The village of Styesville has a dragon problem, and is in sore need of a knight in shining armor to solve it for them. Instead, they get a strange traveler in a ragged cloak they barely even notice at first. Worse still, it soon becomes clear the problem setting fire to their village isn't as simple as a dragon...
The Faerie Godmother’s Apprentice Wore Green by Nicky Kyle is a delightful aromantic fairytale. It just squeaks past being a novella, but the story it delivers in these words is a lot of fun, especially if you enjoy fairytale retellings and stories that play on existing tropes and narratives.
Despite delivering on a lot of fun, though, The Faerie Godmother’s Apprentice Wore Green is also pretty sparse on the worldbuilding. It doesn’t need to go into great amounts of detail – and what there is, is exactly the kind of thing I love; I’ll get back to this – but it does rely a little too strongly on generic fairytale land for me to work well.
That said, stories play a massive part in this one. I love stories-within-stories, so I was utterly delighted to find that most of the worldbuilding we did get came in the form of the characters discussing a well-known fairytale and whether it was based on truth and, if so, how accurate it was (or wasn’t). It was a really, really fun way to build the world up in a little more detail and I loved how it played into the narrative as a whole.
Louisa’s reactions to Dea’s discoveries were a great reversal of a lot of small-town tropes and I really liked how Kyle managed to combine standard fairytale tropes such as dragonslaying with more contemporary feeling narratives such as one of the villagers discovering they have magical powers and have a grand destiny to save the world.
It doesn’t stop there, though, as there’s plenty of room to play with the tropes of fairy godmothers as well, which is where Dea, the titular apprentice comes in. Her backstory is poignant and her friendship with Louisa is delightfully heartfelt. I would love to read more about Dea’s wandering adventures (with or without Louisa, though ideally with because friendship narratives FTW!).
It’s a lot of fun, though it’s not the most substantial of stories. If you enjoy retellings or stories that play with tropes, you’ll have a blast with this one and with spotting all the tropes that Kyle is toying with.
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