Thursday, September 15, 2011
Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson 276 pages
Following the trend to morph classic fairy tales into young adult novels, is this retelling of a Perrault tale set in pre-colonial India. Two step-sisters receive gifts from a goddess; Diribani is granted a blessing: when she speaks, jewels and flowers spill from her lips; Tana is cursed: toads and snakes escape each time she speaks. But what is a curse to one may seem like a blessing to the other as the reactions of the villagers, government officials and the prince change their lives.Diribani is imprisoned and all her jewels are snatched for the prince's profits. Tana is chased to exile by the villagers who fear her gift. It is up to Tana to create a rescue. Richly embroidered prose make this a memorable telling.