One’s not half of two; two are halves of one. – E.E. Cummings
I’m such a sucker for Once Upon A Times that lead to Happily Ever Afters. You know, there’s a school of thought out there that says fairy tales can be harmful to impressionable young minds, especially for girls who may begin to believe that their worth as a person exists solely within how beautiful the image in the mirror, and that the pursuit of Prince Charming is the one thing in life worth aspiring to. Well, pooh on that, I say. Somebody’s just reading them the wrong fairy tales; either that, or they’re forgetting to teach these girls the moral of the stories because, yes, every fairy tale is a cautionary tale with a message, and Earthly Desires is no different. Okay, maybe a little bit different. There wasn’t so much of the sexy bits in the fairy tales I read as a kid, that’s for sure.
“And the sins of the father shall be visited upon the son.”—that’s the conflict within this story of a young prince cursed with levity, who meets a handsome young woodsman cursed with gravity when the prince floats away on a breeze and becomes stuck in a tree on the woodsman’s land. Earthly Desires is a story of the sky and the earth meeting at the horizon of a new beginning, a story of witches and curses, of revenge and elemental magic that happens between the opening and the closing of this opposites attract story. It is a Yin-Yang, full-circle completion of vengeance and redemption, one in which heroes arise through sacrifice and salvation.
This is a story of a name, a name so significant that on the tongue it gives a soul weight. It is the story of Prince Efrosin and Dmitri and the way they discover their curses are their cures, that love endures, and that tears offered in grief are a powerful magic in their own right.
Authors Leta Blake and Keira Andrews have retold the fairy tale “The Light Princess” with some added twists to make it decidedly more adult for those of us who enjoy a grownup fairy tale every now and then. If that reader just so happens to be you, then I’d definitely recommend giving this endearing and enchanting and altogether uplifting story a try.