Review 215. Rhiannon Thomas – A wicked thing.

17930904Title: A wicked thing.
Author: Rhiannon Thomas.
Pages: 352.
Published: February 24th 2015 by HarperTeen
Sort: A sneaky #1 of yet-to-announced-series.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
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One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale. Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rating:

It's not one of my favorite fairytale retellings, but it's definitely a good story. I liked what Rhiannon did with the story. She managed to take Sleeping Beauty and turn it into something new. The realistic approach to the tale gave it an interesting twist.

When Aurora awakes she is immediately thrown into a new life she’s not ready for. While she is trying to deal with the fact that the world lived on, Aurora is used as pawn in a political plan. I could feel her confusion and unsettling feeling, which shows that Rhiannon has a great writing-style. I flew through the pages, but I never found myself completely hooked to the story. The plot was a bit slow every now and then and I missed something, but I can't point out what.

I like that this book was character-driven, because Aurora was a good character to be around. With the blink of an eye Aurora’s whole life is turned upside down and her reactions felt very real to me. I loved how she tried to fight against her marriage with a complete stranger. Just because he woke her up and is supposed to be her ‘true love’ because a story says so, doesn’t mean Aurora feels the same way. It was a great change in storyline and better than the sappy love-at-first-kiss like the original tale. Aurora stands up for herself and tries to get a grip on her life, but it’s hard to change decisions made outside your power.

The other characters are less fleshed out. I disliked her ‘true love’ without a real reason. He is not a bad guy, but he has no spine and he knows he is being used by his parents, but he let it happen. I don’t care for those type of characters, but at the same time it was a nice contrast with Aurora. It’s good that the damsel-in-distress part was changed by making the prince weak.

The background story of Sleeping beauty was nicely done. It’s great how Rhiannon combined original aspects with her own twists. Let me just say that the Witch is going to play a big role in Aurora’s life. I also liked how we get the information about what happened while Aurora was asleep. There were no information dumps and we still get the whole picture.

The thing that annoyed me was the ending. I was expecting a stand-alone, but the ending is so unresolved and now it's clear this is the first book in a series. I would like to read more about Aurora – it’s just disappointing that I wasn’t aware of that fact. It made the ending feel abrupt and it came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, I look forward to it.

31 comments

  1. Never read a retelling of Sleeping Beauty! I guess I'll wait to know how many books there will be in this series before starting it, though :P

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  2. OOh nice! Been seeing tons of mixed reviews on this one! Most have been more negative than pleasant and I was so excited for this one! So glad to see a nice review! I'm definitely still intrigued by this one and will have to get a copy soonish! Great review!

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    1. I think it's not the best, but also not the worst book :)

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  3. I felt that all the characters were a bit flat, and the plot went nowhere for most of the book. I did love the retelling aspect like you did, the backstory was especially well done! The ending was a bit annoying, although I have hopes that I like the sequel better. Lovely review, Mel !

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    1. I just wish I knew about that open ending. I would have looked differently at the book, it was so abrupt now.

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  4. I've heard amazing things about this author, but maybe this isn't the book of hers I should start with? Great review, Mel!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. This is my first book by her, so I can't give you any advice here!

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  5. I thought this was a standalone at first too, until reviews started pouring in, so I think I'll wait on it until at least book 2 releases. Plus I haven;t been hearing AMAZING things, you know? I'm glad you found things to to enjoy, and it does sound different from the usual re-telling.
    Great review, Mel!

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    1. Yeah, I think most people are more on the 'mweh' side.

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  6. Great review Mel. <3 I'm glad you ended up enjoying this book :D I am curious about it, as the plot sounds awesome, but I don't want it anymore because of what is said about the love interest, lol :p He sounds so boring. Sigh. But I'm so happy you liked most of the rest of the book :) But ack. Sort of cliffhanger ending? That is just no fair. Hmph. Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

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    1. It's like the book has no ending. It just.. stops?

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  7. As far as fairy tales go, Sleeping Beauty ranks pretty low on my list of favourite re-tellings, and the fact that you didn't LOVE this one makes it difficult for me to justify taking a chance on it. I'm a character driven reader, so I'm attracted by that aspect of it, but the 2-D secondaries, and disappointing ending makes it a tough sell.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

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  8. Sleeping Beauty isn't my favourite either, but I can always appreciate a fairytale retelling that puts a new twist on an old classic to reinvent the story! I'm kind of bummed to hear that this isn't a standalone as well because I just have so many series on the go at the moment that I really don't need another one... but maybe if the sequel is really well reviewed, I'll definitely have to dump this one up my list.

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  9. Lovely review, Mel! Urgh this book seemed perfect and wonderfully whimsical from the blurb, but I can clearly see there are some flaws from your honest review. I do hate it when there's too much focus on the main character and not enough on the other characters, in order for a book to fully work, ALL the characters need to be dynamic and well fleshed out! But Rhiannon's writing does sound really nice, and I can't wait to find out more about the background story of Princess Aurora. Thanks for sharing, Mel! :) xx

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  10. I like the idea of Aurora fighting the original fairytale but not wanting to marry the guy who woke her up! I like it when retellings play around with the original tale like that.

    It's a bit shame that the actual true love wasn't so impressive, but perhaps he might grow in character in the next book/s.

    I think it's such a ploy when a book isn't outright sold as a first in a series. It ALWAYS leaves me uncomfortable, and with a huge sense of being played >.>

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    1. Yes, his character can definitely develop - I hope that's the case in the sequel.

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  11. This sounds like a realistic take on Sleeping Beauty,and I really like the sound of it!I haven't read a Sleeping Beauty retelling yet-I have a lot to catch up on!-and this one looks like a great choice.
    Or do you have a better rec for a Sleeping Beauty retelling?
    Great review by the way,Mel!

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    1. Let me see.. I liked Stacey Jay - Princess of thorns a lot more!

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    2. Thanks for the rec,Mel!I recently read her Of Beast and Beauty and really loved it so maybe I should give this one a try.

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  12. Ohh, I'm so glad you liked this! I've been kind of worried about reading it, since I want it to be good so badly. As long as I like the main character, I can put up with a whole lot. :) Ooh, and good to know it's not going to be resolve. :)

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  13. Ah, thanks for the amazing review! And I'm so glad you liked it, I've been reading a lot of bad reviews and my older sister didn't like it that much either, but I still want to read it. Though I'm not so sure about the main guy, I don't like characters without a spine, but I might read it :)

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    1. If you go in with the right expectations, I think it's quite enjoyable :)

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  14. So I am not sure about this one but now that you say there is a sequel it is likely that I'll wait until the second book comes out to decide if I want to read the first one.

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  15. Nice review. I think I will probably avoid this one, not because it sounds bad, but just because I am avoiding starting a ton of series. I hate that the ending for this felt rushed as well, I hate thinking it's a standalone for almost the whole book and then being completely thrown off at the end.

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  16. Yours is the first review I've read for this one so far Mel^^ I'm glad you enjoyed it but at the same time I wish you could have LOVED it more! I know what you mean about abrupt endings...one of my recent reads would have been a 5-star if the ending hadn't felt so...unresolved >.< Anyway, I like the sound of the characters here and I'm curious about the weaker prince-charming type, compared to the stronger 'damsel in distress' We'll have to compare notes on this one once I read it too!!

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  17. I knew this was a series, so the ending was okay for me. I think I actually like the book more because of that because, like you, I feel there is a lot of growth yet for these characters and I'm looking forward to seeing more of who they truly are as the other books come out. I think we started to see pieces of what's to come as this one reached the end - even the prince started to really show feeling and a little bit of a backbone and it was these moments that gave me hope for who he could become. This was one I liked slightly more than you and am glad I read - I thought it was worth it and I'll continue the series. She really did great in making the story her own and it felt original to me. Great review!

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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    1. I think it would have helped if I was aware it was part of a series. I do think it's a good set-up for more!

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  18. I thought this one was a standalone until Sana mentioned that it was part of a series. I read a bit months and months ago and couldn't get into it. I've been putting it off ever since :// But I might just have to dig in soon! Lovely review, Mel! x

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