Wow. I’m not sure whether to give this 4 or 5 stars or somewhere in between- as I’m still digesting this. Full review closer to the release date- but here are a few thoughts in the meantime…
I was absolutely hooked from the intro. One of the best openings to a story, in my opinion. This is definitely one of my favorite reads this year. On that note, I feel like some people might not connect the way I did (I’ll explain..)
The plot is basically Hades/Persephone meets Caraval (which I realize isn’t out yet but still…). It is not only magical, but mysterious and riveting – exploring so many heart felt topics such as the bond between siblings, sacrifice, and self acceptance. There are so many reasons why I loved this book… but I think the biggest win for me was connecting to the main character in a big way.
Leisl the older “ugly” sister, the overlooked talent, and the backbone of her family. I connected with her and her insecurities/struggles right off the bat. I related to her so much and I honestly felt everything she felt. I think you’ll either love the book for that – or disconnect from it entirely. We end up so deep in Leisl’s struggles/emotions and I think if you aren’t right there with her emotionally, you’ll find this book a bit boring.
Also, supposedly this is a Labyrinth retelling – or was at least inspired by it. I haven’t personally seen Labyrinth, but I’ve heard this book was supposedly a retelling of the movie. Perhaps it was a benefit as I wasn’t jaded nor did I have any previous connection to any former storyline. So on that note, I didn’t find it lacking.
I do what to help set some expectations for this. It isn’t a light read. The writing is so rich and full and it honestly reads more like an adult novel, in my opinion (which I loved.) It didn’t feel YA to me at all.
I also think this could have been split into two books as the first half and second half differ from each other a great deal. It was quite long and descriptive but the world was so whimsical and fascinating to me.
Okay so this turned into more of an actual review- but I have 10 million more things to say once we’re closer to the release date! But If any of this sounds interesting at all, I’d say add it to your TBR and give it a go.
(OH OH LASTLY… I NEED THE SEQUEL BECAUSE I AM DEAD INSIDE NOW THAT THIS IS OVER) UGHHHHH. If anyone else has read this and has a hangover.. please, we must talk.