A Limerick Fairytale

Prince Hugo is determined to find himself a princess, through ‘magic and excitement’ - that is, after all, the only way to get a ‘happily ever after.’ But the beautiful Limerella doesn’t seem at all interested - until the night they finally dance together. When she runs off, leaving behind one sparkling white trainer, Hugo enlists the king’s soldiers to help find her. Unfortunately, they cause more trouble than they should, wreaking havoc across Limerick and its various landmarks. Is there any chance of a happy ending?

The malleability and enduring relevance of fairytales is demonstrated in this reimagining of Cinderella by debut author Gráinne O’Brien. There are knowing winks to familiar tropes, and subversions of others; the foolishness of marrying someone on the basis of a single night of dancing is noted - ‘Should we get to know each other first?’.

As with Nicola Colton’s A Dublin Fairytale and Caitriona Sweeney’s A Galway Fairytale from the same publisher, the appeal is not just the fairytale elements but the local detail. Balls take place in Adare Manor, Curraghchase, and on the banks of the Shannon. The ‘delicious cakes’ of the Milk Market get a shout-out, as do the chicken rolls being devoured by University of Limerick students. Illustrator Lena Stawowy has fun with the juxtaposition of the traditional attire of the royals and the more modern clothing everyone else wears at the different events, and the chaos of the scenes with the guards is vividly rendered. Playful and charming.

About the Author
Author Image - Gráinne O'Brien
Gráinne O'Brien is the children's buyer for O'Mahony's Booksellers, a job she has proudly held for almost a decade. She is the founder of Rontu Literary Service, a service dedicated to supporting writers of fiction for children as they seek publication of their manuscripts and one of the founders of Silver Apples Magazine, an online literary magazine entering its tenth year. She completed the MA
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About the Illustrator
Illustrator Image - Lena Stawowy
Lena Stawowy is an illustrator, character designer and constant doodler who lives in beautiful Kilkenny. This is her first book
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Book Cover - A Limerick Fairytale
Publication Date
May 2023