Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.
Sometimes writers try so hard to do something different with their riffs on existing stories that they become achingly obvious and contrived. That was ultimately the feeling I was left with after reading this book.
Mina is essentially the Snow White character and I struggle to think of anything else interesting to say about her. She is pretty? She is a princess?
Lynet, the stepmother character is more interesting. As an immigrant from wildly different kingdom she is trapped in a loveless marriage to a King who has a borderline obsession with his daughter (Mina) because she is the carbon copy of her mother. Yuck.
The Stepmother/Stepdaughter relationship is probably the strongest aspect of the story and knowing it was going to come crashing down did not leave me super enthused for the rest of the story. Despite this key event and the big “reveal” about Mina, I didn’t feel there was any sense of credible peril, somehow I just knew everything would turn out fine for Mina and Lynet and it didn’t make for a very compelling read and the rather sedate plot and pacing didn’t help either.
The book is touted as a “feminist fairy-tale” yet the two main characters seem defined by the men’s views of them and so much of their fate is determined by the male characters. That and both Mina and Lynet’s main personality traits seem to be that they are beautiful, so I did not find that particularly inspiring either. There is also a completely forgettable f/f romance too which did not really add anything.
It is not a TERRIBLE book I just found it really boring and predictable to read, even the cover is boring. You could probably read the back cover and know everything you need to know.