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A Fan's Playground
a fic by me, and book thoughts on Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine 
Hey so the fic I wrote for yuletide this year was the following!

One Step (1786 words) by sophia_sol
Fandom: Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Areida & Char & Ella (Ella Enchanted), Char/Ella (Ella Enchanted)
Characters: Areida (Ella Enchanted), Ella of Frell, Prince Charmont

Summary: On Ella and Char's first official state visit to Ayortha after King Jerrold's death and King Char's crowning, I did not expect to see them for more than a brief night's stopover. What would keep them in Amonta, after all, when the politics happen in the capital?

And now that reveals are past, I can also post my book thoughts about this book without revealing what I wrote for yuletide!

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

A charming retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella! I read this book a lot as a kid, and I still really like it. The basic premise: Ella was given a gift/curse by a fairy as an infant, and as a result she must be obedient to any direct commands from anyone.

I like Ella as a character, and I like how the book makes a point of having her and the prince spend time with each other learning to like each other and be friends, long before the balls ever happen. None of that crappy love at first sight stuff here. And I enjoy Ella's friend Areida, and her fairy godmother Mandy is great too, and all of the fun worldbuilding with the other sentient species (and nonsentient ones! I am both charmed and weirded out by centaurs having the approximate intelligence of a not-very-smart horse).

I paid more attention on this read-through to Areida than I usually do, since my yuletide assignment was to write about all three of Ella and Char and Areida, and I was surprised to discover just how little page-time she gets. I guess because there's so much else going on in the book that needs to be covered, and it's a relatively short book. But it surprised me in part because in my memory of the book Areida gets a much larger role. Her friendship is so important to Ella that I guess I just expanded her part in my head!

Also, I have a couple issues with the book that I never thought about when I was a kid.

For one thing, I'm kind of uncomfortable these days with Ella's fairy book allowing her to spy on the personal correspondence and diaries of people she knows. This is a huge boundary violation that the book totally doesn't recognize. I think a large part of the purpose of the fairy book is to allow the narrative to show the reader what's going on when Ella's not around, since it's all told from Ella's POV, but I don't think the author once considered the morals of the thing.

And the other thing is that I'm just really wondering why nobody goes the obvious-to-me rules-lawyering route of ordering Ella to obey orders just exactly as much as she chooses to. This kind of order clearly works, given the example of Mandy ordering Ella to feel however she feels about being obedient. Then Ella would still technically be cursed but be able to act just like a non-cursed person! Unless anyone has thoughts about why doing what I outlined wouldn't work as well as I'm thinking?

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