Series: A Wicked Thing, #1
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
We all know our fairy tales, and we all know how they end: the heroine ends up with the prince, her one true love, and they live happily ever after. Have you ever thought about that? At the start of the story, the heroine and the prince have never met, and by the end they’re living together. Sometimes they spend time together throughout the story, sometimes, say, a princess is woken up by the kiss of a handsome stranger and is then expected to marry him.
That’s the story A Wicked Thing tells. Aurora wakes up through a kiss from someone she’s never met, and now she is expected to marry him. Except she doesn’t know him at all. And then she is also told that she’s been kissed by countless strangers while she was asleep. A Wicked Thing makes very clear that perhaps Sleeping Beauty isn’t such a happy story after all. And it’s about the happily ever after, which may not exactly be happy and maybe also not ever after.
I absolutely adored the concept of this book. Because let’s face it, most fairy tales are actually pretty creepy. I know I wouldn’t like to be kissed awake by some random stranger and then marry him. Thomas really adds an element of realism to the story we all know and shows us Aurora’s emotions, which are, understandably, not all that positive. Sure, the prince is nice enough, but to marry him? Our dear Aurora has other plans.
The prose in which the story is written is also lovely. Thomas’ writing is lush and beautiful. It really encaptures Aurora and it just fits the magical fairy tale feeling of the story. An example:
A hundred possible worlds, more true to her than her own, more compelling than a life of staring at the same walls and same trees, waiting for the day when the lock would click and she would finally be allowed to be free. A story could not hurt her.
It’s rich but subdued, and that is also where my problem lies. Because although the writing is certainly lovely, it also feels distanced, and so I could not connect to the story or the characters. I liked reading this book, but I had no emotional reaction to it whatsoever.
Despite that, the story definitely was original and I liked it. I also liked how Thomas handled the romance. Of course, Aurora is supposed to be madly in love with “her” prince, but really, she doesn’t know him. She certainly doesn’t love him. Then there were two other possible love interests, and the dynamic was… interesting. I don’t think you can speak of a love triangle, because first of all the book just really doesn’t dwell on romance and secondly, I don’t think Aurora has realized yet that the other guy is actually a possible love interest. But whatever, I HAVE PLANS FOR THIS SHIP. And I have a feeling that those plans just might come true in the next book. *gleeful laugh*
In all, A Wicked Thing was a solid story. The plot, to me, was still slightly underdeveloped, but this is the first in a series so I’m willing to overlook that. I have a feeling that more things might go down in the next installment in this series, and also that my secret ship just might sail. The writing, though it slowed the story down a bit, was undoubtedly lovely and I’m curious where Thomas is going with this story.
~Thank you HarperTeen for the review copy!~
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