Key Words: Romance, Fantasy, Fairy Tales
Published: 12th Sept 2013
Reviewer: Kylie Calwell
Briar Rose loves fairy tales, it’s a bit silly really but that’s how it is. She lives in the same town her family has lived in for generations, and is even involved in a honest to goodness family feud with the Quinn family. The whole thing is a bit strange, when they were younger Briar and Joshua Quinn used to be good friends, then something happened. A something that has had a lasting effect on both. The two are not allowed to talk or associate in any way. Sometimes though parents aren’t right, and now Briar is about to turn 16 she is going to find out the truth. Briar will find herself part of her own fairy tale, doomed by a curse to die. Her best friend isn’t about to let that happen and with a little magic the curse is changed and Briar is merely sleeping.
It’s not just any sort of sleep though, she now finds herself trapped in a twisted fairy tale, one with elements she recognises but that is in so many ways that matter, different to any tale she has ever read. Whilst trying to understand a strange land with strange rules Briar has to find a way out, she must complete a certain task and surely then she will be free. But in this twisted fairy tale things just aren’t that simple.
Briar is an average girl, who doesn’t understand her mother’s obsession with hating the Quinn family. She doesn’t understand why her mother has her effectively wrapped in cotton wool. She just wants a boyfriend, someone to love her and if he happens to be a handsome prince then that would be just fine with her. At her core Briar is loyal and brave. Her best friend Reena is the one with the magic touch and her loyalty is even stronger, she is able to see outside Briar’s prejudices and has great strength and determination. Joshua isn’t convinced the family feud is the right thing and he feels drawn to Briar. The addition of Pat, arrogant and selfish provides a nice counterpoint. He just wants to survive and get back home, he doesn’t care about the quest or helping the village, in some ways it is his character that has the most dramatic arc.
Oliver has taken a familiar tale and twisted it in a couple of fun, dark ways. The world of the fairy tale is gritty, bleak and a wonderful contrast to the world Briar comes from. The places where it differs from the tale you expect are what really holds your attention. An intriguing read. If you love fairy tales, magic and a little romance then definitely pick this book up.