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The Magic Nutshell in a Novel

I have begun outlining a new novel, featuring the magic nutshell, the folkloric object for which this blog is named.


My new project is historical fiction, not fantasy, though it will draw from folktale traditions, like The Grove of Thorismud. My new work will not be a retelling of well-known fairy tales that have passed through the Disney canon, and the only "magic" in the story will be the wonder found within the chaos of ordinary life. Although the setting will be similar, I'm painting it with a different palette.

This story will be a brother-sister transformation journey along 11th century trade routes between the Baltic Sea and the Silk Road, from the wilds near Prague to Constantinople. The main characters will be runaway children on a "road trip" via water. Its plot and characters will draw from folkloric gender-twins "Allerleirauh" (German) and "The Widow's Son" (Norse), with elements of overlapping tales "Princess Mouseskin" (French?) and "Iron John" (Victorian), among others.

What am I calling "folkloric gender-twins?" Check out my example of "The Sleeping Bro." And what are these obscure tales I've chosen to use for my next book? Click back a year with me to "Crack the Nutshell; Enter the Lime Tree."

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