By: Elana K. Arnold
My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Genre: Adult Fantasy, Feminist fairytale
Page Count: 320
Synopsis: The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.
However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.
This review will be spoiler free.
Hey bookworms, so this review has ben a long time coming, I have been pushing off finishing this book for weeks now. My struggle with this book was partly due to the fact that I have been incredibly busy with school work and just haven’t had a lot of time for reading, but it also just did not hold my attention. It was not a book I was running to pick up and finish. Which is a great way to launch into why this book gets a lower rating from me, because it is not a simple answer.
First, I need to say that for anyone who is sensitive to triggers such as abuse (both mental and sexual), animal cruelty and graphic scenes, this is not the book for you. This book should definitely have had some sort of trigger warning attached to it, and it definitely should not have been marketed to teens. I really appreciate what the author was trying to do in this book, all of these scenes and graphic descriptions really did serve a purpose, and the ending of the book was satisfying, but it was a bumpy road to get there. The first 4 or 5 chapters really did not keep my attention, they were boring and even though they served to set up the story, they didn’t make me want to learn more about any of the characters. I think the synopsis for this book really does not convey what it is about, it is definitely a feminist retelling of the classic damsel in distress trope, but it is a lot darker and more intense than your typical retelling.
In the end, this book was not what I expected, and while I think the author had a powerful message and point, it was not an enjoyable read for me. The world building was lacking and the characters were not engaging (I understand that the world building was not supposed to be the focus anyways, but I always need some to set the scene for me).
Have you read this book, what were your thoughts? Do you have a favourite fairytale retelling? let me know in the comments!