I enjoy a retold Fairy Tale. I like a new twist or two if a author can manage it. Especially a fantasy writer who’s work I admire.
However, Froggie Went A Sailing (Fairy Tale Retellings) by Sam Burns, a sweet story about a prince who learned via a curse how to be a nice king, ambles thematically along while not reaching very high. Narrative levels, that is.
Nothing much unexpected happens. There’s the usual witch, a curse, some not very bad behavior although he’s a bit of a pity puss in the beginning. There’s a gorgeous guy who’s crushing on the Prince, with all types of excuses for his actions.
We get no idea what the Kingdom thinks of him until the end, and then it seems unlikely they have such kind thoughts. I mean he is known as Grumpy Gus and Froggie.
Nick, who was “wrongly accused “ of course, decides a really ugly frog is the bestest thing ever. But Burns gives the reader no relationship development, and it honestly makes zero sense.
Most of the events here have no foundation or layers and everything happens quickly. He’s a frog, he’s on a ship (why in a starving kingdom no one spears and eats him is never explained), he’s a man! Oh he’s in love.
It reads more like a Improv sketch that someone was told they had to write while in a competition with others.
Not my fav Sam Burns by a long shot.
Read it if you’re a fan.
Fairy Tale Retelling:
✓ The Cat Returns to Adderly #1
✓ The Fairest #2
✓ Froggie Went A Sailing #3
Jasper Ferguson Conrad, much to everyone’s consternation, is the crown prince. He wasn’t raised to be king, and no one is sure if he’s up to the task, including himself. He certainly doesn’t want to be the kind of demanding, arrogant king his father has always been.
When a witch turns him into a frog and he finds himself on the run, he has to count on a near stranger—a man he may have wronged in a fit of pique—to protect him from a huge, frightening world.
He needs to break the curse and find his way home, but who can he truly trust to help him get back where he belongs, especially when his own future subjects may be plotting his death?