Hello all! Westu hal to you and that you are staying strong in this most trying of times. I have said on multiple occasions that reading is providing a wonderful escape for me and I hope that it has for you.
Welcome to my latest blog post and day 1 of the Storytellers on Tour blog tour, a refreshing fantasy read for me that I came to really enjoy – read on my for my full review but first the premise of the novel.
A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.
Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.
This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.
Firstly, this is a Young Adult novel and I for one have not read a lot of this recently, but the opportunity came up from Storytellers on Tour and I took it and I am glad I did. This is the story of a journey a young woman must take and the coming of age she will undertake, and in a word, I loved it. It has a historical setting blended with fantasy, the historical setting being in Breton in Renaissance France.
This really was a great book from cover to cover, Brianna weaves an atmospheric tale and brings a different approach to many aspects of folklore, Lilac was a character that I really identified with as well, The journey she goes on and hardships she faces, really develops her as a character and I grew to care about her and became quite invested in the story as it progressed.
I really enjoy stories where things are not quite what they seem, and while this is quite a dark fantasy setting, things are not what they seem. One aspects I really enjoyed was Brianna’s clever and enjoyable subversion of fairy tale tropes and the characters you might find within, these all have a part to play in Lilac’s journey, just don’t expect them to behave like you might expect.
The world of this book is magical, it begins in its historical setting and then we are transported to the forest of Brocéliande. Beyond Brittany, this Forest is a wonderful setting, a forest that humans tend to stay clear from but those that venture in may succumb to it’s charms. It is filled with all manner of folklore creatures and monsters, but in a word it is beautiful. I was enthralled by this setting and enjoyed being able to spend time under the forest canopy, Brianna has a wonderful writing style that evokes this environment, it truly was beautiful.
I once again have to thank Storytellers on Tour for an opportunity to read and review a great book by an indie author, this is only day 1 of the tour so please check out the other awesome bloggers via this link for the rest of the tour.
There is also a nice giveaway for a physical copy of the book going which you can enter via this link, its totally free and the book will look great on your bookshelf. The competition is via Rafflecopter as well.
Here is a little bit about Brianna as well
With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curious and bewitching—Brianna Sugalski is an author and blogger. Previously, she was a staff contributor for Lifestyle & Fashion online magazine, Sarah Scoop, and also served as Copy Editor and Editor-In-Chief at her school publications.
Brianna was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, but now travels the country every few years with her husband and children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing up reading period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy. Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.
Once again, a big thank you to Storytellers on Tour for allowing me to share my thoughts on this wonderful historical fantasy novel, take your time to read and enjoy this you will be surprised.