Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: (Spindle Fire #1)
Pub. Date: April 11th, 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
It all started with the burning of the spindles.
It all started with a curse…
Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.
Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.
Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.
“Light too can be a curse. It can illuminate things no one should ever have to witness.” (6%)
Spindle Fire is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, full of royalty and magic, curses and riddles. In it we follow two sisters, Aurora and Isabelle, daughters of the King and best friends. Half siblings or not, their love is real and pure, and they try their best to protect each other. This is their journey of being split apart, of trying to find their way back to each other. Sometimes they lose sight of their goals, their loved ones, but in the end, both would do whatever they can to protect those they love.
Comprised of multiple POVs (approximately nine) but mainly following that of the sisters, readers get a deeper sense of what is really going on. This is a captivating, engrossing, and quick read full of magic and twists you don’t see coming (Gilbert). Sleeping beauty saves herself in this one as she struggles with greedy fae, compassion, lust, and luck. Richly written, this is a word you will find yourself lost in.
I love the characters. Their differences (blind, mute, unable to feel physically anything) do nothing to hinder their strong voices and personalities. They each make the best of their situations and I love them for being so strong. They all have their own role and even when we aren’t sure what that role is, we can enjoy the perspective and personality that we are given.
“Aurora herself is still waiting to be released, in a way. Not from stone, of course, but from the long, silent hours of wondering, trapped in a world where she cannot speak and cannot feel.” (18/263)
Romance, of course (I actually don’t mind it, but one of the romances is a bit instant and it’s more so telling not showing). I found it predictable, and perhaps not quite as rich as it could have been, but it was nonetheless enjoyable to read about and gave the story a twist for lovers of romance. There were good and bad moments, sacrifices and gifts. This is one you will find yourself invested in.
“He didn’t want those thing from her, the things boys want from beautiful girls.” (33/263)
“She always wondered what it would be like to light up from the inside, like some beautiful cry of warning.” (80/263)
The writing is beautiful. It is full of quotable sentences and the world is painted so vividly through mere words. Everything jumps out at you, feeling alive and real.
“The evils here are no worse than the evils anywhere, I imagine. Why should I want to learn of another world, a vaster world, if it means regretting my whole life until now? Who wants to be made to loathe what they have? Small as it is, my life is mine.” (88/263) Wren
“It is winter outside, and it is winter too, always, within her. Nothing can fill the void. Nothing satisfies the hunger. Nothing can take root, no matter how much sweetness she consumes.” (101/263)
Overall, Spindle Fire is an engrossing, rich read full of brilliant characters and world building.