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Book Review: Spindle Fire

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Published April 2017

Genre(s): YA, fantasy, retelling, romance

353 pages


“More true to life. Because we’re all stumbling through darkness, really. None of us knows where we’re heading. Not in the bigger picture anyway.”

Rating

Summary (from Goodreads)

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay. 

My Thoughts

I’m not entirely sure what to think about this book. I’ve not been having the best of luck with retellings lately. Though that could be entirely due to most of them being Sleeping Beauty retellings. I don’t know. I really thought I might like this one. It had sisters and faeries and an enchanted world. I’ve heard such mixed reviews about it, but I finally gave it a chance because someone from Pondathon enjoyed it, and I think that just makes me more disappointed because I really did want to like this.

My problem started at the very beginning. I was bored, and I couldn’t even tell you how many times I had to reread sentences because I just glossed right over them and realized half a page later I hadn’t the faintest idea what was going on.

Then came the second problem. I didn’t care about Aurora and Isabelle. Both of their characters fell flat to me. They were there on the page, but despite their conversations and situations, I never felt like I knew them. I never felt like I should care about them. If I had of liked those two, I would have been perfectly fine not enjoying anything else about the story because I love sibling bonding. But I couldn’t. They were helping each other and talking about each other, but I never felt that overpowering love and protectiveness between them.

The third problem was the time lapse. There was so much time jumping, I don’t have any idea the time of anything going on. Then there were the few times the chapters would parallel with one another, and I’m still beyond confused on why or how.

Then came problem four. Gilbert. I’m not even going to expand on this one. I just didn’t like him.

My fifth problem came from the nunnery with Isabelle and Prince What’s His Name? (I had to look it up…apparently it’s William. And that about sums up what I thought of him.) I was already not very invested in the story. And then we came to the nunnery. And there was so much potential. Like, the suspense here was real and it was nice, and then it was dragged into the closest town and murdered. All of that suspense just faded away in a puff of smoke. Plus I still have questions about stuff that happened since our characters just kinda left.

That was about when I wanted to give up. All of the weird added POV switches of characters other than Isbe and Aurora didn’t help.

But I pressed through to the end because that’s what I do. Also I was slightly more invested in Aurora’s side of the story, so…that helped. I mean, at least I remember Heath’s name.

The thing with this book is it’s divided into five parts. The 5th part actually got interesting. To clarify, Part 5 starts on page 307. And then it ends on a cliffhanger

Y’all, I just looked, and the second book is a Cinderella retelling and I don’t think I can do it. As much as I would like to see how this ends (mostly because of the faeries and the war), I don’t think I’m invested enough to read 300+ more pages about our princesses. If I had of gotten that interesting factor in like part 3, or even part 4, I could go for it. I may or may not return to this duology in the future.

By all means, if you want to read a unique Sleeping Beauty retelling, go for it. You might like it. But I don’t think it’s one I can personally recommend.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Spindle Fire

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