Author: Intisar Khanani
Source: from author for review
Review Summary: This book was darker and more violent than I expected from the pretty cover, but I was pleasantly surprised when the main character turned out to be a strong heroine you could really root for.
As I mentioned in my previous review of a Goose Girl retelling, the basic gist of both this book and the original fairy tale is as follows. A princess is sent to marry a prince in a foreign land and on the journey, her maid uses some form of magic to take on the princess’s identity. Once they reach the foreign capital, the princess becomes a goose girl and must decide if and how she wants to regain her place as a princess.
Like the previous re-telling, this princess was very unassuming and not so sure she minded being a goose girl. Unlike the previous re-telling however, I felt she had a very good reason for being nervous and mistrusting the prince, so her inaction was less frustrating. Later in the book she does manage to stand up and make a difference when it matters. And at the end, she is required to be incredibly brave, enduring violent trials to save the prince. She made for a very impressive heroine!
In general this heroine faces far darker and more violent situations than were to be found in the other re-telling. I didn’t love that this lost the “fairy tale feel” of the other, but I suspect it would be right at home in an original brothers Grimm collection. I did love that the author added some ethical dilemmas and a villain with a lot more depth. As with the other re-telling, the author did an incredible job meshing original plot with the world and magic system she created. This world was a slightly more grown-up version than the other, but I also enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to people who like character growth and/or fairy tale re-tellings.