Review: A Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel

A Drop of VenomA Drop of Venom by Sajni Patel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


A Drop of Venom is a recent YA Fantasy release pitched as a retelling of the Medusa myth, steeped in Indian mythology, and happily, it is exactly that.

This story follows 16-year old, Manisha, whose naga people have seen their lives decimated because of the King’s army. Manisha was sent to a holy temple to become a priestess, where it was believed she would be safe.

But for girls, there’s rarely any place that is actually safe.

We also follow 17-year old, Pratyush, who is a Monster Slayer and one of the greatest assets of the King. Yes, the very same King who has terrorized Manisha’s people.

When Pratyush and Manisha meet when he visits the Temple, sparks fly and both see in each other a glimpse of the peaceful life that could be possible. Unfortunately, for them both, fortune is not on their side.

Before their relationship even has a chance to get off the ground, tragedy strikes Manisha. A visitor to the temple, a General in the King’s army, brutally rapes her and throws her off the side of the mountain into a churning den of vipers, where he expects her to die.

But she doesn’t die. In fact, she rises, stronger than ever, with a new set of unimaginable powers.

Pratyush’s next assignment leads him on a hunt for a hideous monster said to be killing and maiming men in the countryside. Little does he know this very monster is actually the girl he wishes to someday marry.

I liked this story, I did. Please don’t let my 3.5-star rating discourage you. Patel’s writing is strong and I appreciate the tough topics that she examined, as well as the rich cultural influences that gave such depth and beauty to this tale.

I loved the idea of a Medusa retelling and I loved watching Manisha regain her strength, power and new courage as the story got farther along.

For me though, I did have a bit of an uneven reading experience with this one overall. There were times I was so into it and then other times when I was bored. There’s no better way to explain it.

Additionally, at times I did find some of the plot elements difficult to track, and definitely felt the second half was stronger than the start. Also, I wasn’t completely sold on the alternating perspectives.

We’re mostly getting the story from Manisha’s POV, so when we would randomly switch to Pratyush, I didn’t care about him. I didn’t feel like I had the chance to get to know him in the way that I got to know Manisha, so I sort of felt like it either should have been more equal in their narrative time, or he shouldn’t have been a perspective we read from at all.

I think I may actually have enjoyed this more if we just had Manisha’s perspective.

With this being said, even though I have some slight nit-picky things I wasn’t crazy about, this is still a good book. It actually seems like the kind of story, that if you’re the right Reader, and you read it at the right time, it could be incredibly powerful for you.

I can see that potential. This is a solid Fantasy story, with strong world creation and compelling ideas. I am definitely interested in reading more from this author in the future.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney Hyperion, Rick Riordan Presents and Disney Audio for providing me with copies to read and review. This definitely won’t be my last Sajni Patel!

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Rereading a Favorite Horror Novella: What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

What Moves the DeadWhat Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5-stars yet again!

This was exactly what I wanted for my first read of October, which is why I chose to reread a tried and true favorite Horror novella by one of my favorite authors, T. Kingfisher.

My goal was to set a tone for the month and What Moves the Dead certainly succeeded in that. It’s more than just a gorgeous cover. Kingfisher creates such an eerie, fun and mysterious tale in under 200-pages. She’s a marvel.

As with many other rereads, I think I was able to enjoy the details of this story even more this time around. Since I knew where the story was going, I could concentrate a little more on the finer points.

My biggest take-away this time through was how much I truly enjoy reading from Alex’s perspective. I love how Kingfisher brings her signature sense of humor to every main character she writes and Alex is no exception.

Alex is such a unique protagonist. They make you feel like you are sitting with a friend who is telling you a story of their last vacation. Granted a really messed up and horrifying vacation, but entertaining nonetheless.

I’m super stoked that Alex is coming back in February in the sequel to this book, What Feasts at Night. It sounds like it is going to contain the same sort of horror-based mystery for Alex to investigate.

Personally, I am counting down the days until I can get my hands on that. It’s definitely one of my most anticipated releases of 2024.

If you love Horror, but haven’t picked this one up yet, what are you doing with your life? Seriously? Get to it! This is the perfect way to kick off your Spooky Season reading!


In What Moves the Dead T. Kingfisher expertly reimagines Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher.

That fact alone sold me on this book, well that and the fact that T. Kingfisher is one of my favorite authors, but then this cover dropped.

A masterpiece shall grace our shelves. Mine for sure because I’ve already preordered a copy and you should too!

The year is 1890 and Alex Easton has just received word that their childhood friend, Madeline Usher, is on the brink of death. Thus, Easton heads off to the countryside to the Usher family estate to be with Madeline and perhaps provide some support to Madeline’s brother, Roderick.

Arriving at the once lavish estate, Easton is shocked that the manor home has fallen into such a horrible state of disrepair. It’s unnerving to say the least.

Equally unnerving is the state in which Easton finds Madeline. They knew Madeline was quite ill, but her behavior belies any illness that Easton is aware of. Madeline’s behavior, speech and appearance are bizarre. She’s actually frightening to be around.

Denton, an American doctor and friend of Roderick Usher, is staying at the home as well while tending to Madeline. It’s clear that Denton has no explanation for Madeline’s mysterious illness.

Additionally, Roderick Usher isn’t quite himself either. He’s not sleeping and claims to be hearing things in the walls of the home. Could he be succumbing to whatever has infected Madeline?

In addition to our main cast we also get some great side characters. Hob, Easton’s trusty horse, was of course my favorite. No one writes animal companions quite like Kingfisher. She gives them such strong personalities, which for anyone who has an animal companion of their own will seem quite relatable.

Another favorite was the intelligent and plucky Miss Potter, a local woman who spends her time researching and painting specimens of fungi. Easton and Potter meet and develop a quick rapport. Easton ends up learning a lot about the local area, lore, flora and fauna from Miss Potter.

The classic gothic vibe of What Moves the Dead meshed so well with Kingfisher’s fresh and witty humor.

Picking up a new Kingfisher story is so comforting for me. It’s like settling in for story time with a horror-loving friend. That’s exactly the feeling I got from this one. It’s eerie and sinister the entire way through, while also somehow managing to keep me laughing.

I loved going along with Easton on their investigation into the mystery surrounding the House of Usher. There is some truly horrifying imagery included that was so well done.

I could picture, smell and taste the decay of this property. It definitely got under my skin.

Thank you so, so much to the publisher, Tor and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copies to read and review.

As I mentioned earlier, this was absolutely one of my MOST ANTICIPATED releases of the year and it did not disappoint. Kingfisher is knocking them out of the park in 2022!!!

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Review: The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw

The Salt Grows HeavyThe Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Salt Grows Heavy is a good novella. The writing is gorgeously-dark, with a lot of solid body horror, but it was just a little too abstract for my tastes.

((^^^ Clearly kidding ^^^))

My opinion matters not at all. If this sounds intriguing to you, definitely give it a shot. In fact, I want to be clear, I did enjoy this. I liked it. It’s a solid novella. I just could not tell you the point, or really what happened at all.

I think it is a fresh, yet horrific, take on The Little Mermaid, but I’m only pulling that from the publisher’s synopsis. Honestly, I would never have guessed that while reading this story, if I hadn’t been prompted ahead of time.

I think Cassandra Khaw is an incredibly smart and creative human. Khaw is most likely too smart for me. I do really appreciate their horror imagery though. It’s always a bit body horror, always a bit wildly-detailed and it never fails to make my toes curl.

I am going to continue picking up Khaw’s stories. Every time I am impressed with the creation. Some aspects hit, some aspects miss, but it’s always intriguing.

This is a bit of a short review for me, but this novella is just over 100-pages and I really didn’t understand 98-of the pages, so not sure what else to say.

Writing = beautiful; concept = over my head.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Nightfire, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

As mentioned, I find Khaw’s stories captivating, if a bit confusing. I definitely look forward to seeing what they deliver next!

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Review: Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

ThornhedgeThornhedge by T. Kingfisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Thornhedge, T. Kingfisher brings her lush, humorous and whimsical storytelling to a quick and adorably-reimagined Sleeping Beauty origin story.

Kingfisher is one of my favorite authors. I have loved everything of hers that I have ever read and after reading this, it doesn’t appear that is going to change anytime soon.

I will try to write an unbiased review, but it will be difficult. I’m a fan girl, what can I say?

In this story we meet Toadling, who as an infant was stolen and transported to live in the world of the faeries. They treated her well, and her early life was undeniably warm and comfortable. She couldn’t lodge many complaints.

Once she came into adulthood though, the faeries asked a favor of her that ended up changing everything.

She is asked to return to the world of humans to bless a newborn child. A little girl. A bumbling, beautiful baby girl…

A century later, a knight approaches a wall of brambles, an impenetrable fortress of thorns. He’s heard legends of a cursed Princess high in a tower. He’s here to save her, as knights do.

Toadling, however, has different thoughts on this so-called curse and she’ll do anything to uphold it. You’ll have to read this enchanting story to find out why.

This was a super fun and quick read, which I did listen to on audio. It has a nice, cozy feel to it, that I definitely need every once in a while to break up my darker reads.

I enjoyed how Kingfisher gave us enough of the original tale that you could figure out what she was alluding to, yet she brought her own original twist that caused me to view the fairy tale in a while new light.

The twist itself was fascinating to me. Darker than I expected, but whimsical at the same time. I was really impressed with it.

I think it is a great example of Kingfisher’s skill as a writer. I also highly enjoyed the narration of the audiobook. This story is pure, engaging entertainment.

I would recommend it to any Reader who enjoys twists on classic tales, whimsical, cozy fantasies, or Kingfisher’s work in general. There is no way this story isn’t going to bring a smile to your face.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. T. Kingfisher is a gift. She has a gift and she is a gift!

I will continue picking up every single thing she writes.

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Review: Nocturne by Alyssa Wees

NocturneNocturne by Alyssa Wees
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let’s start off this review with a little confession, shall we?

I participated in a Readathon this week where one of the prompts was to read the lowest rated book on your TBR. While this isn’t the lowest rated book overall, it was the lowest rate ARC that I currently had to read.

Always trying to check off some ARCs, I decided to give it a go, but I didn’t go in with high expectations.

Luckily for me, Nocturne turned out to be a pretty great example of why I tend not to look at ratings and reviews before I pick up a book. I know that goes against everything we’re doing here, but it’s the truth.

Reading is an incredibly subjective activity. Pair the right book, at the right time, with the right Reader and magic can happen. Read that same book when your in a certain mood and it can be a total flop.

I’m clearly the right Reader for this book. This story is set in 1930’s Chicago and seamlessly blends Historical Fiction with Dark Fantasy and light Romance.

Our main character is Grace Dragotta, who after being orphaned, ventures out on her own and joins a dancing company. A life she dreamed of. When we meet Grace, she is a teen and on the cusp of being elevated to prima ballerina within her company.

Unfortunately for Grace, raising to this rank is bittersweet. She only gets the role after her best friend, Emilia, leaves her spot as prima to be married. Grace is losing the closest person to her in all the world. She doesn’t know how she’ll get by without Emilia’s comforting presence.

Not long after her ascendancy, Grace receives word from her Mistress that she has caught the eye of a mysterious, wealthy patron. In order to keep her dance house afloat, the Mistress essentially sells Grace to this man.

Grace is forced to live at his estate, only traveling back to the studio to train and perform. There’s a lot of whispers about her new life, but Grace tries her best to just get on with it.

As she learns the shocking truth about her patron, it’s clear that the life she dreamed for herself will never come to be.

Y’all, I really enjoyed this. It’s not a complicated story. It’s pretty straight-forward, well-written and the concepts are easy to understand.

I should note that I grew up in dance and playing the violin, the two artistic pursuits that the main character engages in. Having my own personal experience and passions in those two areas did increase my connection to the story. I loved Grace and learning about her life.

This feels very much inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I loved those elements. I wasn’t expecting them and every time I would come across something that made me think of that classic tale, it would make me happy.

The relationship between Grace and her Master, was lush and evocative. I really enjoyed the truth of him and what he was offering her. Additionally, I enjoyed the evolution of her feelings for him and her place in his world.

Wees writing is quite beautiful and I liked the way she wrote the initial set-up and then progressed the plot. I thought the pacing of this was fantastic, it kept me engaged the entire way through.

Overall, I found Nocturne to be lyrical, dark and enchanting. Wees successfully swept me up and away into a whole other world. In a way, it felt like a love letter to the healing power of artistic expression. I’m so glad I finally made time for it.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was gorgeous and I look forward to reading more from Wees in the future!

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Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second book in Brigid Kemmerer’s YA Fantasy series, Cursebreakers.

I finished the first book in the series, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, earlier this year and had a ton of fun with it. A creative take on Beauty and the Beast, Kemmerer did a great job delivering her own spin to that classic tale.

There’s a lot of information packed into that first book and although I didn’t find it info-dumpy in any way, I knew I wanted to continue on with haste. I didn’t want to forget all I had learned about the beautiful world of Emberfall.

For this sequel, I decided to try the audiobook and I enjoyed that format a lot. The narration was so good and helped to bring the story to life for me.

There is a focus shift in this one, as far as characters go, with us mainly following Grey, Prince Rhen’s right-hand man from book one, and a new-to-us character, Lia Mara, daughter to Emberfall enemy, Karis Luran.

Initially, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy this as much as the first book because of this shift. I felt like I was going to miss Rhen and Harper too much, but then in a surprising twist of fate, I actually ended up enjoying it a little bit more!

A lot happens in this one, there’s a lot of continued political maneuverings and changes in alliances, as well as threats to the kingdom and our characters.

I am really hoping to continue on with the series very soon, as this one has a bit of a stunning conclusion. I’m excited to wrap up this story and find out what is going to ultimately happen to all of my favorite characters.

Will Kemmerer give me the happy ending I’m dreaming of, or shatter my heart into a million pieces? Honestly, I feel it could go either way…

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Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Curse So Dark and Lonely was such a fun read. I was drawn into this drama so deep, it felt like I was a part of it.

I had my popcorn, I had my sword, I had my opinions on the relationships; it was quite the experience.

I’m super excited to see where it goes from here and will definitely be continuing on with the series. I have some theories, I have some suspicions, I can’t wait to see the conclusion.

I actually read this as Book #15 for my TBR-Haul Project. It feels so good to finally check it off the list!

I originally hauled this book in January 2019. In fact, I was so stoked about its release, having loved previous works from Kemmerer, that I actually preordered it.

Yeah, that’s right. I preordered it, paid full price and then let her sit on my shelves for 4-years, UNREAD. Even I am disappointed with myself.

Nevertheless, she persisted. It is now read and I had such a fun time with it. I loved the whole idea of the portal from the modern world transporting Harper into the magical world inhabited by Ren and Grey.

Additionally, I felt like the influence of Beauty and the Beast was just enough to keep it satisfying, without being stereotypical, or toeing into copycat lane. I may have some further thoughts on this at some point, but for now, this is sufficient.

Onward we go!!!

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Review: When You Wish Upon a Star (A Twisted Tale #14) by Elizabeth Lim

When You Wish Upon a Star: A Twisted TaleWhen You Wish Upon a Star: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When You Wish Upon a Star is the 14th-installment to Disney’s A Twisted Tale collection.

If you are unaware, these books take our favorite Disney tales, twist one element and then explore what would have happened if that twist actually occurred.

They’re like Disney’s version of alternate history stories and I’m low-key obsessed with them. Also, important to keep in mind, these books can be read in any order.

They are completely distinct stories, each following a different set of characters, so you can start anywhere you want, with which ever story sounds most appealing to you.

In this story, we explore the question: What if the Blue Fairy wasn’t supposed to help Pinocchio?

I have never read the source material, The Adventures Of Pinocchio, that the 1940-animated Disney film Pinocchio is inspired by. Additionally, I have only watched Pinocchio a handful of times. It actually scared me as a kid, so it wasn’t one I necessarily gravitated towards.

However, when I heard the pitch for this story and saw that it was being written by Elizabeth Lim, I knew I had to pick it up as soon as I could.

This is based on Pinocchio’s story, yes, but this is really the story of the Blue Fairy. Who was she before? Had she always been a fairy? If not, how did she become one and who did she leave behind?

It turns out, the Blue Fairy was once a girl named Chiara, who lived in the village of Pariva, the very same small village that Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto, is from.

I loved the direction that Lim took this story. I found it fascinating learning about Chiara, her complicated relationship with her little sister, Ilaria, and the process that Chiara underwent to become the Blue Fairy we all know and love. Even the village was fun to learn about.

I was immediately swept up into this. I feel like Lim’s writing is completely immersive. Everything about it, from the descriptions, the setting of the scenes, the drama, the character work, it’s all top notch. If you’ve never read anything from Elizabeth Lim, I actually feel like this one is a great example of her style.

The fairy aspects were really fun. There was a school where Chiara went to train and she had a mentor. I love those relationship dynamics, so was happy to see it.

It was also interesting to see the choices, or should I say sacrifices, that individuals had to make to even become fairies. Chiara struggled a bit making her decisions in that regard, but they were important decisions, so it all made sense. It never felt angsty, or overdone, in my opinion.

Ilaria, Chiara’s sister, on the other hand, she was bringing all the drama. With dreams of being a world-famous opera singer, Ilaria’s personality could be a bit grating.

However, with this being said, it did make perfect sense in context with the greater story. We needed that push-and-pull, that vast difference between the two girls’ personalities in order for this story to have maximum impact.

The best part of this for me though, was seeing those connections to Pinocchio. Meeting younger versions of characters we know, for example, like Monstro, Stromboli and even a cricket.

Don’t be alarmed though, long-time Pinocchio fans, he is in the story too! So that was fun, seeing him and the interactions between Pinocchio, Geppetto and the Blue Fairy.

Overall, I had a really good time reading this. It’s a fantastic addition to The Twisted Tales collection. If you are curious about my rankings for all the books that I have read in this series, I will list them below at the bottom of this review.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney-Hyperion and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. It was nice to see a lesser known Disney character finally getting her time shine!!

My current ratings for the Twisted Tales series:

1. What Once Was Mine (Tangled): 4.5-stars rounded up
2. Reflection (Mulan): 4-stars
3. Almost There (The Princess and the Frog): 4-stars
4. When You Wish Upon a Star: 4-stars
5. Go the Distance (Hercules): 3.5-stars rounded up
6. As Old As Time (Beauty & the Beast): 3.5-stars rounded up
7. Straight On Til Morning (Peter Pan): 3.5-stars rounded up
8. Mirror, Mirror (Snow White): 3.5-stars rounded up
9. Unbirthday (Alice): 3.5-stars
10. Conceal, Don’t Feel (Frozen): 3.5-stars
11. A Whole New World (Aladdin): 3-stars
12. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid): 2-stars

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Review: The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms #2) by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms, #2)The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood by Melanie Cellier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Princess Fugitive is the second book in Melanie Cellier’s The Four Kingdoms series.

The books in this series are all fairy tale retellings, this one focusing on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

I’ll admit that I have never read the original source material for this classic fairy tale. What I do know of the story of Red Riding Hood, I have gotten solely through television and movie adaptations.

In spite of that, I still really enjoyed my time with this book. This story follows Princess Ava, who we got to meet in the first book in this series, The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea.

I wasn’t crazy about Ava in the first book. She was a bit of a twat, going against the interests of my favorite character in that book, Alyssa.

Here we learn the motivations behind Ava’s earlier behaviors though. Also, since she failed at her mission in the first book, she is forced to flee from her harsh family, bringing only her personal bodyguard, Hans, with her. I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her because of that.

During their exile, Hans and Ava discover more about their kingdom than they knew before. For one, Ava’s family is even more horrible than she could have imagined, particularly her brother, next up to rule as King.

Even though they need to stay hidden, Ava feels compelled to do something to help the citizens of her kingdom, but she cannot do it alone. She needs allies for her fight. Will she be able to gain enough support to save her kingdom from downfall, or will she be the one to fall?

I really enjoyed my time with this story. I have so many other books I feel I ‘should’ be reading right now, but once I started this, I couldn’t stop.

I loved the relationship between Ava and Hans. The books I have read in this series seem to have in common forbidden romance tropes, people falling for people they shouldn’t. I sort of love that.

In this one, Hans is but a guard and Ava a Princess. How can that work? Their stations are so unlike one another. What’s clear though is Hans commitment to Ava, right from the start and that’s hard not to swoon over.

I also liked getting to see some of my favorite characters from the first book pop up here. I wasn’t expecting that at all and really enjoyed those connections.

Additionally, there is a bit of a competition at the end of this story and we all know, I love a competition.

Overall, I’m having a blast with these stories. They’re really not like anything else that I normally read, so it’s such a nice change of pace.

I am definitely planning to continue on with this series via audiobook. I have loved the narration so far. I find it completely engaging and I can’t help but get swept away, which is exactly what I am looking for.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a solid retelling.

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Review: The Princess Companion (The Four Kingdoms #1) by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Companion (The Four Kingdoms, #1)The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A few weeks ago, while searching for retellings, I came across the work of Melanie Cellier for the first time. I was astounded by her vast catalogue of reimaginings, for both very popular and some more obscure fairy tales.

The book I decided to pick up first was The Secret Princess, which is a retelling of The Goose Girl. It is also the first book in Cellier’s Return to the Four Kingdoms series.

I was so excited to begin my journey with this author.

While I enjoyed it, I could tell that I was missing something. There were certain events alluded to in that story more than once that left me wondering, what do other people know that I don’t know?

Thanks to a comment from one of my book friends, I discovered that what I was missing was an entire other series that predated that book. I mean I had an idea that The Secret Princess was the start of a companion series, but I guess I just didn’t think about it that much.

Once the original series, The Four Kingdoms, was recommended to me, I decided I should go back and begin at the actual beginning. Let’s do it right.

I’m glad I did. I had so much fun with this one. It has really reinvigorated my love for fairy tale retellings.

This story is actually a reimagining of The Princess and the Pea and follows a mild-mannered, woodcutter’s daughter, Alyssa. As our story begins, Alyssa, gets lost at night in a storm while traveling and she’s separated from her companions.

In search of shelter, she stumbles upon the Winter Castle, the off-season home of the royal family. Currently in residence, the King, Queen and their children, Prince Max and two twin Princesses, as well as their various servants.

After a bit of a mistaken identity moment, Alyssa is granted a room for the night and subsequently gets caught up in the dramatics of the royal family. They seem to take to her right away, even offering her the position of Princess Companion for the unruly twins.

Of course she accepts, it’s a huge jump in status for a woodcutter’s daughter, and Alyssa truly enjoys her time with the royal family, particularly her time with Prince Max.

This story follows Alyssa’s time in their employ, as she grows closer with the royal family and fights to save the kingdom from malicious outside forces.

This was such a delight to read. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was fabulous. Esther Wane’s voice work brought this story to life for me. I found it completely engaging from the very start.

I loved Alyssa as a character. She was so down-to-earth and pure of heart. Her circumstances got a little intense towards the end and I was actually biting my nails in anticipation. I didn’t want anything awful to happen to her.

I think Cellier did a great job creating such likable characters over the course of this story. It’s not that long, but I did find myself becoming quite attached to many of them. Additionally, the pace was really well done, with just enough at stake to keep it compelling throughout.

This also provided an excellent base set-up for the greater Four Kingdoms world. I am excited to continue on with this series. The next book follows a character that we met in this novel. She’s not someone I cared for, so I am interested to see if Cellier can get me on her side in the next book.

I am so happy to have discovered this series and to have now picked it up in the proper place.

I think these books are going to be a great way to break up my many other darker reads. Every once in while you just need something light and fun. These books definitely check those boxes.

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