Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: February 24, 2014
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding remaining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after. One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale. Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run. Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before."We all know the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, but what if Aurora woke up from her long sleep to find that things in her kingdom have gone downhill and she actually isn't very happy. That's what happens in this Sleeping Beauty retelling that puts a twist on the classic fairy tale. Aurora, who was woken up by Prince Rodric's kiss, should have been overwhelmed with joy to meet her true love. But that's not the case. She isn't instantly in love with Prince Rodric and on top of it, her kingdom is in a state of discontent. The current king and queen are basically using Prince Rodric and Aurora for their purposes and Aurora comes to find that the current king is horrible. The citizens of the kingdom are upset and rebellions are on the rise, but the king and queen hope that Aurora's awakening and longed for return will bring peace to the kingdom. The queen wants her to look pretty and keep her ideas to herself; after all, she is going to be marrying Prince Rodric shortly, but Aurora wants more. She doesn't want to be someone's pawn and she finds ways to escape the castle at night and in turn, meets some interesting people that question her loyalty to the current ruling family. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas is a captivating retelling of a classic fairy tale and an entertaining debut.
Aurora is a frustrating character in A Wicked Thing. She wants to challenge her position in the kingdom and not simply be used, but she often doesn't do anything about it. This was troublesome for me. I did pity her from time to time, because she woke up one hundred years later to a world that was unfamiliar to her and a world that doesn't include any of her family members as they are long dead. This was definitely hard for her to overcome. Despite that, I wanted Aurora to have a bit more "cojones" if you will and finally by the end of the book she does grow a pair.
Her relationship with Prince Rodric was tedious. I mean he is a harmless character and seems like an all-around nice guy, but he just didn't do it for me and apparently not for Aurora either. He allows his parents to use him as a chess piece in a bigger game of power and I found this to be a major turnoff. He is resigned to the fact that this is the way things are; however, he does express a desire to change things and be more, do more. Thankfully, by the end of A Wicked Thing, I was feeling a little bit better about him.
When Aurora escapes from the castle at night to visit the town, she does meet a new friend, Tristan, who she starts to develop feelings for. He is definitely not who he seems and has a complex past. His interests aren't just in working at the pub; he is definitely capable of much more and these interests will clash severely with Aurora's current situation at the castle. Needless to say, they have a bit of a star-crossed lovers moment. Despite their attraction, I can't say I was entirely rooting for Tristan and Aurora. I was leaning towards another confidant and mysterious royal foreigner at court and quite simply, I was rooting for Aurora herself. I wanted Aurora to spread her wings and fly in A Wicked Thing.
Also, readers can expect a bit of magic in A Wicked Thing and even a "bad" witch; after all, Aurora is in the situation she is in thanks to an evil witch and a curse.
A Wicked Thing got me thinking about fairy tales and the whole "what if" factor. I thought Thomas did a nice job bringing that whole question to life. What if Aurora wasn't happy when she woke up or what she wasn't that into the prince who brought her back to life? This whole concept is a fresh take on Sleeping Beauty and a retelling that I enjoyed. I plan to check out book two, which comes out next year, with the hopes that Aurora grows into a confidant young women who is the hero of her own fairy tale.