Review 247. Michelle Diener – The golden apple.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00030]Title: The Golden apple.
Author: Michelle Diener.
Pages: 298.
Published: March 24th 2014 by Michelle Diener.
Sort: Unnamed series #1.
Source: Netgalley & Michelle.
Kayla's world has been turned upside-down .. Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake. Rane's honor is torn in two...  In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to--including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy. Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together.. Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla's actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.
Rating:

I’ve worked with Michelle Diener before, so when she approached me with a pre-approval of her newest fairytale retelling for Netgalley, I couldn’t resist the offer. Her first retelling was good, but it seems she is getting more into her element. The romance between the characters was better and I like that this is a retelling of a Norwegian fairy tale – one I wasn’t familiar with before.

Let me first give you an introduction about the original story, The princess on the Glass Hill. Right after finishing this story I did some research and I like what Diener did with her retelling. So, the tale tells of a king who has a beautiful daughter. The one who would be able to climb the glass mountain to take the three golden apples out of her lap, would be the one to marry her. On the day of the trial, Boot isn’t allowed to come with his brother. But, the unknown knight is able to get the three apples and in the end, it’s Boots.

"Yes, I have," said Boots; "here is the first, and here is the second, and here is the third too;" and with that he pulled all three golden apples out of his pocket, and at the same time threw off his sooty rags, and stood before them in his gleaming golden mail.
This tale is a little different, because Rane doesn’t want to get the golden apple to win Kayla’s hand. He needs to magical apple to save his brother. But after both touching the apple, they are bound together by an enchantment which will drive them mad. Sorcerer Eric sends them on a mission to the Great Forest where they need to collect a ring for him. It’s the only way, but it seems that Eric isn’t really truthful to them.

I loved Kayla and her feisty character. She might be a princess, but that doesn’t stop her from using her new found magic and intelligence to save the day. Rane is definitely strong and he knows how to defend her from dangerous creatures in the forest, but Kayla can handle the situation herself. I think they completed each other and it was fun to follow them on their quest.

Their romance is pretty cute. I think it’s interesting to realize what their first meeting was – and it gives a special dynamic to this duo. I was surprised by the focus on magic (in a good way). I didn't expect it, but I thought it was a nice addition to the story and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen in the next book.

23 comments

  1. This is definitely a really interesting retelling! I've never heard of the original before but I like what the author has done in her retelling. Great review Mel :)

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    1. It was interesting to find out more about this fairy tale :D

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  2. Great review :)
    I like retellings, but I don't think I've heard of the original story!
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

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  3. I am curious about this book especially when you say it is the retelling of a Norwegian fairytale. I'm from Norway and sooo looking forward to read this one. I love that fairytale story :)

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    1. Great review, by the way :)

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    2. Cool, I wish we had Dutch fairy tale retellings! (just found out that there is such a thing as Dutch fairy tales, haha)

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  4. This one sounds like a cute book, and I'm happy you liked it a lot!

    Happy Reading Mel!
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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  5. Huh, this sounds a lot better than Mistress of the Wind. I was not impressed by that retelling and thought it was a bit MGish rather than YA, but I'm glad to know she did a better job with this fairy tale. Nice review Mel :)
    Angel @ Spare Reads

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  6. Great review, Mel!
    Michelle is such a nice person, pre-approving her books on netgalley for us. I love her for it! And I agree with "Her first retelling was good, but it seems she is getting more into her element". It's true. I liked this one better than Mistress of the Wind.

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  7. This isn't a fairytale that I'm familiar with either, and I think that might a good thing when reading a re-telling as I won't constantly be comparing it with the story I already know. Lovely review, Mel.

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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    1. Definitely! Sometimes it's more fun to read a book without knowing the background story.

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  8. I think I read that fairy tale before, it's very familiar! It's great that this book retells an uncommon tale, I'll have to try this one! One can never read too many fairy tale retellings. :)

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  9. I do love fairytale retellings and I like that this is a retelling of an unfamiliar fairytale. Now I can't decide if I should read about the original before or after reading this book because I think I will. Great review, Mel :)

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    1. I read it after the book, because sometimes it's fun to discover a new story through the retelling first :)

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  10. Cool, this one sounds good! I've not heard of the fairy tale it is retelling either, so I appreciate your little summary of it. Great job on the review, Mel!

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  11. I haven't heard of this baby myself! :) I like retellings though, although I'll have to read the original one first before diving into this one, as I want to see if the retelling gives both the book and the fairy tale it was based on justice :P Great review, Mel. Thanks for bringing this to my radar.

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

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  12. This sounds like a good one. This fairy tale is new to me as well.

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  13. [ Smiles ] You've piqued my interest and I think that I would go out and get a copy of, "The Golden Apple".

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  14. I've not heard of this book or the original story, but I really like the sound of it!! Fairy tale retellings are the best, and I always love ones in which the princesses are strong characters. And yay romance! Great review Mel! :D

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  15. I have never realized there were so many fairytales in the world. Not that I expected to be familiar with all of them or anything but I feel like I have barely touched the surface. I really need to start exploring this genre more. I look forward to seeing how this series progresses.

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    1. And still there are never enough fairytales <3 haha.

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