Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Genre: Fairytale retelling, dark fantasy, young adult

Pages: 368

Published April 11th 2017 by HarperTeen

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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.


My Thoughts

Rich, vivid and imaginative this story captured me from the first page.

This tale is told in an interesting way, present tense which at first might have seemed odd, seemed to plant me there in the moment. Instead of knowing that it had happened I was there experiencing Isbe and Aurora’s world.

And what a world it was, rich in explanation without dumping information on top of information it helped me feel submerged into the world and furthered the feeling of being part of it.

While this is a retelling I’d like to say that it holds some of the same principles but it is a reimagined story, beautifully crafted and dark. Everything about the story is unique – Aurora is unable to feel and cannot speak and her half-sister Isbe is blind, they are princesses but they are not feeble. Their character development is impeccable throughout the tale.

The pace of the story was a little slow, given the sort of narrative it is, but all in all, it was a wonderful tale. Isbe and Aurora were a delight to read as they progressed in this story. I was a bit worried, Sleeping Beauty is perhaps one of my favorite retellings to read, but this one did not disappoint.

What is your favorite fairytale/folktale? Sound off below!


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