I’ve heard amazing things about Alix E. Harrow’s book, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, so I was thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of her new novella, A Spindle Splintered!
This story is sort of a modern, split-world retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Zinnia Gray is a young woman with a fatal disease who likely doesn’t have much longer to live. On her 21st birthday, she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, and finds herself somewhere very unexpected. Along the way, she meets someone who’s not so different from herself.
*I received this book for free from the publisher (Tordotcom) in exchange for an honest review.
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A Spindle Splintered: My Thoughts
If you’re a fan of fairy tale retellings, especially when they share a more modern message (like taking control of your own story), then you’ll probably enjoy this!
Harrow takes the passive Disney version of Sleeping Beauty and breathes new life into it, making it much more interesting – and giving the villain a more complex story of her own, too.
While the main character, Zinnia, is in her early twenties, this story definitely felt ‘young adult’ to me (as I think it was meant to). Because of her illness, Zinnia hadn’t had as much life experience as someone her age typically would – until now.
As this is a novella, there wasn’t a ton of space for world-building, but there was enough there for it to feel well-formed. Instead, this was a highly character-driven story, which I appreciated. Sometimes, the fantasy genre can put too much emphasis on plot and not enough on character (for my taste), but fortunately that wasn’t the case here!
Overall, while I wish the story was longer, it still packs punch with a strong message and great characters. Definitely worth reading, especially for fairy tale lovers!
Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars
Release date: October 5th, 2021
Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out my list of exciting fall 2021 fiction book releases!