The Lily Cafe is thrilled to welcome I. L. Cruz! She is the author of The Enchanted Isles series, an enchanting Latin-inspired fantasy series. Currently, the first two books, A Smuggler’s Path and A Noble’s Path, are available for purchase (see below).
I adore I. L. Cruz, her books, and her blog, Fairy Tale Feminista, because she takes a different approach to looking at and understanding fairy tales. Her posts are fun, informative, and thought-provoking. Enjoy her guest post below about fairy tales and romance, just as I did!
Fairy Tale Romance
We are quickly approaching Valentine’s Day (what happened to January?) and that means thinking about love and romance. For some, it means hoping for something they think of as fairy tale romance. But why? Have they ever read any of the stories? The last thing I would ever call them is romantic.
The idea of a fairy tale romance is kind of like Victorian fairies. Let me explain. Victorians gave us the new notion of fairies as benevolent, playful beings who only want to be helpful. Up until the Victorians, fairies of any kind were creatures that humans were supposed to fear and avoid.
Disney did to fairy tales what Victorians did to fairies. Or what YA has done for vampires. In Disney films, the meeting between the girl and boy is so beautifully rendered we ignore that Cinderella agreed to marry a man she’d only danced with, Snow White left with a man who kissed her corpse and Sleeping Beauty…well, at least there Disney let us meet Prince Phillip. But again, they shared a dance and—BOOM—love.
In the real stories, the women had even less time to know the men they would marry and vice versa. It made sense. When these stories were written, marriage was a contract between families and rarely about love. Pairings were about stability and fairy tales reflected that belief. Clever men impressed kings who left them kingdoms and wives. Beautiful women were rescued from difficult circumstances by princes who gave them easier lives. Secure, but not exactly the swoon-worthy stuff of dreams (unless the swooning is due to malnutrition, which is a perfectly good reason to enter this kind of relationship).
Romance is a modern concept or at least our concept of it is modern. It’s based on rom-coms and novels. A movie ending is more to our liking than a fairy tale one. And yet for most of us, fairy tales were our introduction to the romantic dream. As we got older, we refined it. Prince or princess was replaced by sense of humor or nice smile. Eventually we created our own personal fairy tales, which would look utterly foreign to their origins.
This Valentine’s Day I hope you find your personal version of fairy tale romance.
About I. L. Cruz
I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.
Purchase the books
Book One: A Smuggler’s Path
Book Two: A Noble’s Path
Connect with I. L. Cruz
Thank you so much to I. L. Cruz for such a fun guest post! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did. Be sure to check out her books and connect with her.