It's been a really long time since my last post! I promise to better myself!
Author: K.M. Shea
Release date: 11th of December 2014
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #4
Reading level: FICTION – ADULT: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Published by: Take Out the Trash!
Pages: 236 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle
When Gemma’s drunken father tells King Torgen of Verglas that his daughter can spin straw into gold, Gemma assumes her life is over. Held captive in a room filled with straw, Gemma is ordered to spin it all into gold by dawn the following day, or she will be killed by the king’s orders. Rather than cry her eyes out over her sad fate, Gemma tries escaping, and becomes acquainted with a mysterious mage named Stil. Stil offers to help Gemma complete her task, for a price, and turns the straw into gold thread.
Unfortunately the gold whets the greedy appetite of King Torgen, who is determined to wring more gold from Gemma. Gemma is relieved when Stil agrees to help her a second and third time…but his requested payments for the task grow stranger and stranger…
Can Gemma outsmart the evil king and survive Stil’s unusual bargains?
Timeless Fairy Tales are loosely related stories that take place in the same world. They can be read as a series, or as individual, stand-alone books.
Since I thought the retelling of Cinderella by the same author was wonderful and the synopsis for the current book was intriguing, I bought the latter as soon as I discovered it and started reading immediately. I wasn’t disappointed and the first book wasn’t a fluke by a mile, on the contrary. I was again swept away to this fantasy world, where new life has been blown into dusty fairy tales, characters were exciting and 3D and a clearer, coherent and whole picture started to form in my mind in regards to what is going on and how all the books are connected in the series.
I loved the smaller yet profound changes from the original fairy tale, particularly the fact that the villain is now the hero and what a charming hero he was. Otherwise, nothing overly major was changed, but despite this, the story felt fresh and new and this is, I gather, mostly due to the well-executed characterization, dialogue and general plot and background of the series. The latter makes me quite excited, because it’s imminent that something huge is coming from the villainous side and I can’t wait to see everything unravel and witness the big bang. I really appreciate where the author is going with this series in regards to that. I also liked that the series feels connected via references to characters, places and events from other books.
My favourite aspect of the book was, however, the main couple. I really loved the subtle clash of the characters of Stil and Gemma. The first being sneaky, charming, slightly vain in an adorable boyish and sweet way and the latter having her feet completely on the ground, being practical, realistic and with no time for nonsense. Moreover, I appreciated that neither was too overbearing, suffocating, clingy, oh-so-tortured or any other extreme that most YA and NA main characters nowadays tend to be. With differences, came similarities, both were exceptionally talented in diverse areas, Stil in craft magic and Gemma in making clothes. It was nice to see that both had something they were passionate about and it wasn’t only each other. I also thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue between them which was bantery, smart, funny and sweet. I will, however, never forget how Stil twisted the original meaning behind the Rumpelstiltskin quite “I want your firstborn” into something that was utterly swoon worthy. I honestly thought they were a lovable couple and despite me still only slightly favouring Cinderella and Friedrich from the previous book, Gemma and Stil managed to upstage a huge portion of YA and NA main couple I read about. Also, a fairy tale without either of the main couple being royal is always a welcome change for me.
I didn’t so much enjoy the secondary romance. The idea was intriguing and quite unexpected, and there was also a definite usefulness in regards to the plot, but they simply didn’t catch my fancy compared to the main couple. I would even say that I would have preferred more time dedicated to Stil and Gemma on the expenses of the secondary couple.
This series has turned out to be a real gem! Good storytelling on the basis of beloved fairy tales, extremely easy to like characters with distinct personalities, noteworthy dialogue and plotting… I’m definitely sticking to this series! Now I simply have to find the time to read the first two books. Why is time my enemy in regards to reading? Also, can I ask for a Puss in Boots version and some other lesser known fairy tale books?