- Series: Spindle Fire (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen (April 11, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006244087X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062440877
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spindle Fire Hardcover – April 11, 2017
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"Lexa Hillyer's Spindle Fire takes the sleeping beauty elements you know and expands them, twists them in the best way possible. The writing is lovely, the sisters indomitable, and as the truths behind the faerie legends were revealed, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough."
"Absorbing. Poetic. In Spindle Fire, Lexa Hillyer draws the walls between dreams and reality with shimmering grace...and phrases of such beauty I had to read many of them twice."
"With its engaging heroines and delicious prose, Spindle Fire pulled me into a richly detailed world full of intrigue and magic. Lexa Hillyer has created a refreshing take on a classic tale, one that traps you in its spell and doesn't let go."
"Inventing a distinctly gritty netherworld that weaves reality with shimmering magic and smoky-mirrored illusions, Hillyer's writing is freshly vivid."
"A beautifully written journey into the hearts of two sisters."
“Fantasy fans and fractured fairytale lovers will easily fall into Isbe and Aurora’s world… Fast-paced and full of mystery, danger, and romance.” - School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm a huge fan of retellings, simply because I'm a huge fan of the original fairy tales that I've grown up with. There's always a risk involved with retellings - stay too close to the original, and it's feels old and tired. Stray too far from the original, and it seems like "retelling" is thrown in as a simple label for the sake of simply needing to add a label. Hillyer struck a fine balance with Spindle Fire, managing to incorporate many elements of the original, while managing to add not just a breath, but what felt like a tornado of freshness. By far, my most favorite part of this tale, and actually where Hillyer's uniqueness was most visible, was the character of Isbe, Aurora's half-sister. Brilliant, strong, independant, unfailingly loyal was Isbe. And speaking of strength, Aurora had every chance to be the often-standard, wishy-washy fair maiden princess, but again - Hillyer's penchant for exceptional characterization made sure she wasn't. Both sisters were incredibly resilient, possessing incredible strength both as a team and as individuals.
Aside from the characters, Hillyer's world(s) surrounding them was equally as inventive. Fairies, and their magic, run this world. These fairies aren't the Tinkerbell and glitter type, not at all. The ruling queen is exceptionally beautiful, and exceptionally dangerous, willing to do whatever it takes to make sure she wins the impending battle. There are other important fairies in play in the war, but Malfleur is the one who inspires the most fear. There is only one other fairie who has the potential to match Malfleur's magic, but that's where things get a little ... murky. There's a whole lot of magic at play in this mortal world, and there's also another world to contend with - a dream dimension, which is threatening the human inhabitants who are stuck there. Both worlds are in grave danger, and will remain so as long as the princess and her kingdom are cursed.
Bottom line - Spindle Fire was a phenomenal entry into the world of YA retellings. Fast-paced and full of surprises, I didn't want it to end. And end it did, on a rather tense and abrupt note. Highly recommended, and I certainly can't wait to see what Hillyer does with the sequel.
*Many thanks to the author for sending me a copy through a newsletter contest (I think?).
Plot: I can't say 'no' to a retelling no matter how many times it has been done, but I do admit that I have gotten retelling 'fatigue'. I expected Spindle Fire to follow the formula we've come to expect in many Young Adult fantasy novels, but I was pleasantly surprised by the direction that Hillyer took.
Princess Aurora was fated to marry a neighboring prince, while her half-sister Isabelle (or Isbe) only served as her most trusted friend. After a string of random murders and the realization of a curse, both young ladies found themselves on an adventure to explain what was happening in their world and how the faeries were involved. I loved how creative this retelling was; it still felt like a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but Hillyer clearly refused to be put in a box. The most important themes of Spindle Fire surrounded the idea of true love and sisterhood and I can't wait to see how things are wrapped up in the concluding novel. Be warned, the ending was very, very, very abrupt.
Characters: Isabelle and Aurora were introduced as being night and day but I didn't see anything different from the girls other than their physical differences. Isabelle was so sure that Aurora was perfect in every way, but I saw the same qualities in Isabelle that I did in Aurora. I loved how much the two doted on each other though. They grew up together, and in their isolation, were under the impression that they needed each other to function. The events of Spindle Fire allowed them to find their own strengths and consider their role in the world.
Both characters had their own disadvantages. As a child, a faerie took Isbe's sight, and Aurora lost her sense of touch and the ability to speak. It took me some time to truly believe that Isbe was blind in her chapters. Her earlier chapters didn't differ from Aurora's perspective which I thought was a disappointment given the fact that she had a different way of seeing the world. Aurora's chapters; however, were very interesting because she has no concept of touch, and I found her inspections and views on the sense to be plausible and I loved how the author wrote those chapters.
The love stories in Spindle Fire were very interesting. I'm not too sure what message Hillyer was aiming for, but I can't wait to see how these stories progress.
Worldbuilding: The world of Spindle Fire was standard in terms of fantasy worlds, but I liked the addition of incorporating the past ad present to better understand the conflicts. It took me a long time to get into the world because the novel was told in the present tense, and my brain couldn't process what was in the past and what was in the present. But that was a personal problem I'm sure.
Short N Sweet: Spindle Fire was a unique spin on Sleeping Beauty with an interesting take on the lessons we learned from fairytales.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“This is no fairy tale” indeed! But before some of you assume that I am meaning those words in a negative way, let me just...Read more