Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.
Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.
Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?
Simply amazing! I loved the new takes on fairy tales and a little Shakespeare, the complex characters and constant threat of capture, death, and the end of the world.
I enjoyed Jay’s new take on Beauty and the Beast, but this was even better. The kiss to break the spell was twisted into something dark in this rendition, and the main character is the daughter of the sleeping beauty, but the basis of the story is still present the whole time.
Aurora is amazing, she’s disguised as a boy for about half the book, but not because she resents her femininity (actually, she mentions looking forward to being able to wear her light dresses several times) but because it’s practical. She is a hunted princess, so going around as a boy draws less attention, and she’s an extremely skilled fighter so most people don’t have time to question it. She’s fierce in every sense, her devotion to her lost brother is constant, and she is also trying to find a way to claim back her thrown.
Niklass, the cursed prince, is also awesome. In the beginning he comes off as the cocky pretentious prince who is constantly trying to show off to Aurora’s “brother” so he’ll put in a good word for him when he tries to woo Aurora (man does he feel stupid when he realizes it’s been Aurora all along). As he opens up through the story though we see how caring and brave he is. I loved the evolution of his and Aurora’s relationship. They start as begrudging allies, then become friends, and then love each other. And Niklass loves her when he still thinks she’s a boy, he thinks it’s a brotherly love, so it’s interesting to watch how he copes with his emotions when he realizes she’s a girl.
The twist with the evil queen is really interesting too. I didn’t really see it coming until the end, and then I felt a little stupid for not seeing it coming. Simply, this was an amazing read, it balanced the adventure, romance, and fantasy perfectly and will definitely become one of my common re-reads. My only complaint, and it’s a nit-picky one, is that Jay obviously doesn’t know much about horses. She was better with some things than a lot of other people have been, but you don’t use your thighs to move a horse forward, you use your calves; and they don’t really nicker that much, if they do make noises it’s usually in grunts and snuffles.