Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Damsel meets A Heart in a Body in the World in this incisive and lyrical feminist fairy tale about a princess determined to save her sisters from a curse, even if it means allying herself with the very witch who cast it.
The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.
Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.
But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.
Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.
Let’s appreciate the cover for a moment shall we? It’s what lured me in and then the synopsis is really quite interesting.
Once upon a time there was a witch who was so angry she cursed the entire royal family, so that on their thirteenth birthday they become cursed. It’s a dual POV so we get to see the oldest princess, Jane, and our witch Reagan and how they’re dealing with issues. Jane is cursed to never eat, and only the curse keeps her from dying. But on her Eighteenth birthday, if it shouldn’t be fixed, she will die from the curse.
Jane is naive and particularly a weak character since she gives in to her father’s goodness, which we are often reminded he is so good (but we never see why he is? Just told quite frequently by her) She is soft, and allows herself to be humiliated because apparently future queens do that.
Reagan is a hot headed witch, who is conflicted because the spell didn’t turn out how she wanted. She loves her family and wants to protect them as well as witches too. She was ok I guess. I just have some issues with the writing which really didn’t help with me enjoying the story.
The writing style never allowed for me to dive in and understand or even enjoy the world. It’s as if we are only being told half stories at a time. We are told things and we are to believe them, which automatically makes me not believe them. The king is good, but the witch hates him, so clearly there is a story there which is seriously only hinted toward for a majority of the book. Actually so much of the book is vague and it begins to tell a story only for it to stop and change directions. It just frustrated me. Half explanations from characters, all telling and no showing. I didn’t know what the heck was going on in a good portion.
Eventually you learn the truth, but at that point I was reading for morbid curiosity.
I give it a 2 for originality and creativity.
Do you love curse stories?