‘What Once Was Mine’ Takes Risks, Blending Disney’s Rapunzel with the Legend of the Blood Countess

I used to be recently re-introduced to the macabre story of Hungary’s Blood Countess, Elizabeth Báthory, paradoxically as a result of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Daniel Brühl starred within the 2009 movie concerning the historic determine. Evidently, I used to be wholly unprepared to search out Countess Báthory making a shock — and pivotal — position within the newest addition to Disney’s A Twisted Story collection.

What As soon as Was Mine Takes Dangers, Mixing Disney’s Rapunzel with the Legend of the Blood Countess

What Once Was Mine Cover
When creator Liz Braswell first mentions the Countess Báthory I assumed it was a intelligent allusion to the real-life determine, however no… mere pages later we get to see the Countess herself threaten to wash in Rapunzel’s blood. Really surprising stuff for a Disney guide. Maybe I ought to rewind a bit and clarify simply what’s going on on this delightfully twisted story.

Brendan and his twin sister Daniella begin off the novel at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the hospital the place Daniella has been admitted to deal with her most cancers. Like all sixteen-year-old going by way of a grim scenario, Daniella is clinging to her love for Disney’s Rapunzel and, after asking her brother to learn the novel to her after watching the film for the third time, Brendan devises a plan to reinvent the story together with his personal twist. Shift a couple of key plot factors round and also you get a completely new and barely darker story.

As an alternative of the Sundrop Flower that provides Rapunzel the present of therapeutic, it’s the Moondrop Flower that provides Rapunzel the flexibility to kill. In fact, nobody is aware of the error has occurred till she unintentionally kills one of many servants when she isn’t any quite a lot of days previous. Heartbroken, the King and Queen enable Gothel to take their daughter away, telling your complete kingdom that their daughter died, as an alternative of the reality.

The primary a part of Rapunzel’s upbringing is much like the film that everyone knows and love. She is saved in a tall tower and she or he fills her days with chores and hobbies till Mom Gothel deigns to return to see her. Quite than lengthy golden locks, Rapunzel has silvery hair that she retains tightly wound up and braided, out of concern of unintentionally killing somebody. As her nineteenth birthday approaches, Mom Gothel has been scheming to barter her hand in marriage off to the very best bidder, which incorporates a suggestion from the Blood Countess who’s enthusiastic about bathing in her pure, untouched blood. Sure, Disney did the truth is go there.

Rapunzel tries to persuade Mom Gothel to take her to see the lanterns, however Gothel punishes her by forcing her to kill a rooster along with her hair to bolster why she must be saved within the tower, alone, without end. However, after seeing a mysterious man stowing away a crown in a tree beneath the tower and being unintentionally offered with the wished poster for a similar man, Rapunzel decides to be daring and go after Flynn Rider as a result of clearly, a thief is the very best particular person to take her to see the lanterns.

A number of the primary elements of the unique story stay — Flynn is Flynn, the Snuggly Duckling and its colourful cohort exists, however Liz Braswell additionally introduces a brand new character by the title of Gina. At first, I assumed Gina was going to develop into Cassandra, however she could be very a lot her personal character and a pleasant one at that. She balances out Rapunzel and Flynn’s personalities effectively, including much-needed banter and levity, in addition to her mom who occurs to be a witch.

In an effort to not spoil the whole lot of the remaining ¾ of the guide, I’ll depart you with this tease: What As soon as Was Mine is an entirely sudden darkish flip for Disney and I implore them to indulge on this space of storytelling extra usually. There have been equal elements candy romance between Rapunzel and Flynn, horrifyingly darkish moments the place the Blood Countess discusses her plans for her victims, and an exquisite friendship that I want was canon to the Rapunzel universe.

Disney so not often takes main dangers with their storytelling, opting to paint inside the strains and keep the course on pure and harmless — however this proves that they’ll interweave some actually sinister stuff into stunning and candy romances. If in case you have had your reservations with previous novels within the A Twisted Story collection, set them apart and decide up Liz Braswell’s What As soon as Was Mine now.

What As soon as Was Mine arrives in bookstores on September 7th.

What As soon as Was Mine


What As soon as Was Mine is an entirely sudden darkish flip


Managing Editor of Leisure


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Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Leisure at Your Cash Geek, the place she covers her favourite matters: Star Wars and popular culture nerdery. She can also be a contract author and a contributor at Collider and Dorkside of the Power.

When she will not be protecting leisure news, she might be discovered on one in all her quite a few podcasts or her YouTube channel. In her free time, she can also be a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and a member of the Display Actors Guild.

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