Epic, rewarding, and provocative, Elissa Sussman’s original fairy tale tells the story of Aislynn, a princess who misbehaves and must give up her royal trappings and enter a life of service as a fairy godmother. Booklist wrote, “Sussman delightfully mixed dystopian tension with retold fairy tales, and the result is something wholly original.”
A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale is part coming-of-age story, part adventure, part sweet romance. Will Aislynn remain true to her vows and her royal family and turn away from everything she longs for? Or will she stray from The Path and discover her own way? Includes a recipe for Fairy Godmother Bookbinder Bread, and a map.
Sixteen-year-old Princess Aislynn's magical outbursts make her unfit for marriage and "ever after," so she's cast out to be trained as a chaste fairy godmother. But Aislynn finds it difficult to follow the precepts of "the Path" and the strict rules of Elderwood Academy, where her heart is literally locked away, and her inability to harness her magic threatens to derail her life a second time or mark her as a shunned "stray." The plot which draws such references as the thorny brambles and pricking spindles of Briar Rose, and the forgotten slippers and severed toes of Cinderella is promising, aiming to flip the princess-centric focus of classic fairy tales on its head. Unfortunately, newcomer Sussman's storytelling is lacking in necessary exposition, asking more questions about this strange, stringent world than it answers and peppering the text with dangling subplots that fail to coalesce or conclude. Perhaps most disturbing is her treatment of Aislynn's self-harming behavior (she discharges magic into herself, leaving large welts on her limbs), which is mentioned sparingly and too easily dismissed. Ages 13 up.
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As a break out novel for Elissa Sussman, I was thrilled to become to enthralled to her story. The tale spun is a quick moving and exciting one! It hooks you from the start and makes you wish it's sequel was already released! Congrats to Elissa!! This was a fabulous read!