Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley
Graphic Novel/Fractured Fairy Tale?/Modern Fairy Tale?
Castle Waiting is a truly fascinating story. A fairy tale told in graphic novel format, with few damsels in distress, no knights in shining armor, nary a dragon, and one large, lovely castle.
The story opens with a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, but told mostly from the point of view of those others in the story - the ones that also fall asleep, the ones who make the wishes, the parents and demons. The story then picks up years later, with the Sleeping Beauty castle now an isolated refuge. A castle, waiting for those who need its sanctuary. And this castle is populate by an odd assortment of characters: Rackham, the stork man; Sleeping Beauty's ladies-in-waiting, now decrepit; a Knight who is also a horse, like a chess piece; a Solcistine sister; and more.
And into all of this comes a young woman, a noble of sorts, who has fled her home, and who is about to give birth to a child. The story carries on, and we find out more about the Solcistine Sister, Peace, and about how she came to be a nun, and how she came to the castle.
My understanding is that this was originally serialized. It now reads as a sort of series of vignettes. It was fascinating, and delightful. It was a fairy tale, but it managed to steer clear of all those fairy tale tropes that tend to make little of women. It was a story of being heroic, and a hero, in one's own life. And it was thoroughly satisfying.