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Although Nelson's Castle is historical fiction, it is also a novel infused with magic and legends. But why the subtitle? What elements make Nelson's Castle a fairy tale?​

Some characteristics of Fairy Tales:


A Distant Land

A Castle

A Forest

An Evil Force

A Good Element that will conquer the Evil

A Heroine

A Mentor

A heavy dose of magic

A journey to the unknown

Personal Growth for the Heroine

A cruel parental figure

An unloved child

A Moral

And More...what other elements can be considered aspects of a fairy tale?

The beginning and the end of a fairy tale...

The novel does not open with the classic, "Once upon a time," but with the words, "Long ago, my Papa told a tale..." Do these words evoke a similar sentiment?


Instead of the fairy-tale ending, "and they all lived happily ever after" (ex: Hansel and Gretel, Snow-White and Rose-Red, Rapunzel, etc.), consider the ending of Nelson's Castle and the last sentence, "'Neath the stars, the girl lies, too, this night and each night to come, deep in the forest, there, with the shepherd boy." Did everyone live happily ever after? Who did and who didn't?

And while we're on the subject of endings...


In the novel, there are some tales that are woven into the story, for example: The Tale of the Fox, The Tale of the Chamber Pot, The tale of the Shepherd Boy, and The tale of the Duchinu and His Bride. The Tale of the Chamber Pot is a story my grandmother told time and again, but the other stories are pure invention on my part. So, too, their endings, with the exception of "The Duchinu and His Bride." I ended this tale with a line that is said in many Sicilian folk tales. "And, so, it always is when truth is told..." Most of the tales in the novel do not have a happy ending. Why do you think the Sicilian folk tales never ended with "and they all lived happily ever after?"

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