The Wrath & The Dawn – Renee Adhieh
Fairy tales, reimagining, retelling, Arabian Nights, young adult, fiction.
Shahrzad volunteered to be Khalid’s bride. Everyone knows that each bride was dead by sunrise and she doesn’t care. She wants revenge for her best friend who was murdered by him. The first night she tells him a story but doesn’t finish telling the story. He demands her to finish but she wants to live another day. He let her live another day to finish the story. Second day goes by and he is enthralled by her storytelling. She intends to drag out these stories as long as she needs to create a plan to murder him. Along the way, she loses interest in murdering him and falls for the monster who isn’t really a monster. He is simply misunderstood.
I had read this novel before and wanted to reread it. Mainly because I remembered how good this novel was and how different it was. I love different retellings and I got tired of beauty and the beast retellings even as they all are great in their own ways but it gets repetitive. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and I loved it. She tells a story every night or so to stay alive and to prolong the possible execution as a form of revenge. She does learn about his history but honestly it should have ended differently. I’m fine with the ending. The author outdid herself in this novel with the characters and interactions. I recommend this if one loves Arabian Nights. Its a fun read and I would go on this journey of rereading it for sure.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Curse Breaker Series: Book 2) – Brigid Kemmerer
Fairy tales, retellings, fantasy, young adult, fiction.
Grey is on the run with the new information that can get him killed. He is the true heir to Ember Fall. He nearly escaped and murdered the Enchantress who told him the truth of his birth. Karis Luran and her two daughters travel to Ember Fall to try to make a treaty of marriage to solidify the two nations. Lia Mara knows the true intentions of her vicious sister and wants peace between the two-warring kingdoms. Karis Luran meets with Rhen and blackmails him into trying to make a treatise. Rhen doesn’t want any of that. Lia decides into her own hands that led to her to becoming her mother’s pawn. Rhen finds Grey and confronts him about the heir. Grey is the heir but Rhen doesn’t know. The manhunt becomes benevolent.
I wasn’t fully into the second installment of the trilogy. The writing is amazing, and organization of the different narratives helped build the world in making this world easier to understand. The new characters in this story were interesting and this revealed a lot more than the first book of the magical world. I should say not fully invested as I was with the first book. For those who have read the first book would be into the second book. Someone let me know if the third is good or comment below if I should continue. Convince me in other words without spoiling. I see this series all over TikTok and so many others. For those who are into the first book and are deeply invested in the series then this book is for those who are into it. I just personally am good with having the first book as a standalone because the second book was all over the place for me personally.
Conceal, Don’t Feel – Jen Calonita
Frozen, twisted tales, young adult, fiction.
Elsa is an only child of Arendelle, and Anna is adopted. Elsa overhears her parents talk about magic and curses. Anna’s parents want to tell her the truth. Later, Elsa becomes queen due to her parents never surviving the trip back. The entire kingdom is in mourning whereas Elsa becomes curious about the A initial in the storage area. Elsa finds out she has a sibling through fragmented memories and the kingdom has a curse. Elsa is determined to find her sister and break the curse.
I am not a fan of anything affiliated with the fandom of Frozen nor the movie. However this book was an exception because it had no singing obviously. This novel had great writing and the author was excellent at keeping with the lore. Calonita made it twisty and that twisty made it interesting. If one is a Frozen fan might enjoy this book more than I had enjoyed. The writing was so excellent and well thought into. This book could’ve been a bit longer but then I wouldn’t be able to cope because as I mentioned before. I wasn’t a fan of this princess nor the surrounding that is this particular princess fandom. True Frozen fans would love this novel more. Just saying with respect.
So This is Love – Elizabeth Lim
Cinderella, twisted tales, young adult, fiction.
Cinderella had to flee before midnight because her dress and all the magic is what was able to allow her to be incognito for the most part and attend the ball. The prince, Charles, has a glass slipper and made it a royal decree that all eligible women should try on the glass slipper. When the grand duke is at Cinderella’s house, she is unable to get downstairs fast enough due to her stepmother locking her up because she found out the truth. After the visit from the grand duke, Lady Tremaine attempts to sell Cinderella off seas but Cinderella manages to escape. She meets with Louisa who works at the palace and her aunt is able to give Cinderella a job attending to the king’s sister who is just visiting a while. The King’s sister Genevieve closely bonds with Cinderella and the grand duke sees this and manipulates Cinderella into being a spy but Cinderella doesn’t want that. Genevieve talks her brother into holding another ball and Cinderella has another shot at her happy ending. There becomes a roadblock between her and the prince, it is the conspiracy that is going on inside the castle and Cinderella is in the middle of it.
I was interested in the synopsis and bought the novel on impulse. I don’t regret it. I love this novel and I really liked the little suspense of the novel. I prefer this version over the Disney movie because it made more sense and the plot was more intriguing. The writing was excellent, and I loved how the author kept true with some of the characters personalities such as Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters. However the grand duke being a bad guy was a twist I didn’t expect. I do recommend this novel for sure if one is a fan of Cinderella. She wasn’t my top favorite, but I liked her over some of the classic princesses. She wasn’t as annoying in other words.
Sea Witch – Sarah Henning
Fairy tales, Hans Christian Anderson, young adult, fiction.
Evelyn and her Prince friend, Nik, witnessed their friend drown four years ago. Both still shaken up about it but they mourned for so long. They had grown exceptionally close to each other. One day, there is unease seas that throws Nik into the ocean and later a mermaid saves him. When Evelyn goes to her hidden cove, she notices the mermaid who looks like her deceased friend. Later on, she runs into a girl who is a spitting image of her long-deceased friend. The new girl introduces herself as Annemette. Evelyn takes her to see Nik. Nik and Annemette kick it off while Evelyn turns her attention to the prince’s cousin. After the long day, Annemette confesses that she is a mermaid as well as only has four days to remain on land to find out if the Prince is her true love. She wants to remain on land and never return to the sea. Evelyn promises to help her with just that. What Evelyn doesn’t know is that she is to be made a fool by Annemette because she came back on land fully knowing what had happened to her and craves revenge on her friends who abandoned her.
I have to say that I was not expecting this novel to become dark as it had. I should have seen the signs however that this novel would have taken a turn. I did have had pity in Evelyn because she thought all along that this mysterious girl was their long dead friend and there was ought to be some form of resentment. I enjoyed reading from a perspective of a villain and their origin story. I’d like to think it forms some sort of equal judgement to understand where they are coming from and why they are the way they are. I loved this novel and the little surprises here and there that the author embedded into the plot. This novel is worth reading and I might try to get my hands on the sequel. I loved the writing style for sure. The style was very immersive into the world that Henning took the reader into.