Review by Booklist Review
A curse has been broken, but the fight isn't over. Aurora, the princess who tithed her voice and sense of touch to a fairy at birth, has broken free of her enchanted sleep, but is determined to defeat Malfleur, the faerie queen who cursed her and many more. At the same time, Aurora's blind half-sister, Isabelle, who was never supposed to inherit a kingdom, finds herself leading one with a handsome prince at her side and a mysterious glass slipper in her possession. Though they're on separate quests, both sisters remain motivated by their devotion to each other as they prepare to face down Malfleur, and both are about to learn surprising truths about who they really are. There are a few quibbles: the pace can be slow, and it's sometimes too easy to overlook Isabelle's blindness. Still, Hillyer's lyrical writing, the references to multiple fairy tales, and several slow-burn romances, one of which is same-sex, will appeal to readers. Fans of the author'sSpindle Fire (2017) will be eager to see how this duology ends.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-Sisters Aurora and Isabelle continue down dangerous paths in this plot-packed sequel to Spindle Fire. Aurora, awakened from the sleeping enchantment that trapped her in Sommeil, discovers that Sommeil's residents have been pushed out of their world and into hers. Determined to save them, Aurora abdicates her throne and forms a tentative alliance with Wren to find and save the Sommeilians. Meanwhile, Isabelle takes up Aurora's mantle as Queen and thrusts herself into uniting Deluce and Aubin, galvanizing recruits to fight in the war against evil faerie Malfleur. As she learns what it means to lead her kingdom, Isbe discovers that responsibility comes with both love and pain. Aurora and Isbe represent young women forging their own destinies while experiencing the joy, confusion, and heartbreak that defines one's coming of age. Isbe loves Prince William, but love doesn't detract from the deep bond she shares with Aurora. She recognizes their relationship as one of many elements that define her, and provides a strong, compelling role model for young women looking to balance their own desires. Aurora's time with Wren quickly stokes a realization about the nature of their relationship, and what Aurora hopes it can become. The thoughtful portrait of these women combines with fast-paced action, mystery, and magic, and readers will be hooked. VERDICT This tale of romance, fantasy, and self discovery makes a worthy choice for libraries.-Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, St. Paul Public Library © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
After waking from a cursed sleep, Princess Aurora recruits her sister Isbe to help protect the kingdom from further encroachments by the evil faerie Malfleur. This satisfying sequel to Spindle Fire incorporates elements of the "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella" stories. Hillyer's tale about love, loyalty, and persistence avoids typical fairy-tale clichis by depicting protagonists with limitations and by keeping romance at a distance. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Half sisters Aurora and Isabelle must face all that threatens them as their individual paths of peril converge in the conclusion to Hillyer's (Spindle Fire, 2017, etc.) fantasy duology.Apart for much of the first volume, Aurora and Isbe, as she is known, reunite on the threshold of war. Aurora, ripped away from the ruined dream land of Sommeil, where she had both voice and touch, is determined to confront the evil faerie queen Malfleur even as past failures and unresolved feelings suffuse her in doubt. Blind Isbe, meanwhile, follows her heart and marries Prince William only to spend her honeymoon waging a bloody, demoralizing war against Malfleur's forces and attempting to unravel the mystery of an unbreakable glass slipper left to her by her mother. This sequel continues to showcase a lush landscape and an innovative intertwinement of classic Perrault with the unconventional, with considerations of power and hierarchy present as the sisters discover the dark workings of love and family that have affected their lives and land. Unfortunately, readers' problems with the first book continue to plague the second, from inconsistencies in the portrayals of the sisters' disabilities to a rushed, underdeveloped romance in the service of metanarrative (previously between Isbe and William and now between Aurora and Wren) to the distractingly self-conscious deployment of French nomenclature. Aurora and Isbe are white, and William has dark skin.There is closure here but little satisfaction. (Fantasy. 14-17) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.