Author Name & Publisher: K.S. Trenten (Prizm Books – A Torquere Imprint)
Publication Date & Length: May 11, 2016 – 27,425 Words
On the eve of my sixteenth year, I'm cursed to prick my finger on spindle and fall into a hundred year sleep. This is what the witch with the snow white skin and haunting dark eyes promised me, as I lay in my cradle. I haven't been able to get her out of my mind, since. She haunts my dreams, steals into my quiet moments, when I think I'm alone. Everyone thinks she's my enemy. Everyone thinks I need to be protected from her. I can't think of her as an enemy, no matter what anyone else thinks. Who is she, truly? The only name she's ever been given are a few, enigmatic words. The fairest of them all.
In this book we meet a young woman that seems familiar to the reader; she is reminiscent of a certain character/princess from Grimm Brothers’ and Walt Disney’s fairytales.
I’m a sucker for a new take on old classic fairytales, and this one is no different. On the whole, I enjoyed the book and the new spin on some of my favorite fairytales; I especially love how there are more than one fairy princess being depicted.
However, I have a few issues that knocked down the otherwise lovely plot idea for me. First, I don’t really understand the evolution of feelings that occurred with the main character princess, whom we never learn the name of. The fascination was tangible from the beginning, and I read that she felt slightly more, but no explanation or real detail is given to show her evolution from fascinated to in love with. Secondly I felt that, while I understand the reasoning behind it, the fairytale-like telling of the story came off as a little clichéd. We didn’t really learn a whole lot, other than what was relevant to the main plot, and the characters came off as very cookie cutter perfect to me. Lastly, there were quite a few places where the formatting, or lack thereof, and the wording of passages made it hard to ascertain if someone else was speaking or if something should have been more of a telepathic-type communication.
But I am happy that I read the book and was able to see the fairytales in this light. The story, at its core, was intriguing and sweet.
My first memory was of her dark eyes. They seemed to capture all the colors of my infant universe, even as they threatened to swallow me. Her eyes should have been terrifying, but they weren’t.
Her blood red lips moved, shaping words I could only dimly recall. My parents remembered them only too well, as did everyone else who’d gathered at the castle for my christening.
“I, too, have a gift for this child. She shall grow up, with all the beauty and promise of the dawn, but her sun will never rise.”
My mother told me she nearly swooned with terror at the look of sheer malevolence the witch gave to the sunbeams, playing about my cradle. She wanted to stop the witch from speaking, as did my father. No one could move, no matter how much they wished to. Everyone stood, still and motionless, spellbound by the witch’s gaze.
“Before the sun sets on the eve of her sixteenth year, the princess shall prick her finger on a spindle. With the first drop of her blood, a sleep will fall upon her, claiming her for a hundred years.”
My mother tried to call in another witch to remove the curse. My father burned every spindle he could find. However, nothing could lift the curse, for all their efforts. The witch had disappeared into a cloud of green smoke. No one could find her after my christening, despite many attempts to locate her. The only thing she left behind, besides her curse, was the memory of her dark eyes.
Writing isn’t just a job for me. It’s a calling.