In Vedder's energetic, gender-flipped "Sleeping Beauty," it's the prince, Briar Rose, who is cursed to sleep until awakened by a kiss. The trouble is, the one who can break the curse is Fi, an adventurous treasure hunter who couldn't care less about romance or the prince. Fi is exploring an ancient site when she pricks her finger on a bone spindle, an accident that conjures the spirit of Briar Rose, who annoyingly won't go away. To find a way to resolve this situation, Fi teams up with Shane, an edgy, girl-crazy (female) warrior who is full of bite. Packed with fully fleshed-out characters and lots of adventure, this book is a fun read that will easily draw fairy-tale lovers. Vedder's first novel nicely balances its exciting plot with touching matters of the heart. Recommend this to fans of Malinda Lo's Ash (2009), E. K. Johnston's Spindle (2016), Julie C. Dao's The Mirror: Broken Wish (2020), and even A. R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy's King Arthur series, beginning with Once & Future (2019). Grades 8-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Debut author Vedder's action-packed, gender-flipped "Sleeping Beauty" reenvisioning, a series opener, pits two female outlaws against a witch's ominous curse. A century before this title's start, the King of Andar banished the ancient Spindle Witch for saving sickly prince Briar Rose at the cost of his mother's life—and her revenge cursed Briar into deathless sleep, destroying Andar. When 17-year-old treasure hunter Lady Filore Nenroa pricks her finger on the bone spindle that cursed him, she's bonded via dreams to his rare, precious light magic. Fi and queer, axe-wielding, boot-wearing huntswoman Shane must traverse the Forest of Thorns to wake Briar with true love's kiss despite the bigoted Witch Hunters dogging them, the curse Fi's controlling ex-lover inflicted on her, and Shane's crush on mysterious Red. But the Spindle Witch has dark plans for Briar—and true love might not thwart them. Video game-style fantasy tropes and energetic plotting provide an alternative to Forgotten Realms and David Eddings for new readers of epic fantasy. Ages 12–up. Agent: Carrie Hannigan and Ellen Goff, HG Literary. (Jan.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 7 Up—A hundred years ago, the maleficent Spindle Witch caused the fall of Andar, leaving bespelled Prince Briar Rose asleep in a thorn-wrapped castle. Near the border, two exiles—female "huntsman for hire" Shane, escaping an unwelcome inheritance, and treasure hunter Fi, concealing a curse—partner for a treasure hunt. Then Fi touches a bone spindle, connecting her to Briar and allowing his dream-self to visit her in the real world. How annoying that he is golden-haired, kind, powerful, and awkward, and that she, apparently, must wake him with a kiss! First, avoiding witch hunters and getting into Andar is problematic; second, the Spindle Witch is still out there; and third, with her curse, Fi cannot afford love. Shane, meanwhile, is smitten with an enigmatic female witch-thief, Red, who keeps turning up everywhere. And so their adventures begin. Vedder weaves compelling character back tories into a complex plot, rich with detail and magic, and balances heart-pounding action with romance, travel, and thorough worldbuilding. Readers will appreciate that Briar's dream-self visits fix the fairy tale improbability of falling in love with someone asleep, and that Shane's attractions are unremarkable in this world. Neither romance goes beyond passionate kisses. While the ending is not quite a cliffhanger, the adventures are clearly not over—the Spindle Witch still awaits. Fi and Red are described as "tan" with dark brown hair, while Shane has "fair" skin and "ash-brown" hair. VERDICT This gender-flipped retelling effortlessly melds romance, adventure, and fantasy. Highly recommended.—Rebecca Moore Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.
When she pricks her finger on a bone spindle, treasure hunter Fi is stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose, a prince under a sleeping curse, and must team up with a tough-as-dirt girl warrior to free the prince—and herself. Simultaneous eBook.Review by Publisher Summary 2
An Instant Indie Bestseller! Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and The Cruel Prince.Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him. Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom. Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose. Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.