As children, we learn sunny, sanitized variations of fairy tales that continually begin “once upon a time” and end “fortunately ever after.” It’s most effective when we’re older that we find out how the original versions of those stories, consisting of those by means of the German folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, contained a long way greater violence, cruelty and darkness. If the Brothers Grimm had been still putting pen to paper today, they might conjure up something like Corey Ann Haydu’s Ever Cursed, a contemporary fairy story of rage, revenge and power.
Princess Jane is the oldest daughter of the king of Ever. She used to accept as true with her state to be a loving and just place, however she and her 4 sisters lived a cosseted life wherein the cruel realities simply outdoor their castle partitions have been cautiously concealed from them. Then a young witch named Reagan placed Jane and her sisters beneath a powerful curse that would turn out to be everlasting if it was not broken in 5 years’ time, on the youngest sister’s 13th birthday. Haydu brings readers into the tale simply earlier than this momentous day, as Jane tries to boost the curse and Reagan reflects on her reasons for casting it in the first place.
Ever Cursed is at its most powerful when Haydu employs all of the trappings of traditional fairy memories—princesses and kings, witches and spells—to illustrate how guys inspire divisions among women so as to diminish lady power. Unlike in our world, magic inside the country of Ever can be deployed through women in order to silence or to save. As both Jane and Reagan find out their their families are not who they appear to be, Haydu’s tale treads a darkish path, well-worn and coated with the familiar thorns of all the cruelties humans inflict on one another. Yet in its contemporary-minded depiction of the age-old conflict between top and evil, Ever Cursed casts a bewitching spell indeed.