Review of Fallen by Ann Hunter

Crowns of Twelve Book 3
By Ann Hunter

Star Rating: 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 253

Date Started: November 19th 2015
Date Finished: December 3, 2015

Synopsis:(From Amazon)
One prince. One mistake. One… chicken?
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A twisted retelling of the fairy tale, The Frog Prince, featuring your favorite villain from The Subtle Beauty & Moonlight, Sylas Mortas.

What would YOU do for love?

17-year-old Prince Sylas of Killeagh wants what every one else wants: control over his own life. When he tries to run away from home and escape an arranged marriage, the last thing he expects is to fall in love with a robber in the woods. Hiding behind a mask, the robber girl seems to lead a life of freedom Sylas has only dreamed of. Their adventure comes to an end when the Castle Killeagh guards hunt Sylas down and he’s forced to return home. He convinces his parents to allow him to find the girl again and consider her as a candidate for marriage, but he only has until the next full moon to find her, or all bets are off.

Death has a name, and it is Crwys. As a ban sidhe, her job is to visit the great houses of The Summer Isle and keen out the living to prepare them for death. King Sionnach has far outlived his days and it is time he cross to the Unliving World. When she arrives, a young prince named Sylas intervenes and offers to go in his grandfather’s stead. This break with tradition, and selfless sacrifice, move Crwys into loving Sylas, who looks so much like a shadow from her past. But when he crosses her to be with his true love, he invokes the wrath of a woman scorned.

Rós is just a little, aura-seeing, red hen whose master believes she is chosen by the gods. Her arrival at King Sionnach’s court is insignificant to Sylas at the time, but their destinies are interwoven. Can she help Sylas save himself from the curse Crwys has planned for him? Or will he become a fallen frog prince?

In this unexpected love story, Happily Ever After may not always begin with Once Upon a Time.

**THIS BOOK CONTAINS SOME MATURE SCENES NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS.**

 
Review:
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing an honest review.  In receiving the book as such, I had not actually seen the official cover of this book until I went to grab it for today and I must say I was quite surprised!

The characterization throughout this book is straight on, with an excellent coming of age experience for Sylas, who has to learn his responsibilities as the crown prince, and not just as someone who can do whatever they want.  When Sylas finally does take up responsibilities (ones that perhaps he shouldn’t have) he finds himself locked into a complicated battle with Crwys, who is locked herself in her past and refusing to move on.  While Sylas tries to do what he thinks is just to save his kingdom from heartache and despair, he realizes that everything comes with a price.

Through about 60% of the book there is no mention of anything relating to frogs.  The story has so aptly ensnared that by the time the mention of the twisted fairy tale comes into play, there are already solid feelings in place about all of the characters thus far.  The greenness adds another dimension to the story, and the way in which it is accomplished adds depth to the addled state of mind of an aged crone.  Crwys was by far my least favourite character, and I felt no remorse in what ultimately happened to her.

There was only one particular place that I found myself not fully reading and skipping ahead, and that was one area with repetition of the same saying again and again.  While I understand why it was done, I was quite happy when it ended.

The names were somewhat of a deterrent to my overall enjoyment of the book, not because they weren’t lovely, but because with some of them I spent more time trying to figure out how to say them than truly identifying the name with the person.  Though it was a bit annoying, the names were quite pretty, and completely appropriate given the Celtic mythology seamlessly entwined with both the original story Hunter presented as well as the take on a fairy tale.

While the stories in this series are fairy tale inspired, they are also completely unique in a way that I have never really seen before and could stand on their own without any mention of fairy tales at all.

Author Bio: (from Amazon)
Multi-award winning author, Ann Hunter, is the creator of the young adult fantasy series Crowns of the Twelve (including the novels The Subtle Beauty, Moonlight, Fallen, with A Piece of Sky, Ashes, and The Rose In The Briar to follow). She likes cherry so
da with chocolate ice cream, is a mom first and a writer second, has a secret identity, and thinks the Twilight movies are cheesier than cheez whiz (which is why they are her guilty pleasure!)

She lives in a cozy Utah home with her two awesome kids and epic husband.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT HER HOMEPAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/authorannhunter

AND MAILING LIST:
http://eepurl.com/VZsFn

 

If you like this review, and the writing style of this quirky reviewer, please consider visiting and liking my Facebook author page: Lizzy March.

If you have any books you’d recommend, or that you think would fit the one I just reviewed, please feel free to leave a message in the comments below!

Thank you! 

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Review of The Subtle Beauty by Ann Hunter

Crowns of Twelve Book 1
By Ann Hunter
Star Rating: 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Number of Pages: 170

Season Read: Summer


Synopsis:(From Amazon)
A cursed prince. A vain beauty. Glory is the seventh daughter of Balthazar, High King of the Twelve Kingdoms. Glory hopes that – of all her sisters – she can escape the fate of a loveless marriage. But on the night she plans to elope with the royal falconer, her world comes crashing down: Her father announces Glory’s betrothal to Eoghan of the Blood Realm – a prince no one has ever seen. The prince is said to be a recluse, cursed and deformed by the gods for the sins of his power-hungry father. Yet when Glory is trapped in Blackthorn Keep she discovers that not everything is what she expected. An insulting gryphon, a persistent ghost, and a secret plan to usurp the prince keep Glory reeling. Can she overcome her vanity to learn that what you want isn’t necessarily what you need—and save the cursed prince?

 

Review:
The very beginning of the novel was hard to grasp, seeming unimportant and hard to get through.  Although the setting is done quite well, it seems that the Celtic vibe Hunter is aiming for is lost the further in one reads.  Once the fairy tale characters begin to appear, it becomes a bit easier to understand, and to empathize with Xander.  I actually really enjoyed our “bad guy”, Sylus, because although warned, Xander does decide to visit him anyway.  Is Sylus really the bad guy, or does he simply let others find the darkness in themselves?

Once deeper into the story, it’s hard not to care for Glory’s attempted suitor, Colin.  Poor Colin leaves his job and ventures to save Glory, so that they can live out a life they had planned, but he shifts and changes throughout the way.  When Glory is brought to Blackthorn Keep she realizes that although she wanted desperately for Colin, in the end, perhaps she is better off there.  Despite Colin’s actions in trying to save Glory, it’s hard to forget just how cruel she had originally been to him when he faces horrible consequences.  The relationship between Colin and Glory is an excellent representation of infatuation, where looks provide the sole basis of love.

I like that Glory isn’t a like-able character, but most will be able to relate to her.  She has personality, and she grows throughout the book, much like many of us do in life.  Glory learns that her father has more of an understanding and reasoning for what he does than she is aware of, and that getting everything you want isn’t the answer to happiness.

There are lots of fun fairy tale retellings hiding throughout this book, and while I don’t want to say exactly what, I will say that oh, Beauty and the Beast, but perhaps reversed.  There are more ways to be a beast than merely appearances.

If you love fairy tales, fantasy, intrigue and surprises, you definitely need to find a copy of this book!

 

Author Bio: (from Amazon)
Multi-award winning author, Ann Hunter, is the creator of the young adult fantasy series Crowns of the Twelve (including the novels The Subtle Beauty, Moonlight, Fallen, with A Piece of Sky, Ashes, and The Rose In The Briar to follow). She likes cherry so
da with chocolate ice cream, is a mom first and a writer second, has a secret identity, and thinks the Twilight movies are cheesier than cheez whiz (which is why they are her guilty pleasure!)

She lives in a cozy Utah home with her two awesome kids and epic husband.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT HER HOMEPAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/authorannhunter

AND MAILING LIST:
http://eepurl.com/VZsFn

 

If you like this review, and the writing style of this quirky reviewer, please consider visiting and liking my Facebook author page: Lizzy March.

If you have any books you’d recommend, or that you think would fit the one I just reviewed, please feel free to leave a message in the comments below!

Thank you!