If you are well-versed in the nasty beginnings of most beloved fairy tales, then probably yes. If you are familiar with the delightfully cracked work of Tamsyn Muir then also, yes. If you are coming in seeing a blonde princess in a tower and thinking Disney, then absolutely not!
Princess Floralinda is your traditional princess: beautiful, naïve, and imprisoned in a tower. She was put up there by a witch; and while the witch is only barely in the story, she is a hoot of a witch none the less. When she does show herself, she is busy explaining the economical benefits of the creatures she has placed on every floor of the tower. She has set no ransom; she’s just built a traditional tower for a foolhardy prince to come and storm.
The princes, though, do not stand a chance. Forget the 40 floors: they can’t get past the first! It becomes more and more apparent that Floralinda will have to rescue herself. Right as she is about to abandon all hope, a little ball of chaos by the name of Cobweb gets blown in through the open window at the top of the tower, entwining the fates of the princess and the fairy together in a knot of loathing, cruelty, and harshest of all: love.
Imagine my delight when Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower popped up on scribd this week: tons of chores to do around the house but now I can do with while Moira Quirk tells me a story? Excellent! This novella is quite short- especially in comparison to Gideon and Harrow– and while I desperately want more from Tamsyn Muir, this story is the perfect length for a fairy tale. Quirk is, as always, a star. Her take on Cobweb is gleefully mean and her witch is a fantasy Carol Kane.
If you have a Gideon sized hole in your heart and a little bit of time to kill, go ahead and use Princess Floralinda and the Forty-Flight Tower as a balm. It will be soothing and painful in equal parts.