Beauty’s Curse by C.S. Johnson
For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.
On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.
Enjoy this novella series retelling of the Sleeping Beauty, with new characters, new plot twists, and plenty of action and adventure. Perfect for teen and young adult historical fantasy readers, and check out Part II, “Beauty’s Quest,” as the story continues!
Book Review by Tanya Kaanta for Love Books Group
Beauty’s Curse is a new take on Sleeping Beauty. Yes, we have Princess Aurora Rose, who is cursed by a sorceress. But that’s really where the likeness ends. At least in Book 1. Of note, this is the first in a series, not a standalone.
Rose, as she goes by, is seventeen, independent, a bit self-absorbed (like many teenagers), and determined to break her own darn spell. She also prides herself in being a warrior, and friends, she’s no simpering miss.
Along with her best friend, Theo, she sets out to break her curse before her next birthday, even though she’s been on the search for years. However, her parents want her to marry and produce an heir before her eighteenth birthday, so that the royal line will continue.
Marriage is not the option she wants to choose. And so she sets her sights on making this last year count. So that she can break the curse without being forced into a marriage.
Enter our love triangle. We are introduced to Prince Phillip and are led to believe this is the man she should marry. Of course, Theo is in love with her and has been for many years. Though he’s also meant for the church and must balance his love for Rose and his love of God.
Beauty’s curse is a clean fantasy adventure romance that introduces us to this new world. While the story didn’t grip me from the start, I was interested enough to keep reading and by the end of the story, I wanted to know more about Theo and Rose. Because for me, this is the man she must end up with, while she ends her curse. And we know she will end her curse because the character is set up to be powerful, strong, and determined. Another bonus that I enjoyed – the fact that Princess Rose stand on her own two feet.
I would have loved to have seen a softer side to Rose, though I wonder if we’ll get more dimensions of her character in later books. For me, Theo really stood out in this story. And because of him, I wanted to keep reading. Theo’s story is the first we read in the prologue, and he’s the last thought I have of the book. Will he eventually profess his love to Rose? How will their relationship develop? Does he ultimately choose the church over Rose? Or can he have both? And while I think Phillip is an admirable character, I’m ultimately rooting for Theo.
Even in the dark, Theo could see the excitement in her eyes, and he could feel it in the air; the lightening of her soul resonated with his own.
There are strong elements of Christianity throughout the story though it wasn’t too preachy. Overall, fans of fairy tales and strong heroines will enjoy this book.
This was part of a book blog tour by R&R Book Tours, thank you Shannon for the opportunity to be part of it.
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