Author: Stacey Jay.
Published: December 9th 2014 by Delacorte Press.
Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?
Gender-bender is one of my favorite things and it’s nicely explored. Niklaas is in search for Princess Aurora, because she is his only chance on breaking the curse put on him and his brothers. He believes he stumbles on her brother, who he is more than happy to help the boy in return for an introduction to his sister. What Niklaas doesn’t know is that Aurora lures him into her plan to save her brother from the Goblin Queen.
This book is written from the POV of Niklaas and Aurora. It was not necessarily to me. Yes, it gave some funny situations where we hear Niklaas complain about the too-pretty and annoying boy, but I didn’t like him all that much. He sometimes had annoying thoughts about females in general and his arrogant boosting got on my nerves. He’s not a bad person, but the author could have toned it down a little to make him more appealing to me. The only positive thing is that you get to see his character develop in a more likable person.
Aurora was far more fascinating to me. I like that she’s able to stay in her role as her brother and that she will do anything to free him. She puts herself into dangerous situation and it might be a bit rash, but I saw where she was coming from. I would do anything in my power to protect my little sister too. Her banter with Niklaas was entertaining and this girl isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She is ready to show Niklaas how strong women can be.
The story had it’s up and downs. I wouldn’t say it’s slow, but it’s also not fast-paced. The plot simply moves forward in a steady pace that’s neither thrilling nor boring. I would say it’s more centered around the interaction and growing friendship between Niklaas and Aurora. Which is fine, but don’t go into this book expecting much action or excitement.
The ending was interesting and it held a twist that surprised me. It gave the villain more vulnerability and you finally saw the reason behind her gruesome deeds. I always like it when villains are portrayed as people who make bad choices instead of being 100% evil. The complexity gave the story something extra and while it’s not the best retelling ever, I think this will appeal to fairytale fans.