*I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Given that this is a Sleeping Beauty retelling and has such a fantastical (and gorgeous) cover, I went into the book expecting it to be very light and airy and fairy tale-esque, like many retellings are. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was actually very modern, realistic, and relatable!
Yes, it is a sci-fi/fantasy book, so it does have fairies, dark sorceresses, magic mirrors, teleportation, etc., but the characters, the way they think and act, the relationships—those were the realistic, relatable things. And to me, that’s the perfect way of doing things because it’s all the fun of a fantastical world and plot but with characters I can connect with.
My favorite thing though was the relationship between Apolline and Allard. The whole they’re-betrothed-to-each-other-but-don’t-realize-it thing was so much fun, and I loved the dynamic between the two of them. There was clearly interest at first sight, but things progressed at a nice pace. The way they got to know each other, flirted with and teased each other, tried to squash their feelings and be just friends with each other, protected each other, respected each other, etc. was all adorable. I especially loved when Allard repeated Apolline’s words about how important the “commoners” are because it showed how much she meant to him and how much he respected her.
The non-romantic relationships were great and kind of adorable too in their own ways. I adored the relationship between Allard and his father, and even the way Charlie was like a father to Apolline was sweet.
The story leaned a little more to the fairy tale, random magic side near the end, but it was still a nice, action-packed climax.
Overall, I would say this is one of my favorite retellings so far, and it was a fun read that had me smiling throughout at the characters and their relationships!
Anyone who likes fantasy/sci-fi fairy tale retellings but with realistic, relatable characters.