I’ve always loved Rapunzel, so when I first found out that Cress by Marissa Meyer was going to be based on Rapunzel, shortly after Cinder was released, I was ecstatic. And, even a month after reading it, I can’t put my feelings adequately into words, so instead of doing a traditional review, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite aspects of any retelling, which is seeing where specific elements of the original tale fit in. It’s like an Easter egg hunt, and Cress was certainly full of them!
So, let’s get started!
It took me a while to realize just how significant the name Cress was. First off, it’s a leafy green! Just like Rapunzel! How cool is that? What’s even cooler is that Cress can be short for Crescent--as in Crescent moon. Which I think is sort of ironic considering the fact that Cress in, in fact, on a satellite in space (and for a ton of other reasons that are full of spoilers)!
In the original fairy tale, Rampion is synonymous with Rapunzel, which is the leafy green that casues all the trouble. In The Lunar Chronicles, Rampion is the name of the ship which Carswell Thorne is captain of. I didn’t even realize that until I was holding in my hands a super-duper cool poster of the Rampion.
And speaking of Carswell Thorne, I love his name. At the Cress Launch Party which I was lucky enough to go to, Meyer shared the meaning behind his name. It’s an Old English name which means “well where the watercress grows.” CRESS. Isn’t that just the most romantic thing? As for the last name of Thorne, it alludes to a very significant moment in the original tale, which is uniquely interpreted in Cress.
The Satellite which Cress resides in serves as her “tower”. She has her necessities, but has virtually no actual contact with the outside world. Of course you would think that that just couldn’t work, but somehow a satellite seemed only natural after reading it!
Long, golden hair is the most iconic element of this fairy tale. And, if you can’t tell from the GORGEOUS cover, Cress does indeed have long, golden hair.
Another signature element of the classic Rapunzel tale is her beautiful singing voice. Cress is a super smart computer-hacker, but she’s also a pretty awesome opera singer! Singing is definitely a fun way to pass the time, especially if nobody’s watching!
The Witch is probably my favorite character of Rapunzel, because she’s the only one with any brains, but in this new take it’s almost reversed. All the characters are so smart that our new “witch” character can hardly stay on top of it all. Trust me, she is fierce and wicked, but she’s certainly not the only brain in this story!
There are several other elements to this tale I would love to touch on, but I’ll resist at risk of spilling spoilers. I hope I’ve piqued your interest in Cress, and The Lunar Chronicles! This is barely skimming the surface!
This is the last guest post from Deb. I am so thankful for her participation in A Month of Rapunzel. I can't believe how this month has flew by.