*I read this in April 2017 and reviewed it then. I read The Shadow Queen and reviewed it HERE. I read this as an arc. As always, my opinions are honest.
I’m a sucker for retellings, so I was really excited for this one. I’ve never read a story about Rumplestiltskin so I was excited for this one.
The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.
So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.
But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.
Ari was a force to be reconned with. She was strong and smart and confident. She took no crap from anyone, and yet, she was caring, and it was refreshing to see. Her relationship with her brother was sweet, very similar to Lorelai and Theo’s relationship in The Shadow Queen. Of course, Sebastian was great, too.
Since I know nothing of Rumplestiltskin, I can’t say if this plot was predictable or not. It doesn’t seem to be though, and it had me turning pages quickly, trying to figure out what came next. Of course, I loved Alistair. He was very much the Rumple I know from Once Upon a Time. You have to appreciate a bad guy who is so unapologetically bad, right?
I enjoyed the story in this one, and the soft love that was blossoming. Like The Shadow Queen, this one was a fun, enjoyable read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not dark and brooding, but fun and lighthearted. Overall, enjoyable.