The Rogue and the Peasant (The Fairy Godmother Tales Book 1) by Amberley Martin
Amberley Martin has created a fanciful adaptation of fairy tales and classics in The Rogue and the Peasant, her first book in The Fairy Godmother Tales. Taking inspiration from Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Hamlet, Martin creates her own version of a fairy tale which centers around a magical godmother who uses wishes as a way to create an epic game for her personal amusement. Esme and Rory are the newest participants. Esme has lived her fatherless childhood with her mother in a small cottage outside a small village. Even though they had a very simple existence her mother raised her with the skills and knowledge of a highborn lady, claiming that one day Esme would be a queen. Esme never wished for any other life as she had no knowledge that before she was born her mother wished for a different life for her, the life of a queen. A life that begins with her eighteen birthday and a visit from a mysteries finishing school mistress. This visit sets in motion another “task” for Rory, whose wish saved his life but indebted him to play the rogue in the fairy godmother’s convoluted “games”. Esme and Rory must work together to survive godmother’s cruel challenges. In doing so unlocks secrets that have them questioning who they thought they were and what they dreamed they were capable of.
The Rogue and the Peasant is a unique and entertaining story that incorporates many different fairy tale elements and character types but presents them in a totally unexpected way. We see that true strength and resolve can come in many forms as Esme and Rory blur the lines between damsel in distress and knight in shining armor with her declaration “A queen wouldn’t sit here waiting. A queen would rescue herself”. I really enjoyed this change of roles as they encountered dragons, and trolls, and labyrinths, and assassins. They were constantly confronted with their fears and worries, which godmother would amplify and use against them. In the end the “wishes” are fulfilled in the most surprising and satisfying way.
I was very entertained by Martin’s creation of unique fairy tale from bits and pieces of so many other widely known stories and tales. I hadn’t read The Rogue and the Peasant summary before I started reading and I was initially confused as to the different references, as they weren’t in line with the original versions. When I began to see how this was actually a creative use of fairy tale characters and storylines, but in a totally different way, I had almost as much fun figuring out what story an element was from as I did reading this fantastical tale. This is an action packed story that will entertain readers of all ages.