Happily

Title: Happily
Author: Chauncey Rogers
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, MG, YA
Publisher: self published
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018

No fairy godmother. No magic pumpkin.
Just one grumpy girl and a glass slipper.

Note: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are a book reviewer, feel free to request a copy of your own in the comments below in exchange for a review. 

Let me begin by saying that I have read my fair share of fairytale retellings, and the timeless tale of Cinderella is no exception. I can honestly say that I have never come across one quite like this. Happily is narrated in modern-day language by the heroine of this story – and it is not Cinderella, as you might have expected, but Laure – a rough-around-the-edges girl who lives on the streets and steals to get by.

When a royal decree announces that the crown prince will marry whichever girl can fit a mysterious glass slipper, Laure sees it as her chance to make something of her lowly life. Even though she thinks the entire royal family is ridiculous and pompous, she decides to do whatever it takes to make that glass slipper fit. She embarks on her quest and teams up with Luc, a boy from her city who becomes an unexpected ally. Their quest takes them to another kingdom and back again, with no small amount of struggle and danger along the way. Though they were bent on disliking each other from the beginning, they reluctantly begin to form a friendship, possibly even something more. Will Laure make a decision to follow her head, or ultimately follow her heart, no matter the risk? And what about Cinderella anyway?

This was fun spin-off of a classic, well-loved tale. I would recommend Happily to YA fans of fairytale retellings (such as myself). Just be ready for a quirkier version than what you have seen before, with sass to spare.

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Mistress of All Evil

Title: Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 4/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017

“Why must a young girl need a man to save her?
Why can’t a princess fight for her own life, break her own curse?
Why must it always be a prince?”

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows Maleficent, while the book cover itself shows her as the dragon. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me.

Additional note: This post reviews the fourth book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, Fairest of All, The Beast Within, and Poor Unfortunate Soul, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

What if everything we thought we knew about this classic tale was a lie? What if Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather were not as nice as they appeared? What if Maleficent was the one who was wronged, and it wasn’t her fault that she did the things she did? What if Maleficent shared a bond with Aurora that no one could have ever imagined? What if she cursed her to protect her? This Sleeping Beauty retelling answers all of these “what if’s” and invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Dark Fairy. The truth behind the story you thought you knew will change your view of Maleficent – at least, it changed mine.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Poor Unfortunate Soul

 

Title: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 3/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 26th, 2016

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows Ursula, while the book cover itself shows her as Vanessa. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me.

Additional note: This post reviews the third book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first two books in the series, Fairest of All and The Beast Within, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

Maybe I just haven’t been looking hard enough, but it seems like good retellings of The Little Mermaid are hard to come by. I was pleasantly surprised by this story in the Villains series. This Little Mermaid retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Sea Witch and understand her motives a little better. Like the Evil Queen in the first book of this series, you may not like her any more than you did before, but you may never be able to look at her in quite the same way again.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

The Beast Within

 

Title: The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince 
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 2/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows the Beast, while the book cover itself shows him as the selfish prince. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me. 

Additional note: This post reviews the second book of the Villains series. You may like to read the first book in the series, Fairest of All, before reading this book. However, these books can be read as stand-alone stories. 

With all the Beauty and the Beast retellings out there (and there have been a lot), I can confidently state that I haven’t come across one quite like this. The reason being? This one is all about the Beast. This Beauty and the Beast retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of Beauty’s Prince. What was Prince Adam, and the servants of his household, really like before the curse? Brace yourself for a twist on this beloved fairytale that is nothing like the classic. As long as you can accept that – and the fact that Adam and Gaston are friends in this version – this book might win you over.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Fairest of All

 

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
Author: Serena Valentino
Series: Villains, 1/4
Genre: Disney, Fairytale, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: August 18th, 2009

Note: I admit, my absolute favorite thing about this series is the beautiful cover art. The hardcover sleeve shows the Evil Queen, while the book cover itself shows her as the evil hag. I’m in love with the concept, and these books are worth owning on your shelf simply because they are so nice to look at. All the better if you are a Disney fanatic like me. 

How did the Evil Queen become the Evil Queen? What did the King see in her that Snow White did not? Was he merely fooled by her fair face? Did she always hate the young princess and wish her dead? Or is there more to this classic tale we all thought we knew so well? This Snow White retelling invites us to take a deeper look into the Tale of the Wicked Queen. You may not like her any more than you did before, but you may never be able to look at her in quite the same way again.

This was a light, easy read. I would recommend this fairytale villain retelling to my fellow fans of all things Disney (it’s the perfect book to pack in your suitcase for a Disney trip!), and to readers who are looking for something quick and fun… with a touch of magic.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Crimson Bound

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe 2/2

Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: May 5th, 2015

Since she was fifteen, Rachelle was marked as one of the bloodbound – tied to the forest and the evil that infests it – and forced to live in servitude for the past three years. But even though she has been turned into a monster, she wants nothing more than to destroy the Devourer – a legend, supposedly – and prevent an eternal darkness from settling over her world for the rest of time.

Rachelle finds an unlikely ally in the prince of her realm, Armand – the last person she ever thought would help her. Together, they seek a lost sword that might be the only thing with the power to defeat the Devourer and save their world. But defeating the evil of the forest means making one sacrifice after another – sacrifices of both the heart and the flesh.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

Reads and Roses is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Cruel Beauty

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Series: Cruel Beauty Universe 1/2

Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 28th, 2014

You may have read one or two (or ten) retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but chances are you haven’t read one quite like this. Cruel Beauty’s fresh take on this classic tale was unexpected, captivating, and at times downright twisted.

Seventeen-year-old Nyx had been groomed from birth to grow up to be the wife of a monster – a demon – because of a bargain made by her father in desperation. But when she finally fulfills her destiny and marries the Gentle Lord, she gets more than anyone bargained for. Her plan to break the curse he has held over her people for nine hundred years proves to be more difficult than she ever could have imagined, especially when she begins to think he might not be as much of a monster as she had always assumed him to be.

As secrets are brought to life, Nyx uncovers the hold her demon lord husband has over the last prince of her people from long ago, and still she cannot deny the hold he has over her. In a realization that there is darkness in every heart, not just the heart of a demon, she makes a sacrifice of her own for the sake of her people – a sacrifice that could turn out to be the key to the undoing of an age-old curse.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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Forest Born

Title: Forest Born
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: The Books of Bayern, 4/4
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 1, 2009

Note: This post reviews the fourth book of The Books of Bayern series. You may like to read the first three books in the series, The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and River Secrets before reading this review.

Rinna knows there is something different about herself – but she has no idea what it is, or what it means. Having spent her entire life in the forest, she feels comfortable amongst the trees. She begins to realize that she can listen to the trees, and learn from them. But her abilities go beyond tree-speaking. Like Isi’s animal-speaking, and Enna’s fire-speaking, and Dasha’s water-speaking, Rin learns that she has a speaking power of her own – and it comes with a power more dangerous than she ever could have known.

These three girls she has come to think of as “the fire sisters” set off on a quest of their own when the kingdom of Bayern has been threatened once again. Rin joins them, desperate to get to the bottom of the speaking power rising inside herself. The four women with the speaking powers may be Bayern’s only hope of victory against the kingdoms who plot against them.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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The Goose Girl

Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Shannon Hale
Series: The Books of Bayern, 1/4
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 1, 2005

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, or Ani as she goes by, is the Princess of Kildenree. Though she is uncomfortable speaking with people, she has a talent for communicating with animals. During her journey to marry the prince of a foreign land, her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting commits an unthinkable crime – she forces the Crown Princess to switch places with her, convincing those traveling with them to switch allegiances as well. Ani finds herself robbed of her position and forced to assume the identity of a servant.

Ani becomes a lowly servant of the king – a goose girl – while the king and prince are fooled by her own deceitful lady-in-waiting. She does not lose heart, however, and continues to use her ability to communicate with the creatures around her. Her heart still leads her to the prince who was destined to be hers all along. But will she be able show her character and true identity, despite those who are working against her?

The Goose Girl will always be one of my favorite Shannon Hale books. Prince Geric is pretty great, but it’s Ani unbreakable spirit that makes this story truly amazing.

If you enjoyed this review, please consider following Reads & Roses. It would mean the world to have you on my team!

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