive. Their relationship was already really strong since the moment they met and their personalities matched each other so perfectly.
This book is a very good fairy tale retelling that I recommend to anyone.
About the Author:
Chantal Gadoury is a young author who is originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys to paint in her spare time, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family at home: her mom, sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and her Dad, who has now lives in heaven.) As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true!
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Gadoury/e/B00MTLD0P0/
The Top 10 Fairy Tales How They’ve Influenced My Life
There’s a saying that goes “You’re never too old for Fairy Tales,” and I’m sure my family and friends would say “That’s quite debatable when it comes to Chantal.” My love for all things Disney and Fairy Tale related has never been a secret. A normal twenty seven ear old might confess that it’s a bit embarrassing to admit they know all the words to “A Whole Ne w World” or could name the release years of classic movies like “Snow White,” “Cinderella,” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
I’ve been obsessed with Disney since I was a child. I spent many of my Saturday mornings watching “The Little Mermaid” TV series, or dressed up in my home-made Princess Aurora costume and danced around the living room. I only ever wanted Disney coloring books or paper dolls and played out my own versions of Fairy Tales with my “All-Only-Disney-Barbies.” (The Aladdin Doll was the only male doll I ever played with.)
When I was graduating High School, my grandmother made me a picture blanket with messages as mementos from my family and friends. Naturally, my Mom and Dad were among those people. My Dad wrote “Do you want to watch Me or Be?” I stood puzzled by this for the day until my Dad reminded me that when I was little, I would call “The Little Mermaid” – Be (I wanna be where the people are), and “Cinderella” – Me, (I have no idea why.) My Dad would often tease me in saying “When are you going to wake up from La-La land,” and I would always remark, “Never.” I never wanted to “grow out” of Fairy Tales, even if it meant always being teased for living in a “La La Land.” Needless to say, with my Father’s passing, I’ve truly awaken from the mindless “fairy tale” dream I’ve been living.
Fairy Tales have always been important to me because of many things and people; my mother spent the time reading to me, my Dad spent time watching movies – and I spent time playing. I always played make-believe and dress up, always imagining the day that I would live out my own Fairy Tale.
So before I go on and on and on about how fairy tales themselves have played a part in my life, I’m going to go through the Top 10 and show how they’ve influenced me into the person I am today! (These aren’t rated by importance, mind you, these are just fairy tales that have truly been a part of my life!)
- To get right into my countdown, “Sleeping Beauty” would have to be the first story to mention. When I was younger, “Sleeping Beauty” was my favorite Disney movie (of all time!). My uncle made a recording of it for me, so I could have my own copy since it hadn’t been on VHS for so long. I watched and re-watched that movie so often that it started to have “tracking issues.” (Remember those days when you had to hit the tracking button on your remote control?) I would pick “berries” from bushes and pretend to sing along with my bird friends. Whenever I played “Castle” with my friends, I was always sixteen years old, and always pretended to meet a man in the glen, and fell madly in love. Truly, “Sleeping Beauty” influenced my ideals of love, and how magical it could be. I might have even spent a majority of my life hoping I would meet a dashing Prince in the woods, just the way Briar Rose had in the movie. To this day, the number sixteen is my favorite.
9. Who doesn’t love “Peter Pan”? Everyone wants to stay young and have fun. Growing up is just completely over-rated, now that I, myself are “grown up.” This story had always been near and dear to my heart. My Dad always was up for watching “Peter Pan” or the Hollywood version “Hook.” I was completely obsessed with this story when I was in what would be considered junior high (I went to school in a Jr/Sr High School, so we were all meshed up together). For speech class, I read a chapter out loud, I would carry the novel around with me. When the 2003 live-action film came out in theaters, my sister and I went to see it. At the time, “Peter Pan” was magical for her. We had just gone to Disney World, where the face character had pointed to her and said “See you in Neverland.” My sister truly believed he was real for ages. When we saw “Peter Pan 2: Return to Neverland,” Carrine and I ended up having a sleepover with each other (as we often did with each other) and stared up at the stars and tried to find Neverland. The story of Peter Pan and Neverland has become to mean more to me now with the loss of my Father. Sometimes I like to think to myself that he’s up there, second star to the right and straight on til morning.
8. This might not be a real “fairy tale” in the conventional way that we consider them, but “Phantom of the Opera” to me classifies as one. I was in 5th grade when I first discovered Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece and I was hooked from the Overture. Some of my classmates were lucky enough to see it through chorus (though, I did not go that year.), while I discovered the story via books, the music and this magical thing called “the Internet.” (That was still very new, too! I sound like I’ve lived through the Middle Ages! Lol). I remember going to the library and checking out Gaston Leroux’s story, and trying to understand it at that age – I surely didn’t, mind you. My classmates and I even made a “Phantom of the Outhouse” in which we performed for our classroom and teacher. (I, of course, was Christine!).
This love just grew throughout my growing years. I read all the fanfiction that I could, and then began to try to read all the books that I could – “Phantom” by Susan Kay, “No Return” – etc. Then, when I was a junior in High School, my music teacher planned another trip (after I begged him and begged him to go back to the Phantom of the Opera) to see this beautiful show. It was the same year the film was released in theaters, so I was lucky enough to get “double” Phantom of the Opera. This musical has come to mean so much to me; I love to listen to the soundtrack when I can, I love to watch the show when I can, and I love to read different versions that authors write. Recently my favorite is “Chanson de L’Ange” by Paisley Swan Stewart. It’s just. . . beautiful. So yes – Phantom of the Opera, super influential. I love it so much. (Me and probably about 85% of the woman population in the world).
- When I think of “Rapunzel” aka “Tangled,” I think about my last year in college. “Tangled” came out on my 22nd birthday: November 24th 2010. I was a senior at Susquehanna University, where I was studying “Creative Writing.” I think it was one of the first times I had a major wake-up-call about my life, and how far I had allowed Disney to influence my ideals of a relationship. I had grown up with beautiful images of Ariel and Eric, or Belle and the Beast, and thought my life too, would be just as magical. When I saw Flynn and Rapunzel, I really thought I had finally found the “Disney couple” that me and my boyfriend-at-the-time could most relate to. Flynn had a sense of humor and a certain way of saying things that was more relatable to our generation – to our day and time, rather than the classics that reflected more of their own current times. And I recall my boyfriend-at-the-time (BATT) saying to me during a fight shortly afterwards, “Chantal, I’m not a Disney Prince. I’m *His Name*” – and I stopped. I seriously paused, hated myself and hated him for not being what I wanted him to be. I hated that he wasn’t ever going to be that Prince in the woods, or the Prince who woke me from a slumber. He wasn’t going to offer me a huge, beautiful library or search after me with a shoe (which I guess is okay. I’d hope to keep my shoes on me, no one wants to smell that.) It was a rough time to realize what I had been doing for so long; giving people roles from Disney films instead of accepting them for who they truly were. (Perhaps this is when you can queue the whole, “When are you going to wake up from La-La Land” thing.) Needless to say, me and the boyfriend-at-the-time eventually parted ways and remained friends, and deep in my heart, he’ll always be that Flynn Rider who got away.
6. I remember the first time I ever saw/heard of the story: “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.” I was watching “The Storyteller’s” Hans the Hedgehog and The True Bride. It was a different version of a “Beauty and the Beast” – in my eyes, and I loved it!
There was a day that I came into the High School library, because I loved to volunteer my time during my study halls helping the librarians, that I saw a brand new book sitting on the desk. It looked like a fairytale book, and I was instantly interested in it. What I didn’t know was that “East” by Edith Patou would become one of my favorite “retelling” novels. To this day, “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” is a story that I’d love to explore and possible write my own version of. It influenced me in my story of “Seven Seeds of Summer” – which is really a retelling of the mythology story of Hades and Persephone. (another ‘fairy tale’ that influenced me in my life, I guess – at least a bit.)
- I can’t do this entire thing without mentioning “Allerleirauh.” This story has been with me since my Dad bought me the VHS that had the Grimm Fairy Tale Classic version on it. Since then, I’ve seen only a few versions that stuck with me, as much as the cartoon did. (Try “The Storyteller: Sapsorrow” – Whoa.)
For the longest time, I tried to find this story on the internet. I had no idea what it was called other than “The Coat of Many Colorus” and only ever found the biblical story of Joseph and his coat. It wasn’t until I saw “Sapsorrow” (The Storyteller, yes again)on Youtube, that I took notice of a name: Allerleirauh. Let me tell you, I felt like I had finally hit the jack pot (after years of searching – Neverrrr knowwwingg: Can you hear the voices of the Kings from “Sleeping Beauty”? Betcha now you did!) As a child, I had been in love with the idea of dresses made of the sun, moon and stars, when I was played “Castle” – you betcha bottom dollar, my gown was one of the three, and my Prince was stunned with awe with my beauty lol.
When I was in college, I tried to write a version of “Allerleirauh,” and at the time, it just wasn’t a story that was ready to be told, so I waited. And I actually waited until I was finished with “Seven Seeds of Summer” to tackle it again. It was always in my plan to bring this fairy tale to life – it’s a powerful story, full of love and danger and some really hard topics that should be brought up in conversation. This was the story that waited for the right time for me to tell it.
- “Cinderella” is just one of those stories that I’ll always hold close in my heart. There is a quote that I often use in my life –“ For with each dawn, she found new hope that someday, her dreams of happiness would come true” that really summarizes how I feel at times. It’s a magical story of love and hope, and even so – the loss of a parent. My love for Cinderella began quite innocently – what girl doesn’t dream of magical gowns, glass slippers and a dashing Prince?
When I went to Prom my senior year (and the only year, I might add – that I went to Prom) I wore a beautiful blue dress, with silver sparkle shoes – and I seriously felt like Cinderella. When I went looking for a wedding dress with my Mom a few months ago, I came out in a very simple, white – slightly poofy skirted dress – and again, felt like Cinderella. This was exactly how I saw Cinderella at the end of the Disney animated movie.
When I saw the live-action version of Cinderella – I was simply transfixed with the story, the imagery and the acting. If there was a fairy tale brought to life, and just simply perfect – this was the movie of all movies for me. To this day, “Cinderella” (2015) is simply, my most favorite live-action film. It was one of the last movies my Dad ever teased me about – I can still hear him saying “Cinderella” – emphasizing the “Ella” part while laughing. It sends a great message of hope to me – to be a better version of myself despite the cruelty in the world. You can be the positive to someone’s life, even if you just try. Have Courage in facing your fears, but be kind to those you meet. You never know what’s going on in their own lives – and how much of an influence they could be in your own life – whether positive or negative.
(Plus, my mom used to wake me up by whistling the “Wake up Cinderella” the birds did in the opening sequence. Aren’t my parents awesome? They really are. <3)
- What is Christmas without a tree, presents and “The Nutcracker”? My mom first took me to see this ballet when I was a child, and for several Christmases, it was a tradition to do so. I became so in love with the show and ballet that I begged my mom to let me join ballet! With a pair of soft ballet shoes and my Princess Aurora costume, I’d dance around the living room, listening to the melody of “The Nutcracker” with one of my Mom’s German Nutcrackers. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and my Mom has told me the reason is because I was born right around the time of Christmas. I was born in Weisbaden, Germany – where my Father was stationed when he was in the Army. In my baby videos of that new time in my parent’s life, they were busy decorating the apartment with Christmas decorations, and listening to the “Disney Family” Christmas CD. (Explains a lot, doesn’t it?)
I’ve never been able to find a retelling of “The Nutcracker” or see a movie that I completely love – (maybe other than “The Nutcracker Prince” – an animation). The closest I’ve ever gotten to a real Nutcracker “performance” – other than the ones that my Mom took me too back in the day, was at daycare. I had gone to a private school in my early years, with a range of ages, and there were girls who performed in the Williamsport Ballet Corp. We would pretend to be Clara and the guests at the party and dance all around, even if I wasn’t in their group of ballet dancers. It was really exciting for a little 4 year old girl. (Life was magical. I’m telling you. .. Disney, Ballet .. etc.)
This story is something that I always think about during this time of year. Just recently, I tried to go see “The Nutcracker” with Rob, and we actually left during the intermission. (Regrettably, yes, it was that bad.) We spent the evening in a “Sonic” parking lot, laughing about the whole situation while eating our onion rings. I always hope to find a new place, performing a professional version of the story – or to find a novel, telling the story of Marie/Clara and her Nutcracker.
- When I think of “The Little Mermaid”, I think of two events in my life. First – when I was sixteen (shocker) and online dated a boy from California (and I was living in PA at the time,) and Second- Tumblr. Ariel has always been a character, much like Belle, that I felt like I related to. It could be that “The Little Mermaid” was one of the first Disney movies I ever saw, and probably have seen more than any other. (Rob will tell you, I have 5 copies of this movie.) Ariel was also 16 when things happened to her, so I determined to be 16 and have things happen to me too (just without trying.)
I online-dated a boy from California before it was actually an okay thing to do. Honestly, my Dad was just like King Triton: “He’s a human, you’re a mermaid” bit. “You’re 16 – he’s a stranger!” or “You’re 16, you’re still a child.” And I can almost hear myself saying back “But Daddy, I love him!” Oh so dramatic. It’s definitely not a time in my life that I like to relive. Needless to say, I met said boy, and said boy broke my heart after returning back to California.
When I was about to graduate college, I discovered this fantastic thing called “Tumblr,” and I found people like me – people who loved Disney. They loved Disney so much that they wrote AS the characters. If this wasn’t heaven on earth, I didn’t know what would ever classify as such. I was actually lucky enough to befriend the coolest Flynn Rider RP’er on Tumblr, who knew a Prince Eric who was looking for an Ariel. I never had RP’ed before in my life, but I thought “what the heck! I’ll try!” I tried, reached out to them, and they took my offer! I officially became “arielinthegrotto.tumblr.com” YEAH. That’s me. (as if you even know who that is. I’m totally joking myself.) Writing as this character made me realize parts of myself that I had never known. I was truly able to “find myself.” That sounds a little odd, finding yourself in writing as a fictional character – but I found a strength, a person, a personality – that I had never truly been able to embrace, until I found Tumblr. It was liberating to say the least. Ariel became a personality to me that I always wanted to be, just like Cinderella.
It was only fitting that my Dad was King Triton to me. I was just THAT lucky. ❤
- “Beauty and the Beast” is definitely one of my most-favorite stories – whether Disney or the classic version. I can recall the illustrations to picture books that I once read as a child, full of bright colors and peacock feathers. I spent time in my mother’s lap, watching the movie over and over again. When I was older, I read and reread Robin McKinley’s “Rose Daughter” and “Beauty” to the point that the High School Library’s copy almost became mine! (I did however, purchase my own once I had a job to buy books!)
During my 6th grade year (after missing Phantom of the Opera) I was able to go see the Broadway show of “Beauty and the Beast” in NYC, and the cherry on top was seeing it with my Mom. “Beauty and the Beast” is such an “Us” thing, it would have felt wrong to see it with anyone else. From that moment on, I wanted to do Musical Theater. I wanted to sing and be Belle; I was lucky enough to sing solo songs from the musical when I was in 10th and 12th grade for choral concerts- they were freeing moments that are hard to describe. Singing songs that mean something so much to you, like “Home” and “A Change in Me” was for me, was a liberating and a very vulnerable thing, but truly amazing.
I think it’s pretty obvious I feel most relatable to Belle because of her love for books. She is really the Princess for all the book worms. (And it only helps in my favor that she has brown eyes and brown hair like me.) This story has always been with me because of how easily I could slip myself in Belle’s shoes. I lived in a small town and felt misunderstood. I read for fun and didn’t take enjoyment in the things that the other children did. I was also fat/chubby and by default, that meant I was picked on for my size. I felt like the outcast. I knew how it felt to be the Beast and how it felt to be Belle and I took comfort and hope in the future someday that someone would look at me and see what was truly on the inside; a girl quite capable of loving someone.
I hope this was enjoyable to read, and I hope you learned a lot about me and my life – and the reason why fairy tales have played such a vital role in my life. In short, I wouldn’t be who I am without them. And “Allerleirauh” wouldn’t be here with all of those moments in my life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and get to know me, and I wish you courage and kindness, and if I were as cool as the Beast – a huge library full of your favorite books. I hope “Alleleirauh” will make do!
Thank you for reading and until next time!!