Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Spindle Fire. book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
Everyone who knows me or reads this blog also knows that I am a huge sucker for fairy tales and retellings of them. Perhaps it's because fairy tales are the first group of stories that I really grew attached to. They are some of the first stories that bore deep into my heart, and it has placed a sort of enchantment and romance on my own writing and my reading material. So when I heard that this new book was coming out, I reserved it at my library as soon as I could. I mean, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty? Wicked fairies with dangerous secrets? Political intrigue? A pair of brave, courageous, lovable sisters? This book contained some of the best elements in fantasy, taking the fairy tale and spinning it anew, all the while staying true to the original.
Aurora and Isabelle are two daughters of the same king, and they have both been tithed by the two of the many powerful fairies that populate their land. The fairies and the humans have been at war for years, but it all ended when the most powerful of them went into hiding. Forced out of their castle, Aurora, who has had her sense of touch stolen, is the favored, legitimate daughter. She is sheltered and coddled. Her sister, Isabelle, is blind, her sight the price of a fairy tithe. The two sisters must go beyond their castle, for if they don't, the sleeping sickness will swallow all.
I really enjoyed this book. The prose was lush and gorgeous, almost hypnotic in its intensity. Before anything else, the prose really caught my attention. I liked the worldbuilding, though at times it was a little bit confusing. But it was the characters, mainly the two sisters, sweet, naive Aurora, and her headstrong, fierce, unwanted sister, Isbe, that really captured my heart. All issues aside, it was this pair of sisters that I really grew to love and care for. I liked the political intrigue; that was one of the aspects that kept me turning the pages. I liked the way the familiar elements of the original story, woven up in a new tale, rife with fairies and magic and darkness. I can see why a lot of people thought it was slow, but I liked the style. And I'm super stoked to hear there's a sequel! The bottom line: A new telling of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, Spindle Fire was a beautiful, dark series debut that I really liked, despite some flaws. Next on deck: Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon!