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Tattered Slippers Blog Tour: The Dark King's Curse by Wyn Estelle Owens

A darkness seems to hang over the lands of Conall, slowly but surely growing in strength with each passing year.

It all comes to a head when the twelve daughters of King Muir begin to disappear each night. None will admit where they go, and the only clue is their shoes; new in the evening, tattered and torn by morning.

When no one can stop the disappearances, Ailsa--lady-in-waiting to the youngest princess--volunteers to try and solve the mystery, or she and her peers will pay the consequences for failing to watch over their charges.

Armed with nothing but her gift of Fae-sight, Ailsa ventures forth on a quest to free her lady and the other princesses. With the help of an grumpy, glamoured gardener, a cursed faerie cat, and the mysterious Lord of Autumn, she may discover both the secrets and the truth behind the Dark King that lies at the root of the curse.

Why “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” Is My Favorite Fairytale

by Wyn Estelle Owens

While the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses isn’t the most obscure fairytale in the world, it isn’t one of the more well-known ones, either. Its fame pales in comparison to the folklore giants such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast—or even Rapunzel and the Little Mermaid.

It’s a funny thing, but how many of you remember actually hearing Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella or Snow White for the first time? I know I can’t. It’s like you just instinctively know them as you grow up—the sun rises in the east, the sky is blue, and Snow White bit a poisoned apple from her stepmother and fell asleep, only to be awakened by True Love’s Kiss (according to Disney, anyway) and live happily ever after.

Very few people, I believe, grow up knowing that the sun rises in the east, the sky is blue, and that once there were twelve sisters who danced every night, until one day when an old soldier tails them using an invisibility cloak and snatches a bunch of metal branches as proof. Every time I mention that The Dark King’s Curse is a retelling of 12DP, one of only two options occurs:


  1. They’ve never heard of it; or

  2. They watched the Barbie movie when they were kids.

As someone who never watched Barbie movies growing up, I have no idea if the movie does the fairytale justice—it could be a decent retelling, and who knows? Perhaps it’s actually recognizable as the fairytale it retells, unlike certain other famous movie retellings *coughs*Frozen*coughs*. I’ll have to check it out sometime.

Personally, I find this rather sad, as 12DP has been my favorite fairytale since I was little. I think part of the reason it’s my favorite is, because unlike Snow White and Cinderella, I discovered 12DP for myself. There was a short article in my mom’s Children’s Encyclopedia Britannica, in the “T” section, with a pretty illustration and a story of magic and wonder and princesses that danced throughout the night. I can still see myself, sitting on one of the end cushions on the old red velvet couch, reading the story over and over again.

Needless to say, the nostalgia probably plays a huge part as to why 12DP is my favorite—but it’s not the sole nor even the greatest reason.

The real reason I fell in love with this story is because it’s a mystery. A soldier is approached by a strange old woman and given cryptic advice, which then leads him to investigate the mysterious and unknown causes behind the inexplicable nightly disappearance of twelve princesses from their locked room. To a little kid, whose idea at the time of peak literature was mostly limited to the Happy Hollisters, it was right up my alley! And not only is it a mystery, but a magical mystery—strange trees of precious gems and metals, with a lake and island in a cavern beneath the castle. There’s also the invisibility cloak and the secret staircase, which, in my opinion, is still the awesomest thing ever.

And that’s why 12DP has always been my favorite. It’s not a grand tale of defeating an evil witch, or even the most romantic fairytale ever. Instead, it’s a story about some random guy sneaking around, outwitting his adversaries, solving a mystery that nobody else could, and emerging victorious with a rich and well-deserved reward in the end. And—while it’s not the most glamorous of stories—that still makes The Twelve Dancing Princesses the awesomest thing ever.

Author Bio:

Wyn Estelle Owens is the penname of a young woman who’s still figuring out what this whole ‘adult’ thing is all about. She lives in a big, old house in Maryland by a Hundred Acre Wood (dubbed Neldoreth) with her parents, three occasionally obnoxious brothers, her dog Jackie, and her rabbit Joker. She is fond of reading, writing, drawing, speaking in dead or imaginary languages, playing videogames, quoting classic or obscure literature, being randomly dramatic, and generally making things out of yarn. Her dream is to write stories that inspire people to chase after the wonderful world of storytelling. Her favorite all-time authors are Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Christa Kinde, and above all, J.R.R. Tolkien, who first inspired her to pursuing novel writing when she read the Hobbit at the age of seven.

Find her online at: Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon

Check out the other stops on this blog tour here.

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