My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It took me 16 days to finish this novel, and I’m so happy it took that long. Seriously, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it otherwise; each chapter was worthy to be savored like an ice cream cone in a hot summer day. I’ve been on a fantasy binge since April, and this novel was a great way to satiate my literary hunger.
I became quite attached to the protagonists, who were basically the epitomes of selflessness. Throughout the story, both Lorelai and Kol never hesitated to sacrifice their happiness and well-being for the sake of their respective kingdoms which were on the verge of destruction. I also enjoyed the sweet and innocent romance between them, although I thought it was practically a minor addition to the plot. I really admired how Lorelai and Kol did not allow their physical desires to cloud their judgement or jumble their priorities.
As for the antagonist, Queen Irina, she was naturally so infuriating. I absolutely relished hating her for all the physical and emotional suffering she bestowed on everyone for the sake of placating her overwhelming sense of self-entitlement. There was not a time that I expected her to attain a happy ending. When true love knocked on the doors of her stone-cold heart, she proudly ignored it and instead hearkened the call of power and corruption. Overall, Queen Irina was very similar to Queen Levana of The Lunar Chronicles, so I could not help but look forward to her inevitable destruction.
Now in regards to the entirety of the plot, I found it to be very gripping, refreshing and well-paced. The only part of the book I wanted to be rewritten was the scene wherein Lorelai was stupidly unable to stop a peasant woman from killing herself and her children. Really, Loreali should have been bright enough to snatch the knife from the said lunatic.
All things considered, I absolutely enjoyed this stand-alone novel. It gave me what every bookworm deserves: a wonderful and worthwhile reading experience. I can hardly wait to read its sequel, which is still in the making. Cheers to epic fairy tale retellings!
*The featured image was contributed by Dessa Mae Jacobe (@dessatopia)