My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling, The Sleeping Beauty
The world is made safe by a woman…but it is a very big world.
It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Her family has prospered beyond the borders of their village, and two new kingdoms have sprouted on either side of the mountains where the demons are kept prisoner by bright iron, and by the creatures the Storyteller Queen made to keep them contained.
But the prison is crumbling. Through years of careful manipulation, a demon has regained her power. She has made one kingdom strong and brought the other to its knees, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. When a princess is born, the demon is ready with the final blow: a curse that will cost the princess her very soul, or force her to destroy her own people to save her life.
The threads of magic are tightly spun, binding princess and exiled spinners into a desperate plot to break the curse before the demon can become a queen of men. But the web of power is dangerously tangled–and they may not see the true pattern until it is unspooled.
I liked this even more than I did ‘‘A Thousand Nights.’’
But you do not obligatorily have to read that one to be able to comprehend what is happening in this book. In fact, the author summarizes the first novel in the beginning.
Though I’m going to admit that there are many references to the first book.
That aside, God, E.K. Johnston really knows how to write a novel. It’s not that her world-buildings are incredibly-crafted or storylines so beautifully-weaved.
That’s not quite it. She just writes so WELL. Plus she rocks at dialogs. Some authors just don’t know how to make dialogs sound interesting and not monotonous, but this author uses so much of the world she creates and the personalities of her characters in her dialogs that going from reading description to dialog is done so smoothly.
And also, what I mean is that she knows her characters. She knows their personalities; what they would do and not do, what they would think and not think, what they would want and not want. She respects this about them. Never did I stop and think, ‘‘Wait a minute… Why would they do THAT?’’
Ultimately, it’s truly Johnston’s words that won me over. The storyline is good, the characters are great, but the writing is MAGNIFICENT and I do not use this word quite often as I wish I would.
Like ‘‘A Thousand Nights,’’ however, it’s slow-paced and really does not progress very fast.
I wish this author would write a retelling of ‘‘Beauty and the Beast’’ or ‘‘Rapunzel,’’ because those are my favourites.
Oh, one last thing: ‘‘The Sleeping Beauty’’ is my LEAST favourite fairytale, so my giving this book four stars says a lot about E.K. Johnston’s talent.
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