Rapunzel’s Tower by Wendy L. Anderson

Who doesn’t know the story of Rapunzel?  Amazon, with its new commercial based on the story, is certainly betting that almost everybody does but I promise you that this is different from anything you have read!  The basics are there, a beautiful damsel locked away in a tall tower waiting to be rescued by her prince but that is pretty much where the story takes a big turn.  

Apparently, the rest of the story, or at least the part left out in the children’s fairy tale, is that two princes from different parts of the world arrive at the tower at about the same time, each wanting to rescue and wed this lovely woman.  Both fail and are found on the ground beaten and bruised and finding it hard to stand up. An old beggarman helps the two up and offers them a way into the tower, they must understand that they have to compete for the hand of the damsel in distress, it will take the two of them working together to reach their goal and they can take nothing from the various rooms in the tower.  So begins the great adventure filled with battles, dragons, blizzards of snow, beautiful women, and danger as the two men work to reach the top of the tower.

I am not going to spoil this for you, but I will say that Anderson has done it once again with a terrific retelling of a very old tale.  The various “rooms” in the tower demonstrate Andeson’s imaginative gifts, each more unique than the rest.  The relationship between the two men that are thrown together and forced to work together is fascinating as we watch the contrast between hate, competition, and respect change with each different task and over time.  This is a real winner of an adult fairy tale!

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