Published by Scholastic Press on May 30th 2017
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.
But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.
In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.
In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake -- a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure.
Ah boy, where do I start with this review? Just a warning, this review is going to be brutally honest and perhaps a little angry because I am mad. I wasted 20$ and an audible credit on this mess so yeah, I’m very mad about this book.
This book is said to be a swan lake/swan princess retelling which I was super excited for because I have never read a swan lake retelling and the synopsis sounded super promising. Yet as I read the physical copy it was just… impossible for me to get into it. The writing was super boring and everything was so melodramatic I’m like are you serious right now. But I wanted to finish it so I spent an audible credit on this book and listened to it so I could do other things while listening to it. It wasn’t the best audiobook I’ve ever read, but I did happen to find it easier to get into.
I almost hate to say it but I only liked ONE thing about this book. I do like Sara B Larson’s writing, I thought it was beautiful and I do like the premise of the book.
Now, for all my gripes and be warned there are PLENTY and it is quite spoiler filled. This book was a mess of tropes, my most hated tropes.
Special snowflake savior: We have the main character Eve I’m not sure how to spell her full name and nor do I care to look at the synopsis, but she is the blandest character I’ve ever read. She is all so powerful, she is the fastest, she is the best. Oh, and she is the chosen one. Yet we had to be reminded of it all the time.
Insta-love: I’m pretty sure she and another character fell in love the first time they saw each other, I swear to you not. I mean I don’t mind insta-love in books but if that’s the case it needs to be done well. THIS WAS NOT done well. Not to mention the love interest was super bland and gosh he was boring. In my opinion these two had no chemistry at all, like I felt that they were thrust together for the sake of just… being put together. I though Eve and her best friend whom I couldn’t remember the name of had more chemistry and I honestly would have LOVED to see them become a thing instead of borefest Tanvir.
Again the special snowflake character, every character who had a POV mentioned how beautiful she was and this wasn’t just once, it was several times. Like alright, I get it, I know how beautiful she is, I don’t need to hear it every time someone speaks OKAY. I don’t need to know every time her best friend sees her the color of her hair and hear lavender streaks or her beautiful skin, I DON’T CARE. God, even the damn villains say how beautiful she is! Like why is this necessary? Why should the readers even care?
This gif right here is literally how I feel about these damn tropes in this book.
And the worst of all is the dark skinned aggressor vs. beautiful white main character. Let me tell you a thing about these villains… they are evil. So so evil if you looked up the word in a dictionary you would see them and guess what? They’re black! And the main character is white, pure and good. And I don’t care if the author “unintentionally” did that, there is no unintentionally having your evil characters be black and the good characters being white. If you do this, you know damn well what you are doing. People of Color have it hard enough, in reality, this shit doesn’t need to be in YA fantasy where they go to see themselves represented. This needs to stop. It’s not cool or fun, it has never been. White YA fantasy writers, please stop this dangerous trope. Yes, I know that in the book there are characters with different skin colors like… literally all the colors you can think of, yet you make the villains black. Hmm.
Another thing is the worldbuilding. This book had some of the worst worldbuilding I have ever read. I finished the book and I am still lost. Like who are these characters? What exactly are they? All I know is that they live long lives, and have powers like… are the elves or what. The worldbuilding and plot development was extremely poor and I just… I had such high hopes for this book and I was so let down. I have zero interest in reading the next book.
So that wraps up my review, I literally hated this book. Thank goodness this blog gives me the option to rate it what it truly deserves, which is zerio stars.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- FLIGHTS OF FANTASY 2017