The Rose Princess by Ivy Hollins (The Fairytales of Parsilon; 1)

Book Blurb:

In a kingdom of fairies and dragons, Talia is reassuringly normal… until she isn’t. Plucked from her quiet town and thrust into a life as heir to the throne, and betrothed to a powerful duke, she must face up to a terrifying question: what if the curse is real? What if she really is destined to be trapped in eternal sleep?

Duke Caradoc has spent his whole life dominated by his mother, the fierce Duchess of the Northern Wastes. But when he meets Talia, betrothed to him since childhood, he knows that his mother’s lust for power has gone too far. The curse must be stopped… and the answer might lie in Caradoc and Talia’s mysterious dreams.

A Sleeping Beauty retelling, first in a series of fairytale-inspired fantasy romances.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.


So, imagine if Disney had made a live-action Sleeping Beauty that focused on Aurora, instead of Maleficent. That’s what this book reminded me of. Hollins kept to the original version of the story (at least Disney’s original version) enough that I felt all of the nostalgia. She even included the whole blue/pink dress debate, which I loved.

While this story had a fair share of nods to the original, it is also completely its own thing. The characters were given so much more depth and backstory. For example, Talia did more than lie in a bed and wait for a prince to save her. The world it took place in was also more complex — there was a war, dragons, a fairy city, and I could continue — the point is, this story was the perfect balance of keeping with the original while adding a new take to it.

My only complaint about this book is that it isn’t longer. I accidentally read it in twenty-four hours, which does not happen often. As I mentioned above, there is so much to this story that was not in the original, and I would have loved to see Hollins flesh it out some more. I would have especially loved to see more interaction between Talia and Caradoc. Their relationship was so sweet, and I would have loved to see more of the casual moments that weren’t essential to the plot line but still gave more of an insight into their relationship.

Overall, this was an enjoyable fairy tale retelling that accomplished everything that a retelling should.

Goodreads | Amazon


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