Turning Curse is fantasy, young adult novel written by up-and-comer author A.C. Harrah about irresponsible and fun-loving Prince Liam who is transformed into a frog when he rejects the arranged marriage between him and his best friend Cordelia. Little did he know Cordelia was a witch, and one that doesn’t handle rejection well on top of that. Held captive by Cordelia, he must escape her clutches and break the curse put upon him. His only hope in this endeavor is Cordelia's servant Gabrielle. However, Gabrielle has a secret of her own, and helping Liam is something she cannot do.
Turning Curse is fast-past read filled with magic, humor, romance, and adventure. All of this can be gleaned from its pages, but there are some fun facts that most readers do not know about the contents.
1.) The Naming of Cordelia
Harrah hopes you like Shakespeare because Cordelia is named after the youngest of Lear’s daughters in King Lear. While there may be some differences between Harrah’s Cordelia and Shakespeare’s, they share a tumultuous relationship with their father’s, and are unable to fulfill their father’s expectations.
2.) The Naming of King Gerard
While Cordelia may have been named after another literary figure, King Gerard was not. In fact, he went through many names until Harrah felt she had found one that carried a certain weight to it and fit the character’s persona.
3.) That Beastly Snore!
There is a scene in which Liam hears Gabrielle snore for the first time, and it is not a dainty sound. When one of Harrah’s beta readers stumbled upon it, they said the description should be changed because it did not fit the character’s personality. Harrah deadpanned: “That’s the point.”
4.) Not One But Two
For those who have picked up Harrah’s novel and read it, then you already know that it is a retelling of a fairy tale, but you may not have known is that there are actually two fairytales playing out in novel.
5.) The Inspiration
When Harrah’s Children’s Literature class reached its fairy tale unit, she was drawn to The Frog Prince because it did not fit the mold of the typical fairy tale, unless the prince is viewed as the protagonist and the princess as the antagonist. Realizing this, Harrah started looking through adaptations of The Frog Prince and realized it was often told from the girl’s perspective. Wanting to go against the grain, she began writing Turning Curse.
6.) A Heated Debate
When Harrah delivered her manuscript to her beta readers and editors there were mixed opinions about the ending in regards to Cordelia—to the point where not even a majority vote could decide the outcome. This led to a few tweaks at the end, and many hours of mediation to determine what was most true to the characters.
7.) From Chaos Comes Ideas
While editors and beta readers were mixed about what should happen with Cordelia, one question kept cropping up: what about Alan? Liam’s younger brother had earned a soft spot in the hearts of a few readers, and while Harrah had been prepared to write a sequel revolving around Cordelia, she soon realized there needed to be another story told beforehand.
Irresponsible was one word used to describe Prince Liam. Liam preferred fun-loving. After years of pulling pranks on his fellow nobles and ruining balls, Liam’s prospects for a bride are looking dim. At his wits’ end, Liam’s father arranges a marriage between Liam and his best friend Cordelia. She is the last person in the world Liam wants to marry. When Liam confesses this to her, she transforms Liam with a curse.
Now Liam must escape her clutches while breaking her spell, but he is trapped in her castle with no way to escape. His only hope is to persuade Cordelia’s servant Gabrielle to help him. However, Gabrielle has a secret of her own, and helping Liam is something she cannot do.
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Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
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