Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

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.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.
Review by Nara

And yeah I realise it's my fault for not looking up/knowing this was a series BUT SOMEHOW I FEEL BETRAYED.

Anyway, moving on.
The writing was quite good; there was a magical/fairy-tale like feel to it that helped build the atmosphere of the story. However, I can also see why some people may dislike this style of descriptive writing, because it did slow down the pace. There were also a fair few chapters from various other characters in the tale which I feel weren't that necessary and dragged the pace down even further.

Definitely the biggest negative was that the romances were not very well developed. Firstly we have Aurora whose relationship with Heath (the mysterious hunter referred to in the blurb) comes out of nowhere. One minute she's exploring the dream world, and the next she's swooning over this random guy she's just met. On the other hand, we have Isabelle who I initially thought wouldn't focus too much on the romance and was breathing a sigh of relief when suddenly a love triangle emerges and the initial love interest somehow just gets brushed away.

Other than the romance, the plot is quite compelling. It takes the concept of Sleeping Beauty and unravels it into a dark, magical world where the fae are dwelling in the darkness, ready to conquer. Our two main characters have physical disabilities which were tithes to the fae by their parents, sight and voice given freely to receive other gifts. It was interesting to see how Isabelle fared throughout the novel without sight, especially when there were sections where she had to travel alone.

Overall, a darker take on Sleeping Beauty that is set in the world of the fae. Would recommend it if you liked books such as The Darkest Part of the Forest.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 3.5/5
Romance: 2.5/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5