Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 24, 2015
Genres: High Fantasy, Love & Romance, Retelling, Young Adult
Amazon • Book Depository •
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
I think I first discovered this…April last year? I fell absolutely in love with the synopsis and I was unbelievably excited because continuance of Sleeping Beauty. And political intrigue! A high fantasy! Yes yes yes yes. Finally getting my hands on an ARC of this was a dream come true and suffice to say I pretty much dropped everything to read this. (And this is big because it was practically the week before midterms.)
My feelings for this book are…mixed, but I’m pretty sure I loved it. While there wasn’t much that actually happened in the plot kind of sense, it was a great set up for what can be an absolutely fantastic series. There was just something that was missing in terms of action and adventure and, when you think about it, there’s actually very little that happened until the last fourth of the book or so. If you’re looking for something with dashing heroes (or heroines) and daring sword fights, this isn’t really your type of book. If you love court politics and new worlds with ambiguous characters, then this one is most definitely for you.
The story starts off with Aurora being awakened by a kiss from a stranger…and her freaking out. So, thank you Thomas, for an accurate representation of how a girl would react to a random man at her bedside.
After that, we’re filled in with everything that’s happened in the past hundred years and we see the line between fiction and reality blurred as Aurora discovers stories upon stories based on her. It’s definitely unnerving to see your entire life played out in words and pictures and to go from protected princess to infamous legend in what seems like overnight, and even more so to be immediately confined and pushed into a role she never expected. So no one can blame Aurora for being a little naive and a little stubborn. Honestly, I usually absolutely loathe characters like Aurora, but there was something about her than made you love her and I even felt a bit protective of her.
Someone had to be. Aurora is a legend and a bringer of good fortune…supposedly. She’s the hope of a people and you don’t have to read the book to know that there are scores of people hoping to entangle her in their plans or hoping to put this Sleeping Beauty to sleep forever. I can count at least five characters who have unclear motives and I’m really not sure who to trust. Everyone has a reason to betray Aurora, but so many people have a reason to help her too. She’s entrapped no matter what she does and it’s sort of tragic in that.
As for the romance…I’m not sure whether I can say that the romance takes a backseat, but there definitely isn’t anything that defines this story as a romance novel. I’m not really sure if there’s a central romance, but I can’t really say anything else, because semi-spoilers? There are some very…interesting things that happen in Aurora’s so-called romances though. All I can say is that almost every guy who showed an interest in her had an ulterior motive…so I really have no idea who she’ll end up falling for. View Spoiler » My favorite guy though? I’m going with Finnegan.
Meanwhile, the world? There are dragons and magic. While we don’t see a lot of the dragons, there’s a bit of the magic in here and it’s…very curious. I have many theories. Many, many theories…
A Wicked Thing is less of a wild adventure across kingdoms and more of a court intrigue novel about a girl who’s thrown into a world she’s never know nor wanted to know. It may not be as flashy, but it’s subtly stunning and absolutely enchanting in a way you wouldn’t expect. There are so many things that leave you wondering about what will happen next and so many details that build on top of the fairy tale we’ve all grown up with.
If you didn’t catch that, I recommend this one 100%. SO MUCH YES.