Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Publication: April 11th 2017 by Harper Teen
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Genre: Retellings, Romance, Fantasy
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.
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Aurora is alluring but she has no sense of touch and cannot speak for these senses are tithed to the faeries. Aurora have given enough of her senses already so her sister Isbe's eyesight was tithed instead of Aurora's youth. Malfleur cursed the child but Violette tried reversing the curse. Instead of death, Aurora would be in a deep sleep and only a true love's kiss could awaken her. Isbe's blindness made her senses hightened. The siblings loved each other and have compensated the disability by being there for each other and by communicating using finger taps. On the day when Prince Philip and his brother would visit Aurora (to plan for their wedding), the princes were murdered. Aurora and Isbe then overheard the council that they will move Isbe to a convent because Isbe is no longer needed. Isbe ran away and Aurora tried to search for her. But she got lost and only seeked refuge in a cottage in the middle of the forest. Here, she saw a golden spinning wheel and accidentally pricked her finger. She was overwhelmed by the pain and woke up screaming. She realized she had her senses back and she was rescued by Heath. Apparently, she's in a dream-like place called Someil. While one the other side, Isbe learned everything about the curse and convinced Gil to rescue her sister. But the sleeping sickness is spreading fast. She has to convince the youngest brother of Prince Philip to marry Aurora and she's confident he's the one who could save her. After traveling to land and sea, they failed. Aurora didn't wake up when the prince kissed her. Isbe was so broken hearted about it and.... (LOL)
Okay, it's a little bit challenging to write a summary for Spindle Fire haha because it was like two parallel universes. Universe A is where Isbe is and Univers B is where Aurora is. Their stories are being narrated at the same time so while Isbe is trying to save her sister, Aurora is trying to unlock Belcoeur's history and trying to save people trapped in a dream world called Someil. The curse put her there. That alone is kind of mind blowing. But what I truly adored here are the sibling's relationship, the back story and THAT FREAKING ENDING.
Malfleur and Belcoeur's story would be something I'd be thrilled to read. I wish Hillyer would right like a separate novel for these two. They have so much difference as siblings but deep in my heart, I know, they still love each other. And OMG really, I cannot fathom the pain they went through because of that Blackthorn guy.
I loved the familiarity of Sleeping Beauty and I also absolutely loved Hillyer's take on it. But there were times (a lot) I got confused, like, whose head I am in right now? There were a ton of POVs that I truly got confused especially along the middle part. The back story and the plot twists were squeezed and forced to happen in 368 pages? I don't mind reading 400 pages especially if the story asks for it and Spindle Fire felt like it had to be longer. And I wish though that Hillyer focused MORE on the siblings up and down relationship instead of the romance? It could have developed at the second book. I mean, there's so much info dump in here but the development lacked and execution was rushed.
Spindle Fire is surely a refreshing take on Sleeping Beauty! Enchantingly dangerous, Spindle Fire is packed with loyalty and courage you wouldn't find anywhere else but in your family. Fans of retellings would definitely enjoy this!
Thank you, HarperCollins International Sales for the galley!
"Light too can be a curse. It can illuminate things no one should ever have to witness."