I hope you all enjoyed the extract and my review of the book can be found below. Thank you to Adam Gidwitz for introducing the extract today.
Friday, 14 October 2011
A Tale of Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz Blog Tour
I am very pleased to welcome Adam Gidwitz to the blog today and below he introduces an extract to the book.
In this passage, the young king and the golden princess—who will be Hansel and Gretel’s parents, when they get around to the good part of being married—are sailing home in their ship. The young king’s most faithful servant, Johannes, who has engineered this romance, rides with them. That’s all you need to know, except that there may be some talking birds in this following excerpt. And it is always best to listen to talking birds...
As the ship ploughed through the purple sea, the new lovers made eyes at each other up near the bow. Faithful Johannes was sitting near the back of the ship, admiring the success of his plan, when he noticed three ravens alight on a mast beam.
The first raven pointed with his beak at the king and princess. ‘What a lovely couple those two make,’ he said.
And the second said, ‘Yes. Too bad they won’t stay that way.’
The first said, ‘What do you mean?’
‘Well,’ the second replied, ‘when the ship reaches land, a beautiful chestnut stallion will canter up to the party, and the king will decide to ride it back to the castle. But if he does, he will be thrown from its back and die.’
‘Good God, that’s horrible!’ said the first raven. ‘Is there nothing anyone can do?’
‘Oh, there is,’ said the second raven. ‘Someone could kill the horse before the king mounts it. But what good is that? For if someone did it, and told why he did it, he would be turned to stone, from the tips of his toes to the knobs of his knees.’
‘To stone?’ asked the first raven.
‘To stone,’ answered the second.
The third raven, who’d been listening quietly, cut in at this point. ‘It gets worse, you know,’ he said. ‘If, by some chance, the two lovers escape that danger, another lies ahead. For when they arrive at the gates of the castle, a beautiful bridal gown, made of pure gold, will be laid out on a bed of purple flowers. The princess will want to wear it, of course. But if she touches it she will be consumed by a ball of fire and burn to a cinder right there on the spot.’
‘Good God, that’s terrible!’ cried the first raven. ‘Is there nothing anyone can do?’
‘Oh, there is,’ said the third raven. ‘If someone were to pick up the dress before she could, and throw it in the fire, the princess would live. But what good is that? For if someone did it, and told why he did it, he would be turned to stone, from the knobs of his knees to the core of his heart.’
‘To stone?’ repeated the first raven.
‘To stone,’ confirmed the third.
‘Nor is that all,’ said the second raven morosely. ‘For if the two lovers avoid that tragedy, a final one awaits. When they are married and begin the wedding dance, the new queen will swoon, and fall to the floor, and die.’
‘Good God, that’s the worst thing yet!’ cried the first raven. ‘Is there nothing anyone can do?’
‘Oh, there is,’ said the third. ‘If someone were to bite the new queen’s lip and suck three drops of blood from it with his mouth, she would live. But what good is that? For if someone did it, and told why he did it, he would be turned to stone from the core of his heart to the top of his head.’
‘To stone?’ said the first.
‘To stone,’ replied the second.
‘To stone,’ echoed the third.
And with that, the three ravens shook their black beaks, sighed sadly, and flew away.
Faithful Johannes buried his head in his hands, for he had heard all. He knew what he would have to do, and that it could not come to any good.