Books Of All Shades Book Review of Owl Eyes – A Fairy Tale by Molly Lazer.
- Plus exclusive Author Interview.
This story is a re-tale of the classical Cinderella, and honestly I liked this story much better then the original.
We follow Nora, a lost girl who serves the residence of the Runes. She lives in the kitchen house with people who she call her parents; Peter and Greta had always been there for her, and took care of her as far back as she could remember. But yet questions rise to the surface; Who were her real parents?
The only legacy she is left with is an old kitchen knife, with some strange carvings.
The kitchen house has always been Nora’s house, but something brings her mind to the main house, secrets lies within their walls, she’s sure of it. She loves the comfort of her little home, her parents and the other servant Liana and her son Jack.
As years goes by she’s aching more for answers, and what she discovers within the Runes Main House, shocks her deeply. And suddenly her will power of finding the truth grows and reaches so deep within her, that’s she ready to do almost anything to get her longed answers.
An avalanche of emotions and revelation rush over her, and one questions leads to another. Will she find the truth, and know who she is? — Well, I guess you will have to pick up the book yourself and find out! 🙂
As the story evolved, it gets darker and darker.
I love how this tale plays out much like the original tale from the Brothers Grimm, it gets a darker twist, and has an origin of it’s own. A familiar story painted in a whole new and unexpected way.
How do you lean on, when there’s no fairy-godmother to save you?
In the beginning this book, seemed like it could go anywhere, and everything had a slow pace. And suddenly it took a turn, and I was captured. I quickly gained a connection with Nora, and felt her pain.
Along the story you get this idea of how things will play out, or at least you hope it will turn out to be that way, and then suddenly Plot Twist!
Miss Lazer, has an incredible imagination, taking this VERY KNOWN story point, and creating her own story and origin with this. Throughout the story the familiar things will be pointed out; The cruel stepmother, and stepsister. The Ashes, and of course The Shoe, but the way she played everything out, made it almost seem like she created the idea first. It’s a really amazing talent.
She’s got a good flow of her writing, and a very good and intriguing voice. I kept being caught by the story, wanting to know more what happened. She painted a good picture of everything playing out, and you can feel what Nora feels.
A really good book.
“You close the book, and you don’t want it to come to an end… But, you close it and you go; Ah, that was great”
- Intriguing, mysterious and emotional.
Get To Know The Author, with our Author Interview.
I asked her a couple of questions, which she happily answer, with style I’ll say!
- What gave you the idea of the plot of your novel/book?
I have always been interested in fairy tales, and during college I began rereading a lot of the older versions (i.e. the non-Disney, less-sanitized versions by the Brothers Grimm and others). I was very bothered by certain elements of the story of Cinderella, primarily the role of her father, who is alive and well in many versions of her story. He functions almost as an antagonist in Charles Perrault’s version, working against her, whether consciously or not, to throw the Prince off her trail. I didn’t understand why her father would allow her to be a servant in his household, so that is something I decided to explore in Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale. Additionally, I was bothered by the fact that in the large majority of Cinderella stories, Cinderella has no personality or defining characteristics outside of being good and beautiful and has very little agency. There is usually someone or something else–a fairy godmother, a talking fish, the spirit of her dead mother–who helps her out and gets her to the ball and the Prince. I wanted to explore who she could be on the inside and what she might be like if she were not, in fact, just good, and to give her some agency. She gets herself to the ball, for better or for worse.
2. Give the readers a fun fact about the book.
It was an act of theft on my part that inspired the whole system of magic in Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale. The book originated as a piece of performance art that I did for a final exam in one of my college theatre classes. I dressed up as Nora in her ball gown and by the end of the performance had “transformed” back to Nora in her serving outfit, all the while monologuing about what had transpired before and at the ball. While in the props room of the university’s theatre department, I saw a bottle of stage blood and was inspired to use it in my performance…so I stole it, and the system of Handling and blood magic in the book came out of using it in my performance piece. It’s been almost 16 years since I took it, and I still have it sitting on my desk.
3. What inspired you to start your story/stories?
As I mentioned before, Owl Eyes started as a piece of performance art. I knew that I wanted to write a novel during my senior year of college, so after the performance piece I did during my junior year, I took an independent study my senior year in which I wrote the first draft of the novel. It was both short and quite bad. Over the next 13 or so years, I rewrote, revised, and rewrote again, eventually ending with the finished version after I completed my MFA in Creative Writing in 2015. Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale was my thesis project. I was lucky enough to work with author Carmen Maria Machado as my advisor for my thesis, and her notes and advice went a long way towards helping finalize the text
4. Favorite inspirational Author/Writer?
There are so many authors I admire. Stephen King is probably at the top of the list, for his creativity, his storytelling, and his stories themselves. I’ve read almost everything he’s ever written. I also admire Robert Cormier for his ability to tell stories for teens without feeling like he is talking down to his audience. His writing is sparse but affecting. He’s another one where I’ve read almost every one of his books.
5. One writing lesson, you wish you had done yourself?
Ugh…writing every day. That was how I got through the first draft of Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale, but that was before I had a full-time job and children. I wish I could do it now, as I’m starting to work on my second novel, but it’s just not feasible. Someday, I hope I can get to the point again where I do have an hour or more to just sit and write every day.
6. What would your Main Characters think about you?
What an interesting question! And a tough one! Nora and I have a lot in common on an emotional level, so I think we’d be friends and understand each other pretty well, even if we didn’t always agree with each other.
So, you should all definitely check out her book!