Title: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1)
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Genre: YA/fairytale retelling
Date Read: 01/04/2015 – 03/04/2015
Rhiannon Thomas is clearly a woman after my own heart, as A Wicked Thing asks many of the questions I often tend to ask about fairytales (love them though I do). If we believe Disney, sleeping for 100 years has no effect on Princess Aurora, her family, or her kingdom, but don’t you think that seems just a little unlikely? (Don’t get me wrong, I love Disney, but I ask the questions anyway).
A Wicked Thing opens as Aurora/Sleeping Beauty is awoken from her 100 year slumber by a kiss from Prince Rodric, a shy, awkward young man who never really expected this would work. During the time she’s been asleep, she’s become a legend, expected to make right everything that has fallen apart in the kingdom and live happily ever after with the prince who woke her. But the prince is a stranger, his father is bordering on evil (not that many people can see it) and various other political factions all want her to help their causes. All the while, no one actually asks Aurora how she feels about any of this.
I really loved this book as an exploration of the actual implications of the events depicted in the fairytale. Not only that, but it also addresses the all-too-real pressures real women face to be seen and not heard, to not make a fuss, to always look beautiful and be on their best behaviour. It is a little slow-going, but a lot of that is due to the internal, character-driven nature of so much of the story. Judging by how this installment ends, I think future books in the series will have a lot more room for action.
One thing I had hoped to see more of in this book was Aurora’s emerging magic. While for most of the book, Aurora is convinced that the legend is wrong and that she is not meant to bring back magic, her own power does start developing later on. While we know it exists, and that uncontrolled, it seems to set fire to things, we know little else. There was one reference to her as a “little dragon”, but I think that was metaphorical, though there are dragons in one of the neighbouring kingdoms, so who knows… Book Two is due out in 2016; I guess much more will be revealed then!