It’s very overdue, especially since I read this book almost a month ago, but I finally managed to get some words down on the page and here it is: my review for A Spindle Splintered! I know everyone has been anxiously waiting for my thoughts on this, so I won’t delay it any longer lol
I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for a review. This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Published: October 5, 2021
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Fantasy Retelling (Novella)
It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.
USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow’s A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story.
To start off, since this book is very short, it was such a quick, easy read. And yet, even though it’s short, so much happens! Usually short books (and novellas) go one of two ways: one, they are wayyy too short and definitely need more in it and should just be a novel; two, the short book/novella does its job and is a perfect length and includes everything the story needed without going too short or too skimpy. And this book was definitely the second one!
One thing I liked was the inclusion of a disease that I had never heard of before. While terminal, Zinnia doesn’t let that stop her from living her fullest life. In fact, her family and friend’s constant worry about her is the worst part about dying. She doesn’t pity herself but she feels like everyone else around her does and these end of life struggles can be more burdensome than the disease itself. I haven’t read any fantasy books talking about end of life struggles, or really any book on this topic, and it was definitely insightful for me.
Once we leave the real world and enter fantasy world, things get fun. With a fairytale Sleeping Beauty, an evil sorceress, and a dying girl trapped in this world behind, things take a lot of twists and turns. For one, we get a story about creating your own destiny instead of just accepting fate. We have an evil sorceress/witch who’s maybe not so evil. We get a fairytale multiverse, filled with sleeping beauties and other fairytale stories alike. And we have a sapphic princess who might rather sleep for 100 years than marry the prince her parents have chosen.
By the end of this book I was dying for another spin off! While fairytale retellings aren’t new, I loved the way this story spins everything on its head and brings us something creative, new, and fresh. If you’re looking for a fun, novella about a not so helpless Sleeping Beauty, then I would definitely check this one out!
Looking for other retellings? Check out these books!