This was a book on my September TBR and let me tell you… I say this all the time… I don’t know how I’ve been sleeping on some of these amazing books that have been on my bookshelf for some time before I decide to finally read them! Why do I keep doing this?? I have no excuses as to why I didn’t pick this one up, but I am so happy I eventually did.
Here is a quick overview of the synopsis before I get into my non-spoilery review!
Fall in love, break the curse.
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
THIS BOOK! I AM OBSESSED! Like I read it in the course of one night, obsessed!
So if you love retellings, this one is a unique one that touches on all that you love about the original Beauty and the Beast, with a twist that I personally have never seen done. One of the main characters, Harper, deals with Cerebral Palsy – which is incredible to see this level of inclusivity – and her strength would make Belle proud. She is not only determined, but willing to work hard and rough in order to achieve what she wants. Most of the main heroines I read about have that in your face strength that is very similar, but Harper has visible weaknesses that she is put down for… and yet you forget about them quickly once she opens her mouth and says the things in your heart. Badass all the way!
Grey… omg Grey! I have no idea where to begin with him because he is just the cutest thing of life. I am curious as to how his story continues as a HUGE revelations is fed to us at the very last second. But other than that, he is def that cinnamon bun you want to scoop up and love forever and ever. Prince Rhen was unique as the Beast as well. The author did an amazing job in making him struggle internally and within his group of people with his choices and decisions. Although he appeared to be very put together, those scenes where we were alone with him, it felt so real and earnest. I don’t think I ever read about a male counterpart in a novel, where he is served as the love interest, in this way.
Incredible writing overall in portraying both character growth and the entire plot.
I loved the worlds between worlds, jumping between our world and then the world of Emberfall. It felt familiar and like a discovery. These types of books are my fav as portal fantasy is one close to my heart 😉
There was a line from the book I was absolutely gutted by: “My father once said we are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”
This hit close to home, more specifically to this year because of all the shit we’ve been through. I have been tested on patience and dealing with the cards dealt and the choices they bring, and I can tell you they are not at all the choices I want. The realness of this book, despite it being a fairytale retelling, was compelling. The kind that reminds me that there is some underlying truth to fairytales. Especially, when they have badass female characters who kick ass and take names.
Highly highly recommend picking this book up if you are looking for a fantastical and beautiful read! I have already bought the second book and preordered the third!
Are there any other fairytale retellings I should be getting my hands on? If you read this book, how did you like it?