Author Bruce Calhoun recently released his captivating retelling of a favorite classic and the first installment of a planned series, Ardennia: The Unlikely Story of Cinderella’s Prince. Combining Chaucer-like satire and an expanded cast of memorable characters, Calhoun’s version of Cinderella as told through the eyes of her prince is a refreshing new take.
Unknown to many is that Cinderella had its origins in 9th Century China. Through the years, Cinderella has been retold in an unimaginable number of ways until it changed into the versions that we are familiar with today. For those who do not believe this to be true, there are more than 500 Cinderella books recorded by the American Library Association and more than 100 film adaptations of Cinderella.
Ardennia follows the life of Prince Charming from the chaos of the Battle of Paris to his first moments with Cinderella at the masquerade ball. His quest to discover her true identity takes him through strange lands inhabited by creatures like pixies and goblins. Along the way, he meets an extraordinary group of people, including a bean counter who bets his gold tooth in games of chance and pilgrims who argue over which of them is the most pious.
Unlike traditional versions of Cinderella’s story, Ardennia strikes a realistic balance between the magic and brutality of the medieval era. By blending the fairytale of Cinderella with an analysis of the Ardennes region of France, Calhoun’s work is reminiscent of Don Quixote and other works that use humor to reflect on past historical ages.
Although Ardennia is a young adult historical fantasy novel, many elements will appeal to an adult audience as well. Early reviewers applaud the author’s ability to flesh out a childhood classic “with a great deal of historical and geographical background along with a bit of the family tree of both protagonists.”
At its core, Ardennia also contains valuable lessons and themes for young adult readers. Calhoun’s unorthodox retelling emphasizes that real magic is often hard to come by, but the world is still a magical place. Despite adversity and doubt, Prince Charming perseveres on his journey to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Ardennia: The Unlikely Story of Cinderella’s Prince is available for purchase on Amazon.com or wherever books are sold. Sequels are currently in development.
Bruce Calhoun is an author and award-winning playwright. From teaching marine biology in Puerto Rico to filming lowland gorillas in Africa, he has always believed in the power of adventure. Now in his golden years, Calhoun enjoys writing and serving as the president of Save the Rainforest, an organization that he founded in 1988. He lives with his wife in southwestern Wisconsin.
Visit him online at www.literaryworksbrucecalhoun.com/novels.html.