While I keep saying I’m done with the fairytale retellings, I just can’t seem to leave them alone. I definitely had A Wicked Thing on my wish list for quite some time, but it was just too expensive, especially when the reviews were generally negative. However, it recently went on sale for $1.99 on Amazon, and I jumped on it. I can honestly say that, while I might have been disappointed (like so many reviewers) if I’d spent $11 on this ebook, I was quite happy with it as a $2 read. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it is a compelling look at life after waking up from true love’s kiss.
Rhiannon Thomas’s dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.
I’m not sure why this book got slammed by reviewers. I quite enjoyed it. It was suspenseful and unexpected, and when it comes to fairytale reimaginings, I feel like I’ve read enough of them that I can be trusted when I say that. Perhaps it was the rather dismal and hopeless atmosphere? Aurora is definitely between a rock and a hard place in this book, and things do seem decidedly grim. Maybe the problem was the fact that Aurora wasn’t a woman warrior from the second she wakes, but it is pretty clear exactly how she was raised, and I thought she was pretty consistent based on her past. There were enough factors pulling at her that I wasn’t sure what I would have done in her place, and I thought she was actually pretty brave if rightfully cautiousness. She is a pawn for many of the male characters in the book, but in the end, it actually felt like the only choice she could make was to pick the person who would use her in a way she approved of. Hey, freedom is sometimes only the right to choose your prison. In fact, that ending took this book from just being an okay read to a series I’m interested in continuing.
I did have some complaints. The pacing isn’t as consistent as I would like. Scenes of action were followed by scene after scene set in the same bedroom or garden. It wasn’t a huge issue, but it wasn’t as interesting as it could have been. I also didn’t think that all of the characters were as well rounded as they could have been, and I really wanted some more dimension for characters like the queen and the prince. These aren’t insurmountable obstacles, and, like I said, I’m interested in seeing what the second book in the series has to offer.
If you like fairytale revisions, or if you enjoyed Sleeping Beauty, this is definitely worth sampling. While it is definitely a different spin, this book might just be what you are looking for if you enjoyed Stacey Jay’s Princess of Thorns. Language and situations are appropriate for grades 7+.