A Wicked Thing
by Rhiannon Thomas
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Read an excerpt
Rate: 4 out of 5 stars
Rhiannon Thomas’s dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.
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.
“I never thought what happens after Sleeping Beauty wakes up would keep me at the edge of my seat, breathlessly turning pages. But Rhiannon Thomas has taken the familiar and the cliched and turned it into a tense, fast-paced read full of plot twists and revelations, set in a world at once intriguing and perilous.” – Sherry Thomas, author of The Burning Sky
“The book is welcome twist on the classic helpless-princess-saved-by-dashing-prince one expects from a fairy tale…. Fairy tale and fantasy fans alike will breeze through this retelling and eagerly await her next chapter.” – School Library Journal
“One of the best fairytale retellings I’ve ever read. Thomas uses the well-known back story of Sleeping Beauty to craft an entirely new future for Aurora that is anything but happily-ever-after. Starting the story after the moment that usually signals the end of the fairytale gave this book an original spin and makes it stand out among of sea of simple retellings. Don’t miss this great debut!” – Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
The stort of Sleeping Beauty is one that I know particularly well, so I was quite intrigued by the concept of this book, which dealt with the aftermath of Aurora waking up from her hundred-years sleep.
I found Aurora to be a really well-written character. I found myself drawn into her emotions… her loneliness and her intense desire to protect the people of her kingdom. I felt the author did a really good job of showing the politics and what kind of people Aurora had to deal with upon waking up… along with the fact that the kingdom itself was so different to what she remembered.
What I found pretty interesting was that the tale of the Sleeping Beauty was written and how different the book Aurora read was to the reality. I would have liked to see more of a motive behind the curse – the original motive always seemed quite petty and there were hints that it ran deeper than indicated.
Apart from Aurora, there were a lot of the characters I didn’t really know what to make of. Rodric seemed like a kind person (as indicated by the blurb), but he also came across as really weak. The King was really cruel… pretty much a tyrant. I couldn’t see any redeeming qualities in him, or any potential for him to be one of the ‘good’ guys.
It was a slightly different situation with the Queen. I didn’t like her either, but I felt that at least some effort was made to humanise her. I did like Isabelle as a character. I felt quite sorry for her, with how she was used as a pawn.
I did like the elements of magic in this book and it was interesting to learn how magic-users had pretty much been outlawed in the world. It was also really intriguing to see the story of the kingdom’s creation and how that compared to Aurora’s story then.
I would really like to see a sequel to this book. I felt that Aurora didn’t have much of an opportunity to grow and mature as a character until towards the end of the book and it would be good to see her get a chance to grow up and stand on her own two feet.
Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.
As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog FeministFiction.com, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.
I don’t hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.
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