With the release of Magic Unleashed we have closed out the Hall of Blood and Mercy Trilogy, and all the similarities to Donkeyskin have been revealed! (If you haven’t read my sarcastic summary of the original story click here, and then check out The Similarities Part I and Part II to learn more!)
This book probably has the least amount of references and similarities to the Donkeyskin fairytale, because it really focuses on Hazel and Killian and their relationship, which is decidedly different from the original story. But I still have some references!
First, as always, one of Princess Donkeyskin’s dresses makes an appearance! For the third book, I dressed Hazel in the princess’s final and most beautiful dress, a gown that was made to resemble the sun and was crafted with gold. This is also the dress the princess wears when her perverted prince sees her, and the gown she wears when she appears in his court to prove who she is. So this gown means a lot.
As a result, I decided to make the occasion Hazel wears it for important to the plot, and so I constructed the party at Drake Hall.
Next, you finally get to meet the subtle tip of the hat to another key donkeyskin character, Bagel the donkey! Because I was not willing to harm an animal for the sake of making this trilogy more like the original story, I decided to put the donkey in as a subtle nod, and instead I used Hazel’s sealed magic as the ‘disguise’ so to speak–although it’s more on the symbolic level than the original princess who uses a literal donkey skin to physically disguise herself so no one realizes she’s a beautiful princess.
I was delighted with the number of readers who caught the homage to the original donkey–who was responsible for the amazing wealth of Princess Donkeyskin’s kingdom because he pooped gold–as Lelia describes Bagel thinking highly of himself to the point where he believes he could poop gold. 😉 (As a side note, technically, Bagel is first heard in Magic Forged, and when Hazel first meets Leila she asks if she’s the donkey owner in Magic Redeemed.)
Last, but certainly not least, Great Aunt Marraine! I mentioned her in the first Similarities blog post, but in Magic Unleashed you get to see more of Great Aunt Marraine. (In summary of the first post, Marraine is the French word for godmother, which is a subtle point to the fairy godmother character Great Aunt Marraine was created to represent.) But it’s not until Magic Unleashed that I feel like you get to really experience Great Aunt Marraine’s character, and see how she helps Hazel.
There’s the obvious in the way Great Aunt Marraine acts as a secretary/personal assistant for Hazel, but she’s also not afraid to push Hazel and bring up Drake Vampires even when Hazel insists she doesn’t want to hear about it. Marraine’s pushy tendencies were another wink to the fairytale because the original godmother is a bit of a sass who never holds back from dropping some truth bombs. (She’s the only one who ever correctly says that Princess Donkeyskin’s father is obviously off his rocker.) Great Aunt Marriaine is similar–except she is even more cheeky in her dealings with Killian and the other Drake vampires.
And that’s about it! Thanks for reading, Champions, and I hope you have a lovely day!