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The Firethorn Crown (Firethorn Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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As the story follows the eldest sister in first person point of view, the other girls all add a delightful mix of characters to the tale, but the truly most compelling persona here is the prince trapped in a web he grew up in, and how that has warped his perspective on life; and how it will continue to play out across his life from the instant the webs are finally snapped, is the most fascinating question this delightful tale presents.
An introduction to the series that continues with tales of the other sisters (a tempting morsel for any author to undertake! ;-) ) Lea Pike Doue has a compelling premise on her hands for many books to come. Her world building is fun and fantastical without relying too heavy-handedly on the dragon-y elements to do any real problem solving, she manages to harmonize a complex and completely different fairytale world with character driven plots that call for princesses to rescue themselves if they hope to find true love… or let it find them, as the case may be.
I do hope this author will continue her efforts in giving all the girls a tale, because they were each warm and real in a way that made me want to get to know them better. Particularly Ivy, even though she was only briefly featured here and not at all featured in the second book, Midsummer Captives, or the third, Red Dragon Girl. Ivy particularly stole my heart, and I hope that by the time Lea reaches her tale she captures the sorrow tinged girl with a great head on her shoulders and terrific judge of character with the complexity Ivy’s tale is certain to deserve.
In fact, if I could advise the author at all, I’d request for more sisters to show up in each other’s books, because although fewer characters makes it easier to follow for both writer and readers, I feel a grave lack when the warmth of their happy, loving relationships are not included in a prominent way.
I'm skeptical of fairy-tale retellings, but I absolutely loved this story. Before I knew it was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, I fell into the story in a way that I haven't for a long time. I was pleased with the cast of characters, with the author's attention to detail, with the way she managed to include all twelve girls without causing confusion, and--most of all--with the love triangle. While love triangles seem to be obligatory recently, I felt Doue handled this one in a gracefully realistic way. For all of these reasons, I'm starting the next book, The Midsummer Captives, as soon as I finish this review.
Thanks for a beautiful retelling, Ms. Doue. Nicely done.
Now that that is over with I want to say that despite its minor fallbacks I really did enjoy this book. It’s not my favorite twelve dancing princesses retelling but it is certainly a good one. The bad guy was masterfully done and I didn’t figure out what motivated him until the very end of the book. Lily, the main character was great. I loved her loyalty to her sisters and kingdom. The hero was great and he and Lily certainly had great chemistry even if they tried to hide it! I liked Orin, the goose prince… hmm, do I smell a Goose Girl retelling in the future? However if I had to pick a favorite I would definitely say that it was Holic. He was just so gallant and nice, and always stepped in to help even if he wasn’t asked. The plot was quick moving and interesting, and I liked how twelve dancing princesses elements were interweaved everywhere. I look forward to the next books in this series.
I received this book as a birthday gift and these are my honest opinions.