I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
What a fantastic follow up to the first book! I loved the first one and was not disappointed by its sequel.
This book picks up where the first one left off and is full of nonstop action and adventure. It is just as faced paced as the previous book.
I really enjoyed seeing the characters grow and develop. Issylte has become quite the fierce lady. She has come a long way since the beginning of book one. I also loved seeing Tristan and Issylte’s relationship blossom. The first book was a lot of setup for them so I was happy to see the payoff. I was glad that their relationship wasn’t insta-love and that it took time for things to turn romantic and intimate.
One thing this book (and the series so far) does really well is foreshadowing events (i.e. through Issylte’s visions). I love the anticipation and it was so satisfying whenever a foreshadowed event came around.
Like the first book, the world building is amazing. In this book, we are shown even more cool locations and meet more amazing characters and creatures (like mermaids!).
Overall, this was a wonderful installment to the series and I am excited to find out what happens next! If you’re looking for a new fantasy series to read, definitely check this one out.
I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.
This book took me by surprise (in a good way)! It’s a retelling of the Tristan and Issylte tale. I first became acquainted with this tale from another series and immediately became a fan of their story, so I was very excited to see it redone by another author. Not only is this book a Tristan and Issyle retelling, but it also weaves in Arthurian myth and has everything you want in a fairy tale: an evil stepmother, a princess in disguise, lots of magic, and a plethora of fantasy creatures.
I loved how fast paced the book was. There was never a dull moment. Sometimes fantasy books can take a while to get into the story, but this book dove right in. I was flipping through the pages just wanting to know what would happen next.
I was also impressed with how easy the book was to follow. The book does not have a map, glossary, or a list of characters that you sometimes see in fantasy books. I was able to understand everything that was happening and the world effortlessly.
Lastly, this book is written in dual POVs (Issylte and Tristan), which was the perfect choice. I loved knowing what both of them were thinking and the dual POVs helped illustrate their development well.
Overall, this was an amazing start to the trilogy. I cannot wait to read the next book. If you’re looking for an easy fantasy read, check this book out!
For fans of Twisted Tales and Villains is a brand new YA series that retells the classic Disney stories you thought you knew from the Disney Princes’ perspectives.
Before Prince Eric’s mother, the Queen of Vellona, went missing two years ago, she reminded him about the details of the deadly curse that has plagued his entire life. The curse? If he were to kiss someone other than his true love, he would die. With a neighboring kingdom looking for any excuse to invade their shores, and rumors of ghost pirates lurking the seas, Eric is desperate for any information that may help him break his enchantment and bring stability to Vellona. The answers he has been searching for come to him in the form of a letter left from his mother that reveals Eric must find his true love, the one with a voice pure of heart, or kill the sea witch responsible for cursing him in the first place.
Now Eric is on a quest to find the Isle of Serein, the witch’s legendary home. But after he is rescued by a mysterious young woman with a mesmerizing singing voice, Eric’s heart becomes torn. Does he enter a battle he is almost certain he cannot win or chase a love that might not even exist? And when a shipwrecked young woman with flaming red hair and a smile that could calm the seven seas enters his life, Eric may discover that true love isn’t something that can be decided by magic.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher for promotional purposes.
I was really impressed with this retelling! I know a lot of people take issue with the Twisted Tales Disney series because it follows the movie too closely, so I was worried that this new Disney Prince series would be similar. Fortunately, this book does add a lot more to the movie. Prince Eric gets an entire backstory involving a curse which gives him so much more depth than he has in the movie. There are also a bunch of added scenes including a ton developing Eric and Ariel’s relationship. Their love story in the book is a lot less insta-lovey than it is in the movie.
I also loved that the book managed to solve common plot issues of the movie. For example, it explains why Ariel doesn’t write what she wants to say and why Ariel didn’t read her contract with Ursula.
This book is also inclusive without feeling forced. One character, Gabriella, is a lesbian, while another character, Sauer, uses they/them pronouns. Both Gabriella’s sexuality and Sauer’s pronouns are no big deal. It’s treated so normally that it actually took me a while to notice Sauer’s pronouns.
Lastly, let’s just take a minute to appreciate that gorgeous cover. It’s perfection.
Overall, I loved this retelling of The Little Mermaid! If you’re a fan of The Little Mermaid, I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
About Linsey Miller:
Once upon a time, Linsey Miller studied biology in Arkansas. These days, she holds an MFA in fiction and can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee. She is the author of the Mask of Shadows duology, Belle Révolte, The Game, What We Devour, and the upcoming Disney Princes books for Eric and Phillip. Visit her at linseymiller.com.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Dutton Books) for promotional purposes.
Wow! What a book! This was a dark retelling/reimagining of Peter Pan that managed to creep me out quite a bit. This book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it worked.
I loved the dark take on Peter Pan. There is something inherently a little sinister about the original story and this book really delved into that. It made me rethink the classic story and want to rewatch the Disney movie.
The story moved at a good pace, with everything unraveling at the right time. There were a lot of twists and turns that kept me hooked and turning the pages. This book kept me guessing until the very end.
As for the characters, I liked the incorporation of the original Peter Pan characters. The main characters from Peter Pan (Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, Tinker Bell, and Captain Hook) are either characters in this book or mentioned/incorporated in some way. I also enjoyed the dynamic between the main character, Holly Darling, and her mom, Jane Darling (the daughter of Wendy). They had a very complex mother-daughter relationship that grew as the story went on.
Overall, if you love Peter Pan and want to explore a darker side to the classic tale, then read this book!
I received an ARC of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I previously read one of the author’s other books, Eva Evergreen, Semi Magical Witch, and absolutely loved it. I was very excited to read this one since it acts as a prequel to the Eva Evergreen books. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book as much as Eva Evergreen.
This is a Cinderella retelling and because of that, the book felt constrained plot wise. I didn’t feel as though the story benefitted from being a Cinderella retelling. If the book was just a regular middle grade fantasy without the Cinderella aspects, it still would have worked. I also felt that the book wasn’t as magical as Eva Evergreen. Eva Evergreen had a certain charm about it and I was hoping this book would too since it is set in the same universe.
Additionally, for a book with the word “dragons” in the title, it was light on the dragons. The book never seemed to fully explore the dragons and Alliana’s relationship with them. (Maybe this will come in a later book?)
Don’t get me wrong, I did like some things about the book. I enjoyed the supporting characters, especially Grandmother Mari and Nela. Each of them had such a special relationship and bond with Alliana that was heartwarming to see. I also liked the parts that did feature the dragons.
Overall, there were some things I liked about this and some things I had issues with. I hope there is a sequel to this book since there’s still more to explore with Alliana. If you are looking for a middle grade fantasy, I would say to give it a shot!
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Teen) for promotional purposes.
This was a really cute My Fair Lady retelling! I have seen My Fair Lady, but it was a while ago so I didn’t pick up on any of the references to it. If you’re a fan of the movie I’m sure you would appreciate those references.
I loved that it was a gender swapped retelling. I also loved that Penelope was half Filipino and Elijah was Jewish and that their backgrounds were a central and integral part of the story. The book explored the prejudices that both of them faced.
The three main characters were all well developed. I particularly liked seeing Helena’s character arc unfold and how her actions affected her friendships with Penelope and Elijah.
Food is a big part of the story so do not read this book on an empty stomach. You will get hungry! Luckily there is a recipe at the end for the empanadas mentioned in the book.
Since this is a retelling, the story is a little predictable and straightforward. There are no big surprises.
Overall, I enjoyed this historical YA retelling of My Fair Lady. If you like reading about 1830s England or books about food, I recommend checking this book out.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review.
I am such a huge fan of this series so I was excited to read this, especially since Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. I ended up enjoying this a lot!
So first off, there are a lot of references to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Like on page 37 there is a reference to “the great wide somewhere” and on page 224 there is talk of “Magic spells. Daring sword fights. A prince in disguise.” As a Beauty and the Beast super fan I had a ton of fun picking up all these little Easter eggs.
As for the characters, the author always writes the most interesting and dynamic ones. Both the main and supporting characters were so lovable and fleshed out. My favorite was Rosie’s dad, aka Space Dad. He seemed like the coolest dad ever.
The writing style as usual was perfect for the genre. It was a good amount of geeky mixed in with an easy to read prose.
This books also had amazing descriptions dedicated to the love of books. For example, Rosie states, “But there is so much more in those words than just loving books. I love the smell of them. I love the way their bindings look pressed together on a shelf…They are portals into places I’ve never been and people I’ll never be, and in them I have lived a thousand lives and seen a thousand different worlds” (pg. 39). I couldn’t agree more.
I also would like to point out something the author put in the acknowledgments that I absolutely loved. She writes, “I wrote this book for me. So, if you didn’t really enjoy this book, that’s okay! You’ll find one that you love” (pg. 284). I thought this was a great reminder to readers that it is okay if you didn’t like a book and that authors can write what they want to write (on the assumption for course that it is not offensive, problematic etc.)
Lastly, I did feel like there was something missing in this book compared to the other ones in the series. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was. It could be that this book is significantly shorter than the other two and I wanted a bit more.
Overall, if you are a fan of this series (or books or Beauty and the Beast), you’ll probably like this one!
From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that’ll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”
Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .
With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength.
Once upon long ago, always and evermore, a girl rode into the Darkwood.
Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight.
The tall pines whispered and sighed as she passed under them, the queen’s huntsman at her side.
Crows, perched high in the branches, blinked their bright black eyes.
As the sky lightened, the huntsman pointed to a pond ahead and told the girl that they must dismount to let the horses drink. She did so, walking side by side with him. Lost in her thoughts, she did not hear the soft hiss of a dagger leaving its sheath. She did not see the huntsman lift his face to the dawn, or glimpse the anguish in his eyes.
A gasp of shock escaped the girl as the huntsman pulled her close, his broad hand spanning her narrow back. Her eyes, wide and questioning, sought his. She was not afraid—not yet. She felt almost nothing as he slid the blade between her ribs, just a slight, soft push and then a bloom of warmth, as if she’d spilled tea down her dress.
But then the pain came, red clawed and snarling.
The girl threw her head back and screamed. A stag bolted from the brush at the sound. The crows burst from their roosts, their wings beating madly.
The huntsman was skilled. He was quick. He had gutted a thousand deer. A few expert cuts with a knife so sharp it could slice blue from the sky and the delicate ribs were cleaved, the flesh and veins severed.
The girl’s head lolled back. Her legs gave out. Gently, the huntsman lowered her to the ground, then knelt beside her.
“Forgive me, dear princess. Forgive me,” he begged. “This foul deed was not my wish, but the queen’s command.” “Why?” the girl cried, with her dying breath. But the huntsman, tears in his eyes, could not speak. He finished his grim task and got to his feet. As he did, the girl got her answer. For the last thing she saw before her eyes closed was her heart, small and perfect, in the huntsman’s trembling hands.
• • •
In the forest, the birds have gone silent. The creatures are still. Gloom lingers under the trees. And on the cold ground, a girl lies dying, a ragged red hole where her heart used to be.
“Hang the huntsman!” you shout. “Burn the evil queen!” And who would fault you?
But you’ve missed the real villain.
It’s easily done. He’s stealthy and sly and comes when you’re alone. He stands in the shadows and whispers his poison. His words drip, drip, drip into the small, secret chambers of your heart.
You think you know this tale, but you only know what you’ve been told.
“Who are you? How do you know these things?” you ask.
Fair questions, both.
I am the huntsman. Dead now, but that’s no matter. The dead speak. With tongues blackened by time and regret. You can hear us if you listen.
You will say that I’m telling you tales. Fairy stories. That it’s all make-believe. But there are more things afoot in the Darkwood than you can imagine, and only a fool would call them make-believe.
Keep to the path, the old wives say. Stay out of the forest.
But one day, you will have to walk deep into those dark woods and find what’s waiting there.
For if you do not, it will surely find you.
Jennifer Donnelly is the author of A Northern Light, which was awarded a Printz Honor and a Carnegie Medal; Revolution (named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and nominated for a Carnegie Medal); the Deep Blue series; and many other books for young readers, including Lost in a Book, which spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings,
Bestselling authors Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz bring us a romantic retelling of Little Women starring Jo March and her best friend, the boy next door, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence.
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself!
But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?
She is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.
Margaret Stohl is a #1 New York Times bestselling nerd, world-builder, video game creator, comic book writer and festival founder.
As an award-winning young adult author, she has been published in fifty countries and thirty-two languages and has sold more than ten million books worldwide. Beautiful Creatures debuted as the Amazon #1 Teen book of the year; seven of Margaret’s books have reached bestseller lists around the world.
She has published fifteen novels and graphic novels, as well as contributed to several games and countless comics since her debut. Her last book, Cats Vs Robots: This is War, was a family affair, illustrated by her child, the artist Kay Peterson, and co-written with her husband, Lewis Peterson. It also starred three of her family’s five cats.
After Beautiful Creatures was released as a feature film from Warner Brothers and Alcon Entertainment, Margaret began working with Marvel on her bestselling Black Widow: Forever Red duology; in 2017 she began writing the ongoing Mighty Captain Marvel comic, followed by the acclaimed Life of Captain Marvel miniseries, where she established a new origin story for Carol Danvers in preparation for the theatrical debut of Brie Larson as “Captain Marvel” for the MCU.
When not roaming the halls of Seattle game developer Bungie – where she oversees the creation of new global IPs – Margaret can often be seen at a Comicon or at one of the teen and youth book festivals she co-founded, YALLFEST (Charleston, SC) and YALLWEST (Santa Monica, CA), the largest in the country. Wherever she goes, you can find out more about her (and invariably her cats) at @mstohl on twitter or margaret_stohl on instagram or margaret_stohl on snapchat or at mstohl.com.
I received this book for free as part of an Instagram book review tour.
This was a really fun retelling! The book takes place years after the original, when Alice is 15 and she once again follows the white rabbit back to Wonderland. I just have to put it out there that Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favorite stories so I was exceptionally eager to read this.
At first I didn’t quite know if I would like this but once Alice went back to Wonderland I was hooked. I just had to keep reading to find out what happens to Alice and the fate of Wonderland.
All your favorite characters are back such as the Queen of Hearts, the white rabbit, the Mad Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat. There are some new characters too, like Thomas, the Queen of Hearts’ son.
I really liked that the book was told from both Alice and the Queen of Hearts’ perspective. Having the queen’s point of view was very enlightening. It gave her character more complexity and dimension.
I found that the style and tone of the book was a good continuation of the original. Obviously no one can compare to Lewis Carroll, but the author did a wonderful job in keeping with the spirit of the original while offering her own unique twist.
The ending was amazing. I don’t want to give it away but I think it was perfect for this mad tale.
Overall, I really enjoyed this Alice retelling. If you love Alice in Wonderland, give this book a try!