Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Kindle book I own
Well, I finally read this book. I’m so happy I read it because it was much better than I expected. I tried to read it last year, but my tiny human was only a few months old so it was hard to focus on such a rich retelling. So when the chance to buddy read it popped up, I decided to go with it since it has been sitting in my Kindle library almost a year.
Harper lives a life not great because her mother is dying, and her brother has to act as a violent enforcer for someone their father owns money to. Harper sees a girl being kidnapped and intervenes. Then she ends up in Emberfall, finding out the kingdom is cursed and the only way to save the kingdom is to fall in love with the prince, Rhen.
This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it’s unique. I did have a hard time with the first half of the book, but once I was in the book, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a different kind of retelling because Harper is trying to save the people she loves… her family…rather than being swept up in a castle and falling for the prince. It’s actually not really a love story, but it’s still fantastic.
Harper is a bad ass. I love how fierce she is. She has cerebral palsy, but she doesn’t let it define her. The representation in the book seems like it’s good, but I can’t speak fully since I don’t have the experience. It’s like Kemmerer made her disability part of the plot overall rather than just a plot device to make her book stand out. I adore Harper and how she wants to save the kingdom as well. She cares about Rhen, but she’s not just like omg I need to fall in love. I am such a fan of romance, but with the context of this book, the way Harper is is so perfect.
Rhen is okay. He’s the prince. There was nothing special about him. I was saddened whenever Lilith would hurt him because she was brutal to him, but there was nothing about his personality which made me root for him as a love interest for Harper.
Grey is awesome. I think he’s a well developed character, and I was never bored when he was involved. I think his perspective would have enhanced the book because of what is revealed about him throughout the story. I know many are huge fans of him, but I’ll make my choice when I read the next book and actually see his perspective.
This is such a rich fairy tale retelling, I can understand why it’s so popular. I can’t wait for the next book, and I am looking forward to reading more from Kemmerer since I am giddy over how she writes fantasy.
Did you love this book? Are you planning on reading the next one? I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this book.