By: Intisar Khanani
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: high fantasy
Page Count: 304
Release Date: March 24th, 2020
Synopsis: Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.
When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.
But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.
With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.
This review will be spoiler free.
I want to thank Harper Collins for sending me this arc in return for an unbiased review, I had heard lots of exciting things about this book and was so excited to get the chance to read it! I am always down for a good re-telling and this one was really well done. It’s a re-imagining of The Goose Girl, one of the Brother’s Grimm stories for those who haven’t read it. I had some trouble getting into the story at the beginning, there was a lot of information thrown at me and not a lot of time to digest it. I think the book would have benefitted from a bit more exploration of the character relationships early on. There were things that were alluded to but never really explicitly said. I get that the point was to paint a picture of Alyrra as a girl who has faced her own share of trauma throughout her childhood, but I was a little hazy about what had happened to her, and why her family hated her so much.
I loved the whole mistaken identity, body swap plot, and I think it was really well done. I thought the plot moved at a nice pace and there were some interesting twists. I also appreciated how the author used the fantasy setting to touch on some very real issues, such as the wealthy-poor divide, and the treatment of women. There were some really touching and also tragic moments that definitely gave the story emotional weight.
I would highly recommend this book, and I am excited for it to officially be released! If you are a fan of fantasy or the Brother’s Grimm this is the perfect book for you. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t see to get into it in the first couple chapters, I promise it will sweep you away eventually!