First Lines: “It’s time, button,” Mama whispers. Her voice is like lines of music–delicate bars that trap and hold me prisoner on the floor before her.
As someone who really loves fairytales, it’s nearly impossible for me to turn one down. Case in point, this was supposed to be a “What happened after Sleeping Beauty woke up?” story and, well, I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff. (Honestly, I’m a sucker for anything that has anything to do with fairytales. It’s a weakness.)
As the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, Aurora’s life should have been charmed. But in fact, it’s the opposite. She’s been fairy-blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy, but she’s cursed to destroy the free will of any man who kisses her. To save her younger brother from an evil queen, Aurora dresses up as a boy and enlists the help of the cursed Prince Niklaas, a prince from a neighboring country. Can they save Aurora’s brother in time? And can they break each other’s curses before it’s too late?
Before I finished the first chapter, heck, the prologue, I wasn’t sure this was going to be a fairytale retelling for me. Because that evil queen I mentioned? She’s an ogre. I was like, “Um, I’m not sure I’m into this weird ogre thing…” But you know what’s really weird? It worked. And more than that, it was addicting.
I loved that this wasn’t a straight retelling of any particular fairytale but was a creative tale of its own. Sure, it has some elements from other fairytales that I think readers are supposed to recognize, but it’s its own story. And it helped ensure that I didn’t always know what was going to happen next.
I freaking loved the characters in this one. Aurora is headstrong and impulsive, which helps explain why she dressed as a man to help her brother. (Actually, that’s something I really like reading about, for whatever reason. I love girls who are brave enough to dress as soldiers to help those they love.) But Aurora also had very believable weaknesses, which made her feel like a more well-rounded character.
And Niklaas isn’t your typical prince either. Aurora describes him once as looking like a “golden god” and he’s loyal to his friends. Awesome traits. But he’s got his fair share of weaknesses too, like how he’s prideful and a bit chauvinistic. That was an unexpected personality trait that made his interactions with the disguised Aurora that much funnier and awkward.
The dialogue between Niklaas and Aurora was hilarious. Their banter was ace. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
About those ogres. They are, by far, the creepiest things I have read about in some time. Seriously. Whenever it switched to their perspective (and that didn’t happen often, thank God), I felt like I had bugs crawling under my skin. It was unsettling and it wigged me out. I felt on edge after just 2 paragraphs. So I’m pretty sure that means there was some really genius writing to create that effect.
The plot was strong and creative with lots of twists and surprises. Definitely a fairytale worth checking out!