Tag Archive | Fairytale Retelling

10 Thoughts on The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué

firethorncrown

I’m going to share 10 thoughts on The Firethorn Crown today.

I mean, maybe I should do 12, since it’s about 12 dancing princesses?

But I’m doing 10 because it’s nice and round and I want to.

Ten is a great number!

People love ten!

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Anyway… A little about the book and then my Ten Thoughts.

factoids

Title: The Firethorn Crown

Author: Lea Doué

  • Date read: February 11, 2017
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy (Fairytale retelling: The Twelve Dancing Princesses)
  • Age: YA
  • Year pub: 2015
  • Pages: 289 paperback
  • Series? Book 1 (Yesss, there will be more books about different princesses! *cheering*)
  • Fave character: Eben!
  • Source: Won a paperback from the author in a giveaway from Clean Indie Reads; but I also bought the ebook version.
  • Notes: Read for Fellowship of Fantasy‘s bookclub February 2017 read, which was sooo fun.

review

4starrating

Ten Thoughts:

1. THE COVER. It is awesome. Excuse me while I stare at it forever.

2. TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES! I’m totally here for a retelling of my favorite fairytale. (Which may mean I was pickier about how I wanted the book to be than I should have been, but oh well.) It was so fun to read this retelling and I greatly enjoyed seeing how it was done. 🙂

3. Eben the guard was awesome and my favorite. 😀 I wish we’d gotten more of him and/or some of his POV. He was epic! That is all.

4. The princesses, as usual, were a little hard to sort at first, but I did get used to which were which eventually. My favorite was Neylan (with her mini dragons!). And the princes (some of them pairing off with princesses) WERE SO FUN. Orin the goose prince, Holic the red-head prince… So funny, loyal, and helpful. 😀

5. DRAGONS. I might have liked more details about them and to see more of them, but it was really neat that there were all different kinds/sizes, as natural wildlife. The butterwings (kind of like butterfly dragons, mini ones who hang around in the flowers) were my favorites. I wish they’d been outright stated and described instead of implied, though, because sometimes it took me awhile to figure out that honeysucklers, woolies, etc. were kinds of dragons. But dragons! Looking forward to seeing more of them in the later books!

6. It took a break from other retellings in which the princesses’ king dad is a grumpy semi-antagonist for some of the story; instead, he’s away most of the book, so their mom fills in that role. 😄

7. I don’t know how I feel about the villain. There seems to be a longstanding twelve-dancing-princesses-retelling tradition in which we have a mysterious character that we don’t know if he’s good or not but I kind of WANT him to be good, but… he’s not. Or is he? Eh. I have complex feels about this character and don’t know what I think. I DON’T KNOW. MUCH CONFUSING FEELS.

8. I really enjoyed this book—a lot—but I didn’t love it for some reason, and I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe because of how attached I am to the fairytale it’s retelling, so I’m pickier? Maybe the way it constantly hinted at things but never stated stuff, as if the writing was shy of the forbidden “telling” versus showing? (But taking it too far?) Maybe I was conflicted over a certain character? Maybe there were a lot of things I wished had happened that didn’t? Anyways, there was something a little bit off which prevented it becoming an absolute favorite, BUT I did enjoy it a lot and it was overall a quite good book. 🙂

9. I quite liked the world—it was colorful and interesting. I look forward to seeing more of it! (Especially the dragons. Ahem.)

10. Overall, it was great fun reading this retelling and I can’t wait to continue the series! There are characters I’m excited to see more of, and mysteries left vaguely hanging (like True the goose. WHAT is the deal with True the goose??). If you enjoy good clean fun books and fairytale retellings, I recommend giving this one a try. 🙂

(Note: I won a copy of this book from the author in a giveaway. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are entirely my own.)

summary

From Goodreads:

firthornPrincess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother’s matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule alone than marry someone who only wants the crown.

Fleeing an overzealous suitor, Lily stumbles into a secret underground kingdom where she and her sisters encounter a mysterious sorcerer-prince and become entangled in a curse that threatens the safety of her family and her people. Lily can free them, but the price for freedom may be more than she’s willing to pay.

The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” is the first in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series of stand-alone novels inspired by fairy tales and other stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.

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Thanks for reading, dear Pagelings!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

5starrating

Title: The Golden Braid

Author: Melanie Dickerson

review

Another excellent read from Melanie Dickerson! *huggles book*

I think it was the least standalone-ish of her books I’ve read so far, simply because it had so many delightful tie-ins to other books in the Hagenheim series. I loved that! 🙂 It was also so so cool how it tied in with The Princess Spy and the events going on in that and even some of the things behind the scenes we hadn’t seen before! So awesome. (Though a couple times it seemed like it was summarizing a bit too much and I would have liked more details/scenes sometimes. But that may also be because I don’t remember The Princess Spy all that well since I read it awhile ago. *shrug*)

I also loved how the Christian theme was so well-woven into the plot–it was just a really strong part of it, more-so than usual in these books, and I just thought it was super lovely and incredibly well-done.

And I loved the retelling, how it had so many nods to Rapunzel (and maybe even Tangled…?). Awesome retelling! But also rearranged and different and unique enough that I never knew what was coming, which was really cool. 🙂

The romance, as always, was adorbz and awesome and I loved both the characters. Rapunzel was super likeable, and Sir Gerek was, naturally, fantastic. I loved his grouchyness. 😄 And just… yes, he was awesome.

AND THE TWIST. OH MY GOODNESS THE TWIST. Okay, so I was picking up on little subtle hints and totally guessed it before it came to light, but that only made the revelation even BETTER because I pieced clues together and came to the conclusion myself and was hoping and hoping and then it WAS and just ASLKDFJLDKJF it makes me so happyyyy! ^_^ I only wish :: SPOILER (highlight to read) :: that there could have been a scene featuring Gabe and Rapunzel. I WAS SO HOPING THERE WOULD AND THEN THERE WASN’T. *cries* That was my only disappointment though. I just… it would have been so wonderful seeing a scene like that after what Gabe was thinking in The Fairest Beauty. *sniff* But oh well, I can imagine it, so that’s okay I guess. 🙂 :: END SPOILER ::

I also got a little teary-eyed there at one point, at a certain beautiful scene, so gotta give it credit for that. 😉

Anyways, aside from a couple little things, I absolutely loved it and just THE TWIIIIST!!! *flails around* So so so awesome and automatically made it twice as wonderful as it could have been. 😀

Overall, great book! ❤

summary

From Goodreads:

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man around. And her skills as an artist rival those of any artist she’s met. But for a woman in medieval times, the one skill she most desires is the hardest one to obtain: the ability to read.

After yet another young man asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides they need to move once again, but this time to a larger city. Rapunzel’s heart soars—surely there she can fulfill her dream. But Mother won’t let her close to a man. She claims that no man can be trusted.

After being rescued by a knight on the road to the city, and in turn rescuing him farther down the road, Rapunzel’s opportunity arrives at last. This knight, Sir Gerek, agrees to educate Rapunzel in order to pay back his debt. She just has to put up with his arrogant nature and single-minded focus on riches and prestige.

But this Rapunzel story is unlike any other and the mystery that she uncovers will change everything—except her happily ever after.

factoids

Genre/Category: Christian YA Romance / Historical Fiction / Fairy Tale Retelling (Rapunzel)

Age Group: YA

Published: 2015

Pages: 471 pages (Large Print Hardcover)

Series?: Book #6 of the Hagenheim/Fairy Tale Romance series

When Read: June 4 – 5, 2016

Favorite Character: Sir Gerek

Source: Library

Other Notes: Read a large print version because it was what my library had, and I for some reason really liked reading it like that. 😄 It was relaxing somehow. *shrug*

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Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Lost Lake House by Elisabeth Grace Foley

4starrating

Title: Lost Lake House

Author: Elisabeth Grace Foley

review

You’ve got to give it to it: that is one gorgeous cover. (I may also be immensely pleased at how well it goes with my blog’s color-scheme. But that’s neither here nor there… *cough*)

This is a historical-fiction novella set in the ’20s, and is a loose retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It came out this year and when I heard about it from Shantelle, I simply had to try it out. 🙂

Because, ya know . . . Twelve Dancing Princesses. 😉

In this one there’s only one dancer, not twelve (and she’s not exactly a princess either), but there were some great nods to the fairytale which I really enjoyed… It was kind of amazing how well some of it was weaved in with the ’20s setting.

Anyways, it was a quick, sweet read, with lots of elegant description which really captured the setting and time period. (I’m not a huge fan of jazz or the ’20s, but that didn’t get in my way of enjoying it, particularly since I didn’t have to HEAR it. ;))

I liked how we got a few points of view, too. It was neat to see different sides of what was going on. It was a quiet story. A bit mysterious. Some gangster-type stuff showed up to make it a little exciting. There’s a hint at a really sweet friendship that might come out of this story… 😉 And while it’s not the main focus, it also holds a really poignant story about a father and daughter who don’t understand each other, which I thought was really well written and I liked the hope it ends with.

Anyone looking for a romance should look elsewhere, though, because there isn’t really one. That being said, I do ship the hero and heroine and hope maybe in the future they might become a thing. 😉 But I was okay with how it was. 🙂

I almost got really upset for a minute there near the end because I was so looking forward to seeing a certain scene, ::SPOILER (highlight to read):: namely when Marshall and Dorothy show up at her dad’s at the end… loved that bit. 😀 ::END SPOILER:: and then it looked like we were going to skip a week instead! D: Buuuut then I was appeased since we got it in a flashback. So that made me really happy. ^_^

While the overall plot itself wasn’t my favorite, and the heroine was just okay — at least until near the end — (not to mention how I really disliked the other girls), I did really like the hero, and I liked how it all turned out in the end. It might have been a 3-star but… I don’t know, it just ended with me feeling kinda happy and it was fun and cute and sweet and so it got an extra star. 🙂

Anyone who likes that era should definitely give it a shot, and for those obsessed with the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this one is worth reading for a few clever turns of that fairytale being put in a different setting. 🙂 And anyone else… well, it’s enjoyable in its own right as a sweet, short read, and overall I thought it was a pretty swell little story. 😉

summary

From Goodreads:

The Twelve Dancing Princesses meets the heady glamor and danger of the Jazz Age

All Dorothy Perkins wants is to have a good time. She’s wild about dancing, and can’t understand or accept her father’s strictness in forbidding it. Night after night she sneaks out to the Lost Lake House, a glamorous island nightclub rumored to be the front for more than just music and dancing…in spite of an increasingly uneasy feeling that she may be getting into something more than she can handle.

Marshall Kendrick knows the truth behind the Lost Lake House—and bitterly hates his job there. But fear and obligation have him trapped. When a twist of circumstances throws Dorothy and Marshall together one night, it may offer them both a chance at escaping the tangled web of fear and deceit each has woven…if only they are brave enough to take it.

Novella, approximately 26,000 words.

factoids

Genre/Category: Historical Fiction / Novella / Fairytale Retelling

Age Group: YA

Published: 2016

Pages: 77 (estimated; Kindle)

When Read: June 2, 2016

Favorite Character: Marshall

Source: Bought from Amazon Kindle

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Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes

PoDcover

5starrating

Title: Prince of Demargen

Author: E. Kaiser Writes

review

I was struck by how unique this book is! I’ve never read anything like it. I loved the main character, Prince Hess! He was one of my very favorite things about the book. Getting to follow along with his adventures and struggles and watch him grow was awesome. He has such a distinct personality and I loved his sort of dry way of thinking and talking! 🙂 Definitely a deep character right there, with some very compelling struggles. (Also the stable and brawl scene was awesome. Just saying. It was glorious.)

It’s the sort of story you dwell deeply in… Adventure upon adventure, which you’re a part of, living in the land and traveling with Hess as you read along, instead of rushed through. It’s a book that knows how to take its time but be intriguing (I couldn’t put it down!), how to have fun but also be elegant and get at the heart things. The writing has a classic, timeless aura, peppered with fine humor. I loved it!

The book made me feel deeply: I’m not much of an emotional reader, but I cried near the beginning over Hess and his brothers, and laughed at humorous lines and great bits of dialog. (The dialog is great, especially Hess’s…)

The other characters were neat and well drawn too, though I didn’t see much of them (consequence of starting a series in the middle, I suppose…). They were really great to read about together–the relationships were fantastic, as was trying to piece them together… Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out! Hess’s horse Tompte was a great character in his own right–adorable and so loyal! Princess Girta has a long way to go before I’ll be able to like her, but Queen Ilise was cool, and I really loved what little I saw of Kai! I’m super intrigued by him and I simply can’t wait for Reindeer King to release!! *flails a little*

The series is a retelling of The Snow Queen and other such tales, and this particular book is rather like what a sequel to the movie Frozen might be like if it had been a bit different. (So if that idea intrigues you, definitely give it a go!) I love retellings and this one was great. Also fairytales are able to paint certain truths in a way that many other things can’t, and I think this one did a good job at some of that.

I did jump right into the middle of the series, as I haven’t read the first two books yet, and the fourth is not yet released. So I’m not sure if I actually have complaints about Prince of Demargen, or if they will be taken care of by the other books. Time will tell! (I’m wavering between a 4.5 star rating and a 5 star one, but I’m currently settling on 5 and assuming my problems will be swept away by the rest of the books.) A few times things felt to me like they came out of the blue or I didn’t know some characters well, but that may be fixed when I read the first ones, and several things were not wrapped up which I really want to see concluded (like the brothers!!), but hopefully those will be sorted out in the next book. 🙂

So my only complaints that may still remain after reading the other books (we’ll see) would be that a few things felt random or not explained well and I’m still wondering about, and the discussion questions at the end of the chapters dragged me out of the story. I prefer to be immersed in the story (and usually was), instead of yanked out after every chapter, but I ended up being able to skip them, mostly… But still.

Other than those minor things, and being on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book to release (not actually a bad thing. ;)), I loved it!

Overall, Prince of Demargen is a rich unique tale and is a very enjoyable read. I definitely recommend this one and look forward to reading the rest of the series!

(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, and the opinions are entirely my own.)

factoids

Illustrator: Illustrated by the author — lovely illustrations! Though few, I adore them…

Genre/Category: Fantasy / Christian / Fairytale Retelling

Age Group: Young Adult

Published: 2015

Pages: 408

Series?: Book 3 in the Thaw series (part of The Fairytale Collection). Preceded by Winter’s Child (#1), and Winter Queen (#2); followed by Reindeer King (#4) — publishing soon.

When Read: January 20, 2016 (yes, I read it in a day, despite its length! So hooked…)

Favorite Character: Hess! And Kai.

Other Notes: Read a PDF copy from the author.

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Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer