“Love and prince,
Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;
For blood begins,
But naught can be put right by blood alone.”
One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.
The Stone Kingdom
Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales
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An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast;
A princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell;
Bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk –
All within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.
You’ve heard the stories –
of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel;
of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball;
of frog princes, and swan princes,
and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea.
Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.
Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.
Now, if you'd like to know what I thought about this wonderfully written book, you can go here.
Of course, mine is only one opinion. But if you'd like to hear what other wonderful things have been said about it, I've attached them below for your convenience!
“Miss Shipley’s first foray into fairytales was a great success. Her second appears to be easily as good, if not better. And yes, Miss Shipley, you may quote us on that.”
– Eric Wilder, GrimmReport.com
“The second installment of the Wilderhark Tales, The Stone Kingdom, rocks! (Badum-tsh) This latest creative spin on the classic fairytales twists them together in magical, unexpected ways. As Rosalba journeys to find true love, readers will gallop through wry wit, clever twists, and, of course, dashing love interests. How can a cursed princess, a witty tailor, and an opinionated horse converge to save one cursed kingdom? Find out! I’m not just horsing around when I say this book is ‘well worth Wyle!’”
– Kimberly Kay, author of Sleepless Beauty (One More Day)
“A highly vivid, carefully formulated story … Shipley draws you in with her brilliant character and landscape descriptions ... She has a style all on her own, and it’s lovely.”
– Erika Beebe, author of Stage Fright (One More Day)
“Ahh, it’s good to be back in Denebdeor. … Guessing at which fairy tale would show up next was my favorite part – along with everything about Edgwyn, because he is fantastic – and the princess learns several lessons about what real love looks like that make this book not only fun and funny, but relevant and wise.”
– Jillian Cottle, jmcottle.com
“The story had me captivated from the very first sentence, and I will go as far as to say that this one was better than the first. … Ms. Shipley touches on so many fairy tales that I knew and love, but the way she brings them out is new and fun! This is a must read!”
– Emerald Barnes, author of Read Me Dead
“Well-rounded characters, ingenious pace and plot, and twists at all the right turns are my favorite. [Shipley] excels in all of these areas, and her descriptions are beautifully vivid. … It makes you wish the Wilderhark Forest was a real place, despite the anarchwitches!”
– Kendra Conine, Flamecycle.blogspot.com
First, a little about Danielle:
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. …Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: Packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them. She’s also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing young adult novels, she’s probably blogging about it at www.EverOnWord.wordpress.com.
Twitter handle: @DEShipley
I gave Danielle a guest post topic that I, personally, find of some interest as of late. I asked her how she thinks fairy tales have shaped our perceptions of the way we should think and act in modern society. She has a brilliant answer. Does anyone wanna hear it? Okay, well, here it is:
The moral. The takeaway. The point. Beyond just keeping young children quiet and still enough that they’d fall asleep and have vivid nightmares about wart-nosed witches and wolves that can swallow you whole, the tradition of fairy tale-telling has served as a tool to teach people character traits well worth the aspiration.
By and large, in the fairytale world, fortune will tend to favor the brave, the persistent, the clever, and the kind.
The third little pig survived because he/she had the common sense to build a house studier than a haystack. On the other hand, the simple-witted third son may not have had his older brothers’ brains, but unlike them, he knew enough to be courteous to mysterious strangers, and was rewarded with a golden goose. Perhaps Jack, meanwhile, didn’t have much in terms of courtesy – he certainly wasn’t above trespassing and stealing – but he was courageous enough to test his luck with a giant time and again, and he came out a wealthy boy. The examples stretch on past a lifetime of bedtimes. Even a lot of the old tales in which boy meets girl and both fall in love instantaneously would often specify that each could somehow see into the goodness of the other’s heart, so while their romance may have been hasty, at least it was better than superficial!
Alas and to the vexation of many, when it comes to the marketing of fairytales, the emphasis will often be on looking good – because you know, it’s hard to sell you anything that will make you wise and selfless, so here, put on a sparkly dress or wave a plastic sword. Can’t mass produce a heart of gold? Advertise hair of gold instead. “Look the part,” the message claims, “and good things will fall into your lap.”
While this sort of packaging has led to a lot of perfectly sweet stories getting a bad rap for sorry example-setting, I, for one, do not believe that kind of frivolity to be in keeping with the true spirit of the fairy tale genre. So I’m always glad when I come across a retelling that focuses more on the character of the characters, rather on the fancy trappings of enchantment, royalty, outer beauty, and such. Happily, anyone who bothers to expand the little tales into full-length novels (or, in my case, novellas) usually knows to pack the plot with more than just the fluff.
The best fairy tales – the best stories, really – help to nudge us toward becoming the people we want to be, while of course keeping us well entertained with the breathtaking adventures and dreamy romances. Do my own Wilderhark Tales merit a ranking among the best? I leave it to you to give them a read and decide for yourself.