As a young child who was an “old soul” (read: my social circle was mostly made up of my Mom’s friends and I spent more time reading than playing with other kids), I did a great deal of research into obscure myths, folktales, and fairytales. As you can probably tell, I’m still doing that. When I was in 7th grade, I became a little obsessed with the imagery of one particular fairytale: Princess Rosette. It’s not a perfect story, but it inspired some of my most passionate writing projects, The Telverin Trilogy. Though it holds very little connection to my books now, it’s still close to my heart.
I’ve pondered for a while about how I wanted to present this fairytale on my blog. I’ve decided on simply retelling it and sharing my thoughts along the way. If you read my Tatterhood blog, it will be very similar to that.
Once Upon a Time
There were a king and a queen. They had two sons and a beautiful new baby girl named Princess Rosette. They were delighted and hadn’t learned that inviting fairies over to discuss your infant daughter is a bad idea from Sleeping Beauty‘s parents. They asked their fairy guests to tell them their new child’s future. The consensus was that Rosette would be the cause of great misfortune for her big brothers, possibly even their death.
Seriously, I don’t recommend inviting fairies over when you have a baby. It doesn’t usually turn out well. Also, don’t ask about your kid’s future. The kid can’t even talk yet. Seems a little unfair to snap to judgment just yet. At least wait until baseline testing has been administered. Also, HASN’T ANYONE READ OEDIPUS?!
Fortunately, Rosette’s parents loved her and didn’t want her to die. However, they thought it was probably best to keep Rosette away from literally everyone. They kept her trapped inside of a tower where the only ones who could visit her were her parents and brothers. She saw nothing of the outside world her entire childhood.
I mean, I’m glad that they didn’t decide to abandon their daughter or kill her, but they really shouldn’t be taking parenting advice from fairies or Elsa’s parents.
One day, the king and queen died. Rosette’s oldest brother became the new king. The first thing he decided to do was stop listening to fairies and release his sister from her unearned prison. He and his brother escorted their baby sister out of the tower, only now she wasn’t a child anymore. She was a beautiful young woman.
Hurray for her brothers not being complete and total monsters.
The first thing she saw in this brand new world was a peacock. She thought it was the most beautiful creature she’d ever laid eyes on. When her brothers said that it was going to be dinner, Rosette became very upset. She demanded that peacock no longer be on the menu and also declared that she would marry no one but the King of Peacocks.
So, let’s think this through for a second. If you released your sister from a tower where she received no education about the world around her, and she started talking about how beautiful peacocks are, would you ever consider saying “Oh, yeah, we’re going to eat that” to her? That seems like a really dumb idea, right? Now, she wants to marry a peacock, you complete morons. This is what royal inbreeding results in folks: this and the Hapsburg Jaw.
Well, her brothers had a lot to make up for. So, they gave her the peacock as a pet, as well as a puppy. They lavished her with beautiful clothes and jewelry. They got her portrait done and then took the painting on a long journey to search for the King of Peacocks, even though they had never heard of him before.
Really? One of her brothers is king. He’s just going to stop governing an entire country to humor his sister’s fantasies about a peacock king? If I was a peasant in this country, I’d be sharpening my guillotine.
Remarkably, Rosette’s brothers actually discovered a Kingdom of Peacocks, which was on an island with a bunch of, you guessed it, peacocks. It also had a king who didn’t have a wife yet. They made great friends with this king and then showed him the portrait of their sister, explaining the whole situation. The king was struck by her beauty and agreed at once to marry her, but then added, “She better be this pretty. If she’s not, I’m going to execute you.”
Talk about a rollercoaster. The brothers go on a hopeless journey and then have a string of good luck, only to discover this guy is a total sociopath (Or would he be a psychopath? Someone needs to educate me here). I don’t even want to imagine what Rosette’s kids with the King of Peacocks are going to be like.
The brothers were kept as prisoners. So, they sent a letter back to their kingdom, explaining that Rosette needed to come right away. Rosette, her puppy, her nursemaid, and nursemaid’s daughter all got on a boat and traveled to the Kingdom of Peacocks.
So, now there isn’t one member of the royal family left to take care of the country. Now is the time to rise up! Occupy the palace! Take the means of production into your hands, comrades! You no longer need to suffer under the boot heel of complete imbeciles!
Unfortunately for Rosette, her nursemaid is kind of tired of her daughter getting the shaft just because she doesn’t happen to be a princess. She gets a great idea (well, evil, but not dumb). She decides to toss the princess off the side of the boat and have her daughter pose as Princess Rosette to marry the king. She’s either incompetent or really doesn’t want Rosette to die, because she tosses the princess’s bed off, puppy and all, and the bed floats. The princess sleeps through the whole thing.
First, this isn’t what I was implying with my revolution speech. Second, holy moly, Rosette’s nursemaid is the strongest person in the entire world! Third, how on Earth do you sleep through something like that? What do I need to take to sleep that well? I am SO tired, you guys.
The King of Peacocks sees the nursemaid’s daughter, who looks nothing like the portrait and reluctantly agrees to marry her. Unfortunately for Rosette’s brothers, they’re scheduled for execution on the day of the wedding.
I mean…why marry her? Why not send them back home and say, “I SAID NO UGGOS!” and just hold out for an attractive woman who will overlook your superficial nature and clear misogyny? Also, imagine being the nursemaid’s daughter right now. Not only did she just get insulted, but she is also stuck marrying a blood-thirsty extremist.
Meanwhile, Princess Rosette and her puppy luck out and drift to the Kingdom of Peacocks. When she wakes up, she has no idea where she is, despite it being an island of peacocks. A kindly fisherman takes her and her puppy in, and she stays with him for a couple of days. Things are okay, but his food is terrible. So, Rosette commands her puppy to bring her food worth eating.
Wow, the entitlement, right? Not only is she just terribly stupid, but Little Miss “I’m Finally Out of My Prison Tower,” thinks she’s too good for common people food. Good luck, puppy, pleasing your mistress. I don’t suppose you’ve wondered whatever happened to her precious peacock she didn’t think was worth bringing on this trip.
The puppy is smarter than his mistress and finds food fit for royalty at the palace kitchens. At each meal, he steals some food and brings it back to the fisherman’s house where he and the princess eat like a king. The palace chef notices what’s happening. He follows the puppy back to find the thief responsible for all of this. To his astonishment, Princess Rosette is the culprit. He knows it’s her because the King of Peacocks has been mooning over her portrait publicly forever. He explains what’s going on, and they high tail it back to the palace to save her brothers.
It is really incredible how lucky this chick is. Perhaps, Daisy from The Great Gatsby had it right, and the best thing a girl can be in this world is a beautiful little fool.
Princess Rosette arrives just in time, and the King of Peacocks is greatly relieved that the pretty lady from a painting was real and would marry him. He releases her brothers from prison right away. The nursemaid and her daughter beg for mercy, and they are forgiven. Apparently, they all lived happily ever after.
Really? You were ready to kill Rosette’s brothers over their sister not looking like her profile picture, but people impersonating royalty are spared? Also, Rosette’s totally cool with marrying the guy who was just about to chop her brothers’ heads off. I hope her previous kingdom has set up a healthy, sustainable democracy in their absence.
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Coming November 30th, 2020!
Princess Eya’s life changes forever with the discovery of the Statue of the Goddess Winds, just as she’s coming of age. The long-overlooked kingdom of Hicares finds itself in a war it isn’t prepared for against the far more powerful empire of Pescel. To survive, Eya must flee her home, losing everything and everyone she loves in the process.
Yet, by leaving behind all she’s ever known, she learns that her sheltered life didn’t prepare her for the real world’s strange and frightening nature. She encounters people, places, and creatures beyond anything she ever imagined, along with sinister enemies from every direction. Perhaps her most surprising revelation is that she is developing terrifying powers of her own. Will Eya be able to find happiness in her new life, or will she continue struggling with the current?
Struggling With the Current is the first book of The Telverin Trilogy, a fantasy war story that takes place between several countries in the world of Telverin.
Like reading my blog? Then, you’ll love my book!
Struggling With the Current is the first book in The Telverin Trilogy, a story about an exiled princess who finds herself in a terrifying world with equally frightening powers.