**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**
Author Becky Bird
YA retelling of classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty. On his quest to find Sleeping Beauty, a shallow prince must rely on a tomboy orphan for his survival after the cardinal spells his guards to kill him.Prince Thomas cannot take the throne without a queen. Though the problem isn’t his lack of suitors but his refusal to marry a princess that is less than perfect. The cardinal presents him with an opportunity: a quest to find the most beautiful princess in the land who has been in slumber for a century. But, unbeknown to the prince, the cardinal plans to kill him as soon as the prince embarks on his quest, and take the throne for himself. Luckily, Prince Thomas’s path crosses with Lucy, a spirited orphan runaway, who saves his life and convinces the prince to continue the quest. When they eventually find Princess Aurora, they also find another contender – Prince Philip – vying for the princess’s heart. Despite their mutual disdain for each other, Lucy agrees to assist the prince, and Thomas accepts her help to keep him alive long enough to beat out his competition and return to rule his kingdom alongside his perfect bride. They just don’t count on falling for each other in the process.
I love retellings. I feel like you know that already, but, I wanted to make sure I stated the obvious. I love retellings because I love to see a story that I am already familiar with through another person’s perspective. How did Becky Bird think of Sleeping Beauty? I was super excited to have been chosen on NetGalley for this book.
I LOVE LUCY. I adored Lucy’s character. She was a total tomboy with a no-nonsense attitude. She reminds me so much of myself and I loved her for it. I thought she was a perfect balance of angry, know-it-all and wise advice-giver. I also respect the fact that she hates dresses and would rather be out hunting and fighting than dancing or putting on make-up. I get that. I so get that. I applaud the use of a strong female warrior character in this setting.
Some Things I Liked
- I really enjoyed the fact that this was an unconventional retelling. Instead of being from Sleeping Beauty’s perspective, it was from one of the princes fighting for her attention. Furthermore, I loved the ending. It was both expected and surprising. I love how it all played out.
- It was a smidge corny — but I liked that! There were scenes that were almost too much. Almost too predictable, but I thought that was a cute touch.
- Just the right amount of romance. It wasn’t over the top but it was definitely present.
- The Duchess of Fenway — I just really liked that name. As a Red Sox fan, I thought that was a fun nod to my team (even though I’m pretty sure that was not the author’s intention).
Something I Wasn’t Crazy About
- Jack’s storyline. I felt that it was somewhat incomplete. I’d like to see a spin-off or sequel featuring his happily ever after.
This book was a super fast read for me. Started last night and finished this afternoon. This was a super cute story and I hope to see more like this from debut author, Becky Bird.
Release Date July 10, 2019
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – Set in the same universe as Gilded Ashes, (which is also another awesome retelling), this story is a mythological spin on Beauty and the Beast. If you enjoyed the fairytale retelling aspect of this book, give Rosamund Hodge’s works a try.
- Veiled Allurement by Elle Beaumont – this is another creative twist on Cinderella as it incorporates fictional mythology into the storyline. Elle Beaumont also has a trilogy of novellas out that are a spin on the story of the Big Bad Wolf (which is not to be missed).
- A Curse of Thorns by Nicole Mainardi – this is another awesome Beauty and the Beast retelling with a twist. The setting in this book is amazing and is going to make an amazing backdrop to what I hope will be many sequels.