The Fairytale Trilogy by Valerie Gribbon is a snappy, sword-wielding epic chronicling the escapades of Marianne and her dutiful brother Robin upon fleeing from an arranged marriage and a torturous apprenticeship, respectively. Mounting Leopold, a mammoth dragon residing in a glass marble no larger than your fist, they set out on a quest to avenge the death of their parents, Ingle and Karlyle, conquer the sinister Grimholdt, and possibly save a few kingdoms to boot. Utter hilarity ensues, in both Robin’s sheer…um…Robin-ness, as well as spewing from the slimy mouth of Prince, an accursed amphibian. Journey to the land of bloodthirsty unicorns, emperors wielded like puppets, and dogs that go “mer”.
The most infamous- though maybe not truest- hallmark of great literature is the ease with which it displaces biology textbooks and math worksheets as the overachieving highschooler’s pocketed tome of choice. Flash cards are crumpled from nightstands in earnest, and hastily scribbled notes clamor for floor space. The Fairytale Trilogy by Valerie Gribbon is one such novel indeed, presently nestled in my bed, comforter billowing. An escapist confection, “Fairytale”, the trio’s first installment, is a plot one ambles through, not necessarily fast-paced but then again why should it be? Such a work I can only fault in one respect: Most of the back-story yet to be divulged, Robin comes off the bumbling brother and Marianne more like a dragon-riding, wizard-slaying, goblin-saving Mary Sue. But take note, Ms. Gribbon, that I so criticize only in the fear an unknowing reader will come to resent two characters for which I feel the polar opposite. In “The Emperor’s Realm”, the pace quickens considerably as will your heart rate, but the best is saved for last with “The Three Crowns”. The Fairytale Trilogy’s crowning glory is well-worth the wait, and ties everything together more aptly than an episode of Seinfeld. The incessant barrage of suitors all but flinging themselves at Marianne is a bit humbling to the pimple-faced, dweeby type teen such as moi, but what is adolescence without an inferiority complex, right? Overall, a great and heartily recommended read.