Published by HarperCollins on April 11th 2017
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A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.
It all started with the burning of the spindles.
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.
Lexa Hilyer impressed me with her previous novel, Proof of Forever. Spindle Fire is such a departure from that story though, that I went into this one as if I knew nothing of the author’s work. To be completely honest, this was one I picked up solely on the appeal of the gorgeous cover. This was one of those instances where I’m glad I judged a book by it’s cover because the insides matched up quite well with the beautiful outsides.
I read somewhere that Spindle Fire is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with hints of Alice in Wonderland and that description matched up perfectly with the actual story. The Sleeping Beauty aspects were quite obvious from the start and did match up quite well with the traditional story. However, it didn’t take long for things to deviate from that classic and for Lexa Hilyer to really give this story her own spin. The hints of mystery surrounding both the enchanted world where Aurora has found herself and the world of her home kingdom were intriguing enough to keep any reader guessing. Little hints regarding the history of both worlds as well as the faeries themselves are dropped throughout the book but only really come to a head at the end. As for that end, there won’t be a reader out there who isn’t left dying for the sequel, Winter Glass.
While the story is what originally captured my attention, the characters are what kept me coming back for more. Aurora and Isabelle couldn’t be more different. The sisters have very little in common except for their love for one another. That never stopped them from being best friends though. However, Aurora’s grand ideas for romance started to change things between them. Aurora was eager to meet her future husband, the Crown Prince of Aubin, a neighboring land. For Isabelle, this meant her time with her sister was over and her life was going to change irrevocably. A rift formed between them and before either of them could fix it, the spell took hold of Aurora. Aurora woke in a strange land and everything about her changed from there. Everything she thought she knew had to be questioned and she finally had to rely on her own strengths. As for Isabelle, she always knew her strengths but she hadn’t needed to put them to the test until it was up to her to bring her sister back from the strange sleeping sickness. Throughout the course of the story, characters such a Gil, William, Heath, Wren, Belcoeur, and Malfleur were introduced and while each one had their own mysteries, most of the questions surrounding them were left unanswered. I sincerely hope the pasts and futures of all of these characters will be explored in the sequel.
Overall, Spindle Fire sets things up nicely for this series (trilogy? duology?). April 2018 cannot get here soon enough, in my opinion. I’ve already become invested in these characters’ stories and I need to know what will become of them! Fans of fantasy as well as fans of both the original Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland stories will find something to love in Spindle Fire. The hints of the familiar are just enough to bring fans to find something completely new to love.
What others are saying about Spindle Fire:
Across the Words’ review: “If you tend to find the story of Sleeping Beauty uninteresting, I think you will appreciate how much more compelling and complex it becomes in Spindle Fire.”
The Story Sanctuary’s review: “I think fans of Forbidden Wish or The School for Good and Evil will find Spindle Fire to be a worthy addition to the genre.”