A Wicked Thing
by Rhiannon Thomas Published by HarperTeen
on February 24th 2015 Genres: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
, Fantasy & Magic
, Young Adult Fiction Pages:
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.
As much as I gravitate towards retellings, they are either a tantalizing hit or a boring miss. A Wicked Thing, in my opinion, is a boring miss. The plot was super slow and wasn’t convincing (the evilness of a certain character came off cartoonish). Too much time is spent on mundane daily life. Maybe the last four chapters were the best, but even then, the plot just seems too thin.
Another issue for me is the wide pool of love interests (two princes and a rebel). The only one I liked was Prince Rodric. Shy and socially awkward boys are so underrated as love interests. I disliked all the other characters including Aurora. There wasn’t anything for me to connect to. I don’t care to continue (and I’ve seen from browsing reviews that the second book ends with an open ending—so that’s a big no from me).
Long May She Reign
by Rhiannon Thomas
on February 21st 2017 Genres: Fantasy
, Young Adult Fiction Pages:
The Girl of Fire and Thorns meets The Queen of the Tearling in this thrilling fantasy standalone about one girl’s unexpected rise to power. Freya was never meant to be queen. Twenty-third in line to the throne, she never dreamed of a life in the palace, and would much rather research in her laboratory than participate in the intrigues of the court. However, when an extravagant banquet turns deadly and the king and those closest to him are poisoned, Freya suddenly finds herself on the throne. She may have escaped the massacre, but she is far from safe. The nobles don’t respect her, her councillors want to control her, and with the mystery of who killed the king still unsolved, she knows that a single mistake could cost her the kingdom—and her life. Freya is determined to survive, and that means uncovering the murderers herself. Until then, she can’t trust anyone. Not her advisers. Not the king’s dashing and enigmatic illegitimate son. Not even her own father, who always wanted the best for her but also wanted more power for himself. As Freya’s enemies close in and her loyalties are tested, she must decide if she is ready to rule and, if so, how far she is willing to go to keep the crown.
Freya, a science-loving girl, had never enjoyed the lavishness of court life and its scheming politics, but most importantly she had also never imagined herself as Queen. The Queen of a land where many were killed by the hands of an unknown suspect. With limited time and uncertain loyalties, Freya must find the killer and secure her position on the throne she still hasn’t accepted as truly her own.
The beautiful cover promised so much more than what the story really offered, and as did the synopsis. Thrilling fantasy? No. Exciting mystery? I wouldn’t use the word exciting to describe this book. It was so obvious who the person behind the deaths was, so eye-rollingly obvious. And it certainly did not help that the story followed the same pattern in the middle of the book.
Look at my very lame example:
It was an endless cycle in the middle and I’m not even going to discuss that kiss thing which nearly took a chapter of Freya wondering what it meant. Sure, there wasn’t that much romance but what was there didn’t interest me. I wasn’t even that interested in who did it, but I pushed through the book anyway. I don’t know what to think of the ending, I kind of liked it–but I had issues.