Goodreads Summary:

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path. A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in. . .


That’s pretty much my reaction to this book. I didn’t not like it, but I didn’t love it either. I found the main character’s devotion to The Path was too solid for her to become any sort of rebel. I mean, besides her admittance to herself that she was experiencing all of these taboo emotions – which, a lot of people seemed to be doing – there was basically nothing going for her in the rebellious department. (This actually helped me in my own writing, I noticed that my MC was just as rooted in her beliefs, making her rebellious phase a bit unbelievable.)

I also wasn’t too invested in the romance department of the story. Her little boyfriend is nice and all, but there wasn’t enough connection between them besides her raging hormones for me to really route for them. Overall, I was just kind of bored.

I did think the take on the old fairy tales was fun, it’s a genre I’ve been getting more into lately, but I don’t think I will be continuing this series unless the sequel looks like it improves a lot.


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