[ From the Archive: ] Beauty’s Curse – C. S. Johnson

A refreshing fairy tale for all ages to enjoy, Rose is a cursed princess who doesn’t wait around for a prince to come and save her. Instead, she’s on a journey to stop the evil fairy Queen and avoid the outcome of the curse placed upon her. Accompany C.S.Johnson’s young heroes and heroines on their quest to save Princess Rose from the sleeping curse.

The Story

A war between fairies and humans rages and Princess Rose of Rhone is seething. The wicked Fairy Queen Magdalina cursed her with an impending sleeping death – and worse: relentless beauty. Instead of waiting for a hero to come by, she has taken it upon herself to find answers and confront the evil fairy Queen. She’s accompanied by Theo, who wanted to become a knight like his father and uncle before him, but whose dreams were shattered when his family was murdered by the evil fairies. Taken in by the church, he now studies to become a priest. Along with them are the siblings Ethan and Sophia, who, despite being 12 and 13 years old, are already quite skilled and a talented part of their group. They also receive help from Mary, a small fairy, and Virtue, Rose’s hawk.

A Strong Heroine Princess

It’s refreshing to read a retelling of a fairy tale that isn’t entirely focused on a small children or entirely directed at adults with lots of blood and gore. Beauty’s Curse manages to wriggle itself neatly in between and by doing so will be appealing to an even greater audience. The story can be categorized as Young Adult, although anyone a tad younger might still be able to enjoy the story just as much. 

Princess Aurora Rosemarie Mohanagan of Rhone, called Rosary by Theo and Rose throughout the tale, is not your typical princess and fits in nicely with the current mainstream idea of princesses we like to see as a rolemodel for our daughters. Not a passive damsel in distress but someone who seeks the answers and solutions, who is educated and not afraid to get into the field. A girl who takes fate in her own hands and doesn’t want to sit around and wait for a solution – or to be married off to a prince and produce an heir before her imminent death such as her parents want for her. She is the type of girl who demanded to be trained as a knight and to be taught how to read her own as well as foreign languages.


One of the attractive aspects of the story are the relationships between the main characters. It’s nice to read about a band of friends on a quest and it’s impossible not to enjoy the joyful banter between them. Although the main characters are all relatively young, they face the hardships and remind us that this is, above all, a story about companionship, about morals and about loyalty. 

C.S.Johnson writes away fluently and has a nice and easy reading style which makes it easy to slip into the world she presents us with. Her writing invites to read on and the characters are all realistic beings, each one with their strengths but also their flaws, making it easier to feel for their predicament. As a retelling of a fairy tale this story knows to deliver, and Johnson’s own unique voice shines through. The ending leaves the reader wanting for more. Good thing that this is only the first part in the Once Upon A Princess series, and Beauty’s Quest and Beauty’s Kiss can already be bought via amazon.

[ 2016, also visit the author’s website https://www.csjohnson.me/ ]

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