Title: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1)
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
A spinning wheel.
A prick of a finger.
A Terrible curse.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, she is tempted to abandon everything for a different kind of life.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
A Wicked Thing is a surprising, spellbinding reimagining of what happens after happily ever after.
Rhiannon Thomas' A Wicked Thing is the biggest surprise for me so far in 2015. The story follows Aurora, the sleeping beauty, one hundred years after she fell asleep. It was handled in a way that surprised me (see, I said it again) because I was expecting a sappy romance or something with a lot of self-hatred because of the alleged wickedness. Then again, it may because I've read a really wonderful Sleeping Beauty retelling, and I was afraid that it would never compare. (It was different enough that it did.)
I spent the majority of the novel feeling very terrible for Princess Aurora. She wakes up to a complete stranger kissing her, and then finds out all that she knows and loves is gone. Though it's been a hundred years for the rest of the world, it only seems that she's just fallen asleep. Then she's expected to be married to her stranger within three weeks, being locked in her bedroom by the "new" queen in the meantime. She has no idea who to reach out to because she does not know anyone, understand the current political atmosphere, or have any idea who it is she is to trust. Thank Bob she is not a sniveling fool like many princesses in distress can be.
I would not call A Wicked Thing romance at all because though it is based on Sleeping Beauty, it is most definitely not a girl waiting on her prince to rescue her. Aurora is not anxiously awaiting her Happily Ever After. She wants to get her bearings and make her own life into whatever she wishes it to be. And for the record, Prince Rodric (who woke her up) is wonderful, and if she ends up with him at the end of the series, I'll be delighted. And don't start thinking there's a love triangle because I said that - yes, she likes another boy, but there's no instalove or needing to choose. A Wicked Thing is all about Aurora
Speaking of other characters, they were not two-dimensional or just there to advance the plot. I was so interested in Queen Iris, Prince Rodric, Prince Finnegan, Tristan, and Nettle, that I would be happy to read a novella or anything from any of their points of view - especially Queen Iris. She was a bit of a villain, but she absolutely had reason to be the way that she was. Finnegan and Tristan aren't necessarily my favorite people either, for various reasons, but I'd like to find out more about them.
As for the world-building in A Wicked Thing, it seems a bit like the generic fantasy world in fairy tales, except that the magic is missing. Everyone is hoping that Aurora's awakening will bring it back. I do wonder a bit on how that would work out because people who are accused of having magic are...well...you should read the book.
I went into A Wicked Thing thinking it may be a standalone, but I'm not sad that there will be more books about Aurora and her new world. I can't wait to see what becomes of her, her magic, and the other characters.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.
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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!