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Oct 21, 2016goddessbeth rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
Well, just look at that cover. It's gorgeous and disturbing and lovely. As for the content within: I liked that Lorelai's key heroic feature was her constant analyzation and awareness of the world around her. She was very general-esque in that way, and I also liked that her father figure and her brother deferred to her about it, which means we don't have to wade through the setup of her proving herself. She's a capable sorcerer at the start, and also compassionate. She's also very focused on her mission, despite her attraction to Kol. I enjoyed the way magic works in this book, which is very elemental but tied to language and intent. I also thought the Draconi was a clever concept- Redwine clearly thought out a lot of the human/dragon shapeshifter side issues (like how none of them are bothered by being naked, since they are every time they shift). It's also got a lot of nods to the tale of Snow White (in addition to the overall plot, as a retelling). Apples play a hefty part, as does the mirror, the heroine's coloring, the removal of hearts (harkening back to Once Upon a Time), etc. I think the romance was handled well, too. There was also no glossing over the consequence of loss, so even though Lorelai's grief felt more reflective than genuine-gut-punch-recent-loss, it was nice to see her having to slog through that and not just shrugging it off. The things I was frustrated by: The quips and wit and full-on conversations while people are running for their lives. It's unrealistic and reduces the tension and danger of the scene. Also, it makes her brother more plot device (the plucky, funny sidekick) than character. It was nice to see that the evil queen is ruthless, but I never felt like there was a point behind her cruelty. She didn't seem to enjoy the power she was going to great lengths to wield, so she was a vague threat instead of a complex individual. Also, every scene with her felt like rewatching season 1 of Once Upon a Time (back when Regina was chewing scenes). The parkour craziness. Physics and the strains of human skeletal systems aren't burdens Lorelai has to deal with, I guess? How much pain can a demi-person take? Enough to be boring and repetitive and unbelievable (days of agony and fire and on and on and on). Overall it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but it was a solid retelling of Snow White. I won't be continuing the series, but if you like standard YA fantasy and fairy tale retellings, you may enjoy it more than I did.