Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Illustrator: Lisa Perrin
Publisher: Harper Collins
In this creative retelling of the beloved fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora has a sister, Isabelle, who is the illegitimate child of her father the king and Aurora’s closest friend. In addition, the fairies who provide the gifts of grace and beauty to baby princess Aurora also take something from her and her sister as well: from Aurora, her sense of touch and her voice, and from Isabelle, her sight. The fairy who curses Aurora also has a sister, who, unbeknownst to the rest of the kingdom, used her powers to create an alternate world, which Aurora accesses when she pricks her finger on a magical, hidden spindle. As sleep descends upon Aurora’s kingdom, she is thrown into this alternate world, where she meets the intriguing Prince Heath. Together, Heath and Aurora work to save both kingdoms from the mistakes and attacks of the fairy’s magic while Isabelle and her dashing friend help on the other side. The book ends at an exciting cliff-hanger in this imaginative and exciting two-book series.
The author of Spindle Fire is an award-winning poet and her literary skills are evident in this story. Beautiful prose spins together this already engaging story line and makes the book hard to put down. Like many YA novels, the romance is predictable and sometimes exaggerated. Additionally, the plot line is fairly complex and therefore can be a little difficult to follow. However, fact that the two main characters live with significant disabilities sets this book apart. Hillyer gives a knowledgeable and well-researched depiction of the difficulties that the sisters face as they deal with challenges such as no voice or no sight as well as the positive character traits that have come from them adds. This level of depth and realism to the novel is valuable to all readers.
*Contains minor violence