Once Upon a Time
I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale – two of my favorite books are Bewitching and A Basket of Wishes. Perhaps those tales were special because the enchanted characters were the heroines. In Once Upon a Time, the fairy is the hero. I’m not sexist, but this book simply did not enchant.
To give the book its due, the beginning and ending chapters of this tale are positively lovely – the epilogue is downright magical. The remaining 18 chapters seem too mundane. There is not much first-hand magic going on. As such, the majority of the book is too much a standard historical and too little a fairy tale. Other than a sprinkle here and there, the magic of the book disappeared as quickly as pixie dust.
Perhaps it is that, for me, fairy tales work best as romantic comedies. There is a wealth of humor to be found in the ridiculous predicaments fairies and their loved ones face in the human world. This, however, is not a comedy.
Or, maybe it is that, unlike other favorite fairy tales, there was no dramatic break when the human realizes how miserable life is without the magic. Just as there were no laughs, there were no tears shed reading this book.
Regardless of the reason, the story fell flat. The connection between reader and lead characters never jells. The greatest pull I felt was toward the heroine’s great aunt Daffy. I wish her story and that of her great love had been told instead.
Marylyle Rogers consistently receives the highest ratings for her work. I was similarly disappointed in Twilight Secrets but decided to give her another chance to win me over because of the accolades she receives. I shouldn’t have bothered – and neither should you.