Sixfold, Sevenfold

The Sevenfold Spell by Tia NevittThe Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt
Carina Press, 97 pages

Have you ever wondered what happens to the other people in the fairy tale?

Things look grim for Talia and her mother. By royal proclamation, the constables and those annoying “good” fairies have taken away their livelihood by confiscating their spinning wheel. Something to do with a curse on the princess, they said.

Not every young lady has a fairy godmother rushing to her rescue.

Without the promise of an income from spinning, Talia’s prospects for marriage disappear, and she and her mother face destitution. Past caring about breaking an arbitrary and cruel law, rebellious Talia determines to build a new spinning wheel, the only one in the nation, which plays right into the evil fairy’s diabolical plan. Talia discovers that finding a happy ending requires sacrifice. But is it a sacrifice she’s willing to make?

Out of all the Disney princesses, I find Princess Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty the prettiest. Maybe I’m biased because I like them blonde, and she seemed like the most poised, most elegant of them all. But that maybe because she slept for a hundred years, and it must be hard to move after lying down for so long. I mean, I find my back and bones stiff after I sleep for more than ten hours, what more hundred years.

Tia Nevitt’s retelling is by far the most unique one I’ve encountered of all retellings I’ve read so far. Instead of focusing on the main character, the author shifts the focus to the people we readers rarely focus on in a story, to some random person in the town. The usual faceless and nameless people in the crowds are put into spotlight in The Sevenfold Spell, putting quite a unique twist in the story of Sleeping Beauty.

This is a quick read, more of a novella than a novel. However, the first part of the book felt long for me. Terribly long, mostly because of all the sex. I wasn’t expecting that, really, but I was surprised to read that Talia would resort to that to cure her of her loneliness. Mind you, she didn’t really become a whore so she could earn money — she did it out of loneliness.

I can’t really question the motivations of the characters, given Talia’s situation. Reading this told me that I am pretty conservative with what I read, and I could only stand to read so much sex in one book before I feel sick of reading it. I’m not saying that they were pointless in the book — I got the point. It had some kind of bearing in the story that made the character grow, which was good. I liked how Talia eventually outgrew her need for physical intimacy, and instead focused on other more important things, like patching things up with her mother (who can’t get any other livelihood besides making thread using their spinning wheel —health care jobs are not so hot in their time). I just didn’t like reading about how Talia did it with Willard and how Talia seduced an old man to do it with her. Just not my thing.

Fortunately, the story picked up by the second half, and there was a surprising twist. The resolution felt a bit too easy, and too clean cut for my taste. I guess that’s where the author really meant to go, to a happily ever after ending. It is a fairy tale, after all.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book. It’s just not for me, I guess. If I want another retelling, I think I’ll stick with Gail Carson-Levine and similar authors.

The Sevenfold Spell will be out on September 2010. Much thanks to NetGalley for the advanced reading copy ebook!

Rating:

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 71 out of 100 for 2010

My copy: ebook, Advanced Reading Copy from Netgalley

Cover & Blurb: Goodreads

Sample Fridays (3)

Let’s start off Sample Fridays # 3 with…a logo! Yay!

Yes, it’s a play on Amazon’s logo and Kindle, since I get my samples from Amazon and I read it in Kindle (for iPhone). Hee.

Before I continue, just a sharing. I am still contemplating on getting a Kindle for myself since I seem to be reading ebooks more and more now. So last week, I was browsing and comparing the different ebook readers, namely, the Kindle, the nook, and the Kobo reader (thanks to Chachic for sharing the last one with me). I read reviews, weighed pros and cons and wondered if maybe, the other ebook readers are more worth it than Kindle. I was already leaning into the nook, but then it hit me:

  • I already bought books from Amazon.
  • If I get a nook, that would defeat the purpose of getting those books, right? I’d have to acquire them again.
  • I am really just an Amazon fangirl.

I still haven’t made a final decision, because I’m not even sure if I want to buy. The price drop in the readers ($189 for Kindle, $149 for nook WiFi and $199 for nook WiFi & 3G) made them even more tempting though.

Hmm.

But anyway. I’m not in a hurry. Onto the samples! Book covers and blurbs from Goodreads. :)

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

I got curious with Mandy Hubbard when I put You Wish in my WoW for this week. This seems like a fun, normal YA/chicklit/sorta fantasy since Callie ends up being in the past. I bet it’s a dream, though. I just wonder how much similarity this book has with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I hope it has a lot, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica’s own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

I finished reading the sample of this last night, and it left me wanting for more! It seemed like a really good story, and it has a lot of good reviews, too! The capitalization of words that refer to their gift/curse kind of threw me off while reading, though — I mean, if you can Hear Whispers, it’s kind of hard to ignore that, right? See what I mean?

Beauty Sleep by Cameron DokeyBeauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Cameron Dokey

The Princess Aurore has had an unusual childhood. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years — until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore’s loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.

Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. their devotion to the spirited princess grows as she does.

On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic. The princess’s bravery will be rewarded as she finds adventure, enchantment, a handsome prince, and ultimately her destiny

Fairy tales! Beauty Sleep’s sample is charming, especially at the part where Aurore discusses how magic works in her world: “If you haven’t grown up here but come to live, one of two things can happen, of course: Either the magic leaves you alone, or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, it does the same thing to you as to the rest of us: It makes you more of what you are.

Three samples only, since I was pretty busy this week. :) More for next!

If you also sample in Amazon (or even in Barnes and Noble or other sites), what have you sampled lately? Share them in the comments and I’ll check them out!

OH AND DON’T FORGET! Feed by Mira Grant giveaway is still ongoing — if you haven’t entered, then what are you waiting for? :D