Bad fairy

© 2000

Review #10:
Reviewed by: SinOan
Wow. Where to start. Well, I think there are so many different area’s and subjects to go into, that a review could be made for this story as long as the story itself. In the interest of not boring everyone to tears, I’ll just say the first things that come to mind.

To begin with, the writing was as perfect as always, although there was a strange mix of modern speaking in with the old that occasionally made the storyteller feel a bit out of character, though that is just my perspective.

Content wise, the story (especially the early parts dealing with her training) felt very pagan, and seemed more like it was describing witchcraft than fairies. Granted, no one can say for sure what real fairies get up to, but from what little I know of them I understood them to be much more alien and strange, and less like ‘magical humans’ as they appear in this story. Again, this reinforced my feeling that the story was more describing a group of pagan witches than otherworldly beings.

Speaking of which (no pun intended) I got the impression this story was something of a statement against a certain group of people these days that I have heard referred to as ‘Fluffies’. That is, people who watch far too much Sabrina and Charmed, and like to prattle on about Love and Light and the magical healing power of crystals. The kind of people who sound like Jesus Hippies on ecstasy, in other words. I have seen a lot of serious pagans online having to defend their beliefs from these ‘Fluffies’ by making much the same arguments as Delia does in this story, about how the dark is just as necessary as the light and that nature isn’t always pretty and sweet smelling. (incidentally, why does someone with a strong affinity with shadows also do well with mirrors? Mirrors are objects that exist only because of the power of reflected light, and darkness/shadow hinders the function of a mirror)

Having said that, I don’t agree with Delia’s POV or actions 100%. The idea of doing a story from the ‘Bad Guys’ perspective, perhaps showing that they aren’t really evil and had their reasons, is one many have read before, designed to (I think) show a more sympathetic side to the ‘Villains’ of a tale. True enough I did feel sympathy and understanding for Delia in the beginning, and I understood that she draws upon the much older and stronger roots of her heritage, but as the story progressed I really lost any sympathy I had for her. Perhaps it was just me, but towards the end she really ‘felt’ as if she was some kind of dark, evil sorceress who people have a right to fear, despite her numerous attempts to justify her actions.

In the end, she didn’t really TRY very hard to be a good person. And I’m not saying you have to be Fluffy and Light to be good. With her power and understanding she had the potential to help a lot of people. People didn’t WANT her help, and she let that stop her dead in her tracks. She also seemed to want acceptance and recognition without having to work for it (granted the triplets didn’t, but no one ever said life was easy or fair for everyone) She should have, I think, tried harder to convince people of her benign intentions. SHOWN people that despite her darker lineage and choices, she could still be constructive and beneficial to society.

We know that she could disguise herself so that people wouldn’t turn away instantly from her. She could have therefore gone forth into the world and done her best to help people and find acceptance, perhaps broaden their minds and fight the evil stereotype image she had developed. Instead, she hid away in a dark castle, spied on people, occasionally cursed people she didn’t like, and followed her fellow-fairies narrow minded vision of focusing her efforts solely on royalty as opposed to the common people, who surely needed help from wise fairies more than well-to-do Kings and Queens did. Far from convincing people that she wasn’t an Evil Witch, she reinforced the image instead! I think therefore the blame lies with Delia herself as much as the others, because lurking away in a gloomy castle spying on people might have made her feel comfortable and happy, but life is about more than just ones own personal comfort, something she seems to have to have failed to grasp.

Ok, I’m rambling, and I realise many aspects of the story were beyond your control, since you had to work within the confines of the original stories. But if you wanted to break with the norm and show a different side to this character, why keep those aspects of her when you had no problem throwing away other parts of the tale, such as the Dragon fight? If you are going to challenge the original story, why not go all the way?

Overall, I feel that this story started off very well, but, for me, felt a bit weaker in its apparent goal towards the end.

Review #9:
Reviewed by: Caleb
WOW.WOW.WOW. AMAZING! 6 out of 5 stars!!Is there a sequal? if not, then write one. This is better then 'Moonlight', and i didn't think that that was possible. REALLY REALLY AMAZINGLY GOOD BEYOND ALL IMAGINING!
(hope i spelt that right)

Review #8:
Reviewed by: Dan M.
Here's my opinion...
Ok wow, it appears that I have saved the best for last! This story grabbed my interest right from the beginning, and held it tightly through the whole story. There have been a few that I kept looking at the slider bar on my right to see how much more of a story I had to go.
Not with this one! I almost wanted to hear more, more I say! I really really liked the twist that you have thrown on the tale of sleeping beauty, and I actually think that this could become a young adult classic tale!
Yes, I seriously believe that it is that good!
And the details of all the magic were impressive and seemed to make me feel like they were every day type of real things. That fairys do exist in the same world as us humans, and that magic is all around us and the like. I think anybody who reads this is in for a real treat, it was very well written.
The only suggestion I could think of on this story would be maybe to look into the possibilty of adding more detail and expanding this into a short little young peoples book. But really I wouldnt change a thing it was perfect, and my suggestion is just an idea.
I think this story is now my second favorite of yours pushing "Mother" to #3 and I still have to say I like "Derika and Emily" the best because I can relate to it so heavily.
But this was just fun! This to me was probably like what Harry Potter is to all the kids out there who go nuts over it.
Well done! Five BIG stars hands down! "*****"
Have you ever tried to get this story published? If not, you should!

Review #7:
Reviewed by: blink
I've already told you these things, but I thought I would comment here as well so you could keep a record of my opinion (since it's so important and all :D ).

First of all, I am quite happy that somebody did my assignment, since I haven't even completed it yet :D

I really enjoy this story, mostly because it seems very well thought out, and it's always interesting to get the "other" side of a well known story; you didn't just tell the same old story from the same old point of view, you told the same old story from a point of view we haven't seen before (at least I haven't). It reminds me of a book I greatly enjoyed, "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire about the Wicked Witch of the West.

The magic system seemed very well thought out and understood, which is always important when using magic in a story. When it isn't, the whole story rings false, and that's never a good thing.

My only real criticism of the story is that the narrator is supposedly quite old when she tells this story and her "voice" is very young. It just didn't quite seem to match.


Review #6:
Reviewed by: cloud_abc123
Here's my opinion...
i really liked the plot,with casting the bad fairy as good,it's awesome cuz it's so dofferent from most of the renditions of fairy tales i hear. i also liked all the parts discussing balance instead of the good/bad being taken for granted.i think you did a good job in making everything flow 2.

Review #5:
Reviewed by: AP411 Ruler
I really liked it a lot. It was an interestuing twist:) Keep up the great work and I'll be reading more of your stories!

Review #4:
Reviewed by: Jessica
I thought this was original twist on an old story, which I have always enjoyed. I gave you four out of five because I like some of your other stuff better, but this is really good. It has always kinda annoyed me that in the "stoybooks" the bad guys are randomly and completely evil....I like the background you came up with, as well as the misinterpretation of her gift to Aurora, which I thought was a thoroghly original idea.
I didn't find anything that really struck me as needing correction in the story, technically I can't find anything wrong, and I really the idea and the story a lot.

Review #3:
Reviewed by: stephanie
Here's my opinion... i thought the story was beautifully written and it was really interesting to here it from the voice of maleficent. i also liked the fact that you used real witchcraft facts in the story which alot of authors dont do.
keep up the good work,

Review #2:
Reviewed by: Fred
The author attempts quite a challenge with this story, reworking a "good guy/bad guy" myth from the viewpoint of the "bad guy." I for one am always interested in the "other side of the story," for only in hearing and understanding both sides of a story can one get a sense of what is really going on.

One author who has done this well is Marion Zimmer Bradley with the book _Mists of Avalon_. When I read "Bad Fairy," I was reminded of _Mists of Avalon_. The two stories are very similar in terms of dispelling the notion of a simple "good vs. evil" paradigm. There are a lot of reasons and motivations as to why people do the things they do, and "Bad Fairy" describes this concept nicely.

Technically, the writing is superb as always. Written from Maleficient's first person view, the story explains complex concepts consistently, intelligently, clearly and in detail.

I like the presence of the yin/yang concept in the story. Maleficient is really a nice fairy and shows compassion and kindness--but she deals with parts of life that humans know little about, and thus she is considered evil. Maleficient even internalizes yin/yang, as she is part human part fairy, and for the fairy part, part "good" fairy, and part "bad" fairy. She talks about light/shadow magick. In the story, the images of light and dark, and the use of light and shadow magic all have their places. On the other hand, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather all put up nice faces for humanity, but are mean and cruel to Maleficient, and furthermore, are actually rather incompetent as fairies.

There is some cool irony too. The fairy school elders seem to be wrapped up in dogma and rules. It takes Maleficient, a follower of Ceridwen, who is the goddess of "wisdom, renewal, and death" to shake things up. Yet it is Maleficient who is competent, not the other "good" fairies.

I only had problems with one part of the story. Early on, Maleficient describes the harassment by the "good" fairies. Yet, later in the story, Maleficient describes an ability to go into disguises and actually perform many of the abilities of the good fairies. It is not explained well how/why she was not able to manifest these abilities in youth. Especially since Maleficient is described as a "competent" fairy, it seems odd that she did not develop these disguising skills earlier in life. At any rate, perhaps it is because she learned the "light" magic only as she learned to accept her "shadow" side.

In conclusion, this was a very pleasant story to read. The author took on a difficult task, in my opinion, and did a masterful job. The story is full of insights and wisdom. Most of all, it is extremely thought provoking and philosophical. And to top it off, it is well written!

Review #1:
Reviewed by: The Author Herself
I took a LOT of liberties with this and made up a lot of things that just sounded good, even though it was fun. But it was kind of cool and honest-sounding, and I thought the character, even in her strange position, sounded believable and sympathetic. But since it's not completely original (being a re-make of fairy tale), I can't take too much pride in it. It's also based a little more off of the Disney-fied myths, not the original versions of it, but at least I know that. It was a story about dispelling myths anyway, and that's the most prevalent of them, the Disney version.

Read it: