Title: Beauty’s curse
Author: C.S. Johnson
Genre: YA fantasy
Status: Book 1 of Once Upon A Princess
For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.
On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.
I received a free copy of the book from the author in return for an honest review. Thank you C.S. Johnson!
I haven’t read fairytale retellings before so this was a new kind of read for me.
The story of Sleeping Beauty that we all know, told in a slightly different setting with many different elements, it’s almost like a seperate fiction story. The whole time I read it, I looked for similarities and differences from the classic tale and the number of differences made this read so much more interesting.
For one, Aurora isn’t just a princess living in the palace, safe away from everything else that could harm her; she is a warrior. She left her home at thirteen to fight wars and figure out a way to remove the curse placed upon her by the wicked witch Magdelina. With her is her best friend Theo, who secretly has feelings for the princess. Aurora, who goes by Rose now, also has taken on a young girl as a squire and the girl’s brother as a navigator. Along with some guards, they travel and fight, win and move on to the fairy lands where Rose hopes to find a solution.
Circumstances end in Rose going back home after four years with her small cavalry, and meet the handsome Prince Philip on the way (who kisses her and breaks her curse in the original story). But the twist! By the time Philip is introduced, the reader is shipping Rose and Theo. I found Philip to put strain and problems into the main couple’s relationship, and wanted him gone. As much as I love Philip in the original story, I am rooting for Theo.
A few more details like Rose’s secret siblings, her father’s secret and some more facts added twists and suspense to the ending of the book.
It’s the first in a series amd honestly, I would have preferred more story to be in the book. By the time I got to know all the characters and placed everyone in areas and figured out the basics, the book ended. It could have been longer, with some more of the story.
A good read to keep you in fantasies of the world you thought you knew but don’t. Often, I find myself wishing that I never knew the fairytale stories just so I could read them again with the newbie vigor. This book was perfect for my mood. It’s the story you love, yet it is also something new and makes you wait for the happy ending you wish for.