Winterglass by Lexa Hillyer

Winterglass by Lexa Hillyer is the continuation of the Sleeping Beauty retelling that started in Spindlefire. It tells the story of sisters Aurora and Isabelle, who were cursed by faeries as infants. Aurora is cursed into a deep sleep along with her entire kingdom in the first, leaving her sister Isabelle to find a way to save the kingdom. The second book follows Isabelle and the consequences of those actions.

The book alters between perspectives, including side characters and alternates from Aurora and Isabelle’s point of view. The sequel is left a little open ended, and there were some things that left me not to sure of what had taken place. But there were a lot of positives about the book itself.

One) the complete plot twist of Aurora’s love interest. I had heard speculation it was an LGBTQ series and reading through the first book, I remember being disappointed. I thought wait—-this is just like every other YA romance. But Aurora’s love interest was done so well, and I only KIND of guessed at who it was at a certain point in the book but for the most part I was genuinely surprised in the best of ways and I totally loved how it was written.

Two) Aurora is unable to feel or speak depending on which world she is in, but she has come up with her own ways to communicate. She has also taught herself to read and write, and is portrayed as totally capable and never at any point does it feel like she’s being treated as less than. The same goes for Isabelle “Isbe” who is blind, and I absolutely loved the way that her point of view was written as well. Curses are tithes –what faeries take from people—-and this was the price for the two Princesses. But both are completely capable, and move about in their own world, and forge destinies for themselves never once allowing someone else to take control of theirs.

Three) THE ROMANCE. Okay, but it was SO WELL WRITTEN ON BOTH SIDES. There’s a little something for everyone, and I kept on waiting for them to be like “oh it was the sisters true love that saved them” and maybe pull a bait and switch with who the girls ended up with because there are a few potential boy candidates in the running for the part of true love that make you assume you know how the story is going to go. That never happened, and the ending was brilliant. Everyone got their own version of a happy ending, what suited them and I loved it.

Four) the fairy tale retelling was woven together really well. There was enough implied in the story as to which characters were connected to things like Cinderella and Snow White, etc. without it being a direct retelling in the sense. It was more like Once Upon A Time which I loved.

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