by Brandie June
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult Fiction
Format: ARC, eBook
"June shines in this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin . . . with memorable characters that will appeal to a broad range of fantasy readers." -School Library Journal
If Nor can't spin gold, she can always spin lies.
When seventeen-year-old Nor rescues a captured faerie in the woods, he gifts her with a magical golden thread she can use to summon him for a favor. Instead, Nor uses it for a con-to convince villagers to buy straw that can be transformed into gold. Her trick works a little too well, attracting the suspicion of Prince Casper, who hates nobody more than a liar. Intent on punishing Nor, he demands that she spin a room of straw into gold and as her reward, he will marry her. Should she refuse or fail, the consequences will be dire. Desperate for help, Nor summons the faerie's aid, launching a complicated dance as she must navigate between her growing feelings for both the prince and faerie boy and who she herself wishes to become.
Even though I had read the blurb, it wasn’t clear to me going into it tat it was a retelling of Rumplestiltskin. I have never read that story but have been hearing quite about it and about other retelling of it.
So this story follows our heroine, Nor. She, along with her three brothers, make a leaving out of conning people. While scouting their next job, she finds that a Fay has been captured by two men and for some reason feels compelled to help him. That earns her a favor from him and a gold thread, which gives her the idea for their next con.
At a local faire, Nor is putting on her show about being able to spin straw into gold, when the returning Prince Casper, sees her act and decides to teach her a lesson. She’s to “Spin” more gold for the Prince and upon doing so, he would marry her and she would become the next Queen.
This story was very captivating and there are so many tropes thatI couldn’t put it down. It has a little bit of a love triangle, a sort enemies to lovers, forced proximity, FAERIES, and two very swoon worthy male characters.
While a lot of Nor’s actions can be seen in a harsh light, the driving force behind each and every one of them is the survival of her family. They’ve had a very hard life and she will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
While I had liked the blurb, I found myself a little distracted at the start of the book (this was more of a me thing), but once I got into it, I loved it. So much so that there were many times where i physically reacted to the different scenes. This is definitely a series that I will continue.
15 (17 really…lol) Reactions While Reading
1. Poor Casper! A Prince away from his home and family.
2. Pel’s description made me feel like I already knew him and felt bad about his predicament.
“You might want to slow down,” Flora said, but unlike Constance, there was kindness in her words. “This is only the first course.”
I swallowed the rest of the fish, nearly choking. “There’s more?” I asked, genuinely astonished. The food on our table alone was more than enough for several meals.
“Of course,” Flora said. “This is just to start the feast.”
“I haven’t seen this much food since before the rationing.”
“We haven’t enforced rations since the Southern War,” Constance said. I couldn’t tell if she was confused or righteous.
These royals didn’t deserve to know my life. Instead, I simply said, “Not all of us emerged from the war this fortunate.” I gestured to the spread of food on the table. The three of them sat, stunned at my statement.
Love Nor for not only speaking up against the spoiled Royals, she stands her ground and doesn’t show that their words/opinions of her affect her.
“I think you should be able to take it from here,” he said, practically jumping away from me. I almost smiled to see how studiously he was staring at the floor. Almost.
She’s cheeky! Laughed out loud at Casper’s reaction to helping her undress.
When the maiden saw the faerie prince, she too was overcome by his handsomeness, for all the fay are beautiful to behold—” I stopped, an embarrassed heat flushing me as I realized the double meaning of my words.
Her curiosity is starting to become something more than just simple curiosity.
“Where did you hear that tale?” His voice was serious, devoid of earlier humor and mockery.
“My father told me the story. He used to tell us children lots of stories before…”
“It sounds very similar to a story we have.”
“Really? What happens in that story?”
“Nothing I want to discuss,” Pel said. He didn’t snap, but his voice held finality. I wondered if I had accidentally offended him.
I have a theory about Pel’s reaction to the story Nor told him, involving her dad!
“I didn’t think I would have to. But I could get on bended knee if you prefer. Or serenade you with love ballads, but I will warn you, I’m an awful singer.”
Hehehe Casper is starting to let his princely mask fall off and we get to see the young man behind it.
“Did the little ladriena miss me already?” Pel’s eyes sparkled.
“Hey, you don’t need to call me that. I haven’t stolen anything, at least not today.” Pel gave a mocking bow, but his lips quirked up in a crooked grin.
“My apologies Nor. I must have been woefully mistaken.”
“Indeed, I gave up a life of crime and deception yesterday.”
Love the banter Pel and Nor have going on. Especially since Fay may not have the best opinions of humans, he continues to show up.
9. Nor’s devotion to her family is really admirable. She might not be the oldest but she’s the one that carries the most responsibility and puts them above all, even her opportunity to leave.
10. The love triangle didn’t last long or is it really over? It was exciting to see the two warring sides of her heart.
“There you are.” He sounded slightly breathless, as though he had been running. “I have been looking all over for you. Are you all right?” His concern took me by surprise.
Awwww things are starting to change between them. Nor is starting to let go of her grudge….?
“Empty your pockets.”
“I don’t have anything in my pockets.”
“Empty them,” I repeated.
“But Nor . . .” Jacobie whined.
“Now.” Two silver spoons dropped to the floor. I sighed, picking them up. “Jacobie, you can’t do this anymore.”
LOL hilarious how Nor was the instigator to get her brothers into the thieving. life to now being the one to catch them now that they “don’t” have to steal anymore.
“Nor, I would very much like to kiss you now.” His voice was husky, rough in a way my polished prince rarely let himself be. It delighted me.
I tried to speak, “I . . . I . . .” my head was swimming and I couldn’t form the words as I inhaled his smell, cinnamon and spice, and something that smelled deliciously like a man. Instead, I nodded, staring up at him with my own wide eyes, trying to convey what my words were failing me.
Oh how fickle humans are! Pel is MIA and so Nor allows her grudges against Casper fade away and she starts to see that she’s falling for him.
14. Every mean girl has a story, Ilana is no different. Totally understand her meanness.
15. The Constance moment before the coronation…OMG! I knew she was tough and had a suspicion that she really was a softy under it all but wow…
16. Queen Marasina’s little speech about the reason for the “unprovoked” Fay attacks is totally backing up my theory about Nor’s dad!!!!
17. Damn those twists from the ending part of the book and Pel’s involvement…I need book 2 NOW!