I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 24th 2015
<p><p><span id="freeText7534673873741759814">Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of <em> <strong>Sleeping Beauty</strong> </em> and what happens after happily ever after.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />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. <br /><br />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.<br /><br />Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and <em> <strong>Sleeping Beauty</strong> </em> as she’s never been seen before.</span></p></p>
Retellings can be such a wonderful thing. Breathing new life into a favorite tale. Answering long held questions. Answering questions you never realized you had. A Wicked Thing held so much potential. Discovering what happened to Aurora after she awoke from true love’s kiss. Did she live happily ever after? We will let you be the judge of that.
The stories don’t always get it right
The first thing that hit me with A Wicked Thing was how close, yet how far away it was from the Sleeping Beauty tale we all know. Aurora is awoken by the kiss of a prince. In the fairy tale version, it is love at first sight. Or in Disney’s version, the kiss from an already known (and assumed loved) prince. In A Wicked Thing, it is a little different. Aurora is awoken by an unknown prince, one hundred years after she pricked her finger. Here is it not love at first sight. Aurora’s reaction is what I would think almost any sane person’s would be… confusion, fear, repulsion. The thought process of “Who are you? What the hell are you doing? Get away from me you creeper!”
As Aurora comes to terms with her now surroundings, it is clear that she is not in the same world that it was when she went to sleep. The forest that once surrounded her castle has now been replaced by a village. The peaceful kingdom has undergone a drastic change. Under the guise of peacefulness, the kingdom is barely holding on. A rebellion is brewing.
The Same but Different
I have a confession to make. In a ranking of all the fairy tale princesses, Aurora is usually down at the bottom. Why? Her personality. Or the lack of one. In every version of Sleeping Beauty I have come across, Aurora has never had much of a backbone. She is always the pretty girl on the side lines, who made a dumb mistake. She pays for that mistake by having to sleep until true loves kiss awakens her or something of that nature. She is not a proactive princess.
A Wicked Thing showcases the reasons why I have always disliked Aurora perfectly. Sadly, it was almost the book’s undoing for me.
Aurora is still Aurora. Boring parts and all.
It was hard not to feel bad for Aurora. Having awoken decades after the deaths of her parents, of any one she knew. Watching her go through the motions early on was understandable. There is just a really big part of me that wishes that Aurora would have taken this second chance to make something of herself instead of following along with everyone’s lead. There are hints towards the end that she might be going in this direction. So, while about 99% of A Wicked Thing is the Aurora that is expected, there is a slim chance of promise for her.
A Fresh Twist
A Wicked Thing is a really fresh take on the Sleeping Beauty tale. It takes enough of the tale to make it familiar with plenty of twists to make it fresh.
Despite the issues that I have with Aurora, I was really glad to see that the romance (if you want to call it that) aspect was not centered solely around the Prince. He is not the knight in shining armor guy. He is a sweet, nice person, who like Aurora is constantly under the thumb of his parents.
While the Prince is not of the swoon worthy sort, Tristan might be. It is just too early to tell. I loved that we got another love option for Aurora, even if it might cause plenty of problems down the road. Tristan is a wild card. Not completely trustworthy, but has lots of potential.