by Lexa Hillyer
I received a free digital copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.
It all started with the burning of the spindles.
It all started with a curse…
Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.
Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.
I was quite disappointed with just how slow this story was. It honestly felt like it was dragging and a lot of information was repeated time and again, which didn’t help. While slow, though, it does keep a steady pace. I think this is due to the constant interchange between points of view. The scenes keep getting broken up by other characters and while interesting in the way they were woven together, it didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat by any means.
A little… Too much?
I’m not really sure how best to explain this particular matter except to say that much of the fancifulness of the story felt forced. It was like there was this constant need to fill out each scene and each thought and every action with some inner thought, some background, just… something. It became rather frustrating because it felt more in the way of the movement of the scene than actually beneficial.
Speaking of something being forced, I was not a fan of Aurora. Not in the beginning. Not in the middle. And not in the end. Mostly because of the blatant way we kept getting told how she was growing, developing, becoming a bigger, more aware person and it was just plain annoying! I would much rather you show me they’re growing than tell me they’re growing and it’s for this exact reason that I didn’t buy a single bit of Aurora’s character development.
Just a random comment to throw in here, but I kept forgetting how old Isbe and Aurora are. Their voices and their actions make them sound so much younger than they were supposed to be. Aurora, perhaps because of her being naive, seemed much younger than sixteen and Isbe never once seemed to be eighteen. Quite a shame. I feel as though this story could have been more interesting had the characters had slightly older voices.
I’m not saying too much, but there is a lot going on in this story – things that would take quite a bit of forethought before even getting writing – and I think it played out well. There were a lot of reveals that brought the story together very nicely. That’s all. 😉
Seriously though, I really hate Aurora. This story would have been great without her POV because she really doesn’t do anything or add anything to the story. Yeah, she discovers a couple of things, but because the two fairies get their own POVs, it’s not even necessary for Aurora to reveal anything and she’s really just annoying as all get out! P.s. No one grows up that fast. Sorry, but that’s unrealistic.