In the pages that follow, Thad fades into the background as Ari discovers that her brother has bartered his soul and his kingdom to save her, and she is determined to save him in exchange. Ari’s intelligence and tenaciousness are well developed through the story, and her sass, loyalty, and enjoyment of food—both cooking it and eating it—make her lovable and relatable. Early in the book, Ari befriends the new weapons master, Sebastian, and his fighting skill and knowledge of Teague’s business enterprises complement Ari’s strengths as the two work together to save the realm.
Ari quickly became one of my favorite female protagonists in YA literature, and I was happy that the development of her relationship with Sebastian was written so thoughtfully. It was great to see Ari maintain her independence, resilience, and resourcefulness throughout the book while slowly entering into a friendship-turned-romance with Sebastian.
Redwine writes the action sequences clearly and well, and despite the many twists and turns in the plot, I was never lost. The book is inspired by Rumplestiltskin, and the author doesn’t flinch from adhering to the edgy side of the classic tales. Alistair Teague is a merciless character, and this book is a far cry from a Disney retelling—something I really appreciate.
I have CJ Redwine’s THE SHADOW QUEEN, the companion book to THE WISH GRANTER, on my to-read list. I’ll definitely be moving up to the top of the pile based on the strength of this book.
My thanks to YA Books Central and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for my unbiased review.
Wonderful, strong, female protagonist