Title: The Rose Princess
Author: Ivy Hollins
Series: Fairy Tales of Parsilon
Page Length: 213
Publication Date: Nov. 11, 2019
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Synopsis: In a kingdom of fairies and dragons, Talia is reassuringly normal… until she isn’t. Plucked from her quiet town and thrust into a life as heir to the throne, and betrothed to a powerful duke, she must face up to a terrifying question: what if the curse is real? What if she really is destined to be trapped in eternal sleep?
Duke Caradoc has spent his whole life dominated by his mother, the fierce Duchess of the Northern Wastes. But when he meets Talia, betrothed to him since childhood, he knows that his mother’s lust for power has gone too far. The curse must be stopped… and the answer might lie in Caradoc and Talia’s mysterious dreams.
A Sleeping Beauty retelling, first in a series of fairytale-inspired fantasy romances.
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The Rose Princess is a quick and entertaining fairy tale retelling. The romance between Talia and Caradoc is a perfect fairy tale romance. The couple met in each other’s dreams long before the book begins. The bond they share transitions from their dream-world to the real world when they realize they are betrothed.
Caradoc is a strong leader who rejects the devious plans of his mother. Though he knows this puts his life in danger, he is unwilling to bend to her whims and works diligently to ensure that she can’t gain more power. Talia does the same.
Though Talia begins the story meek and submissive, as the tale progresses she gains strength and confidence. In fact, by the end, she is a fierce warrior. Her character shows much growth throughout the story, and, with the help of family and friends, she transitions into the leader they all knew she could be.
The relationship between Talia and her family is another aspect of the book that I like. This family devoted their lives to protecting Talia and keeping her safe. I was confused when they so easily allowed the Duchess to take Talia, even though they insisted on accompanying her. However, it’s evident that they know when to pick their battles, and they prove their allegiance and love throughout the story.
I do wish the story was a bit more developed. The world, the characters with magical powers, the back story behind the curse – there were many parts where I wanted more. The author creates such an interesting and unique world, and though the story is enchanting, it would be more immersive with a bit more detail.
There are many nods to fairy tales and the Disney retellings, including Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Frozen. I liked that The Rose Princess included different elements from these stories and incorporated them into an original, yet recognizable, tale. Thanks so much to Booksirens for a copy of The Rose Princess in exchange for my honest review.
- The love story, of course! Talia and Caradoc are a well-suited pair, and their feelings for each other are sweet and true.
- The fantastical elements. Dragon-drawn carriages, fairy godmothers, enchantresses, magical curses and more create a unique and interesting story.
Readers who enjoy quick and fun fairy tale retellings will love this story.