A Spindle Splintered

A Spindle Splintered
Age Range
Release Date
October 05, 2021
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USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story.

"A vivid, subversive and feminist reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, where implacable destiny is no match for courage, sisterhood, stubbornness and a good working knowledge of fairy tales." ―Katherine Arden

It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

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A Spindle Splintered
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Zinnia Gray has always been fascinated by Sleeping Beauty stories. She understands the feeling of knowledge looming over your life, whether that's of a curse or, in her case, of the fact that no one with her illness has lived past age 21. On her 21st birthday, her best friend, Charm, throws her a Sleeping Beauty themed birthday party. When Zinnia pricks her finger on the spindle Charm found, Zinnia is thrust into another world where fairy tales are very much real, and there's a princess desperate to escape her fate.

A SPINDLE SPLINTERED is an enjoyable take on a fairy tale with countless versions. I loved how we got to learn more about the history of the Sleeping Beauty story, ranging from the more pleasant versions like Disney's to the darkest versions. Fellow folklore enthusiasts will like Zinnia's vast knowledge of the fairy tale and seeing the strange world she enters through the eyes of a folklore scholar.

In addition to the folklore, I really enjoyed the friendships. Zinnia and Charm have a complicated history with Zinnia often trying to keep Charm at arm's length due to her illness. Even so, they've forged a strong bond, and you can tell how much they care about each other. Zinnia and Princess Primrose also have a great, slow-building friendship. Zinnia is ironically having to face the reality of her own situation in Primrose's world. It's through their friendship that Zinnia can see an unexpected path forward for herself (note, however, that this does not fall into the harmful magical cure trope).

Overall, A SPINDLE SPLINTERED is a quick, fun read filled with fascinating folklore and the power of friendship.
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