Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 with 9 comments
Title: A Wicked Thing
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing, book #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining 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.

I'm on a roll with fairy tale retellings lately! This one isn't my favorite -- it's not even based on my favorite tale -- but I loved how this retelling turns the original on its head. The Disney version of Sleeping Beauty would have us believe that the happily ever after begins with the kiss, but A Wicked Thing explores how Aurora might feel at being awakened from a long slumber by a handsome prince and finding her entire world has changed.

I think the aspect I appreciated the most in this story was Aurora's characterization. She is not the damsel-in-distress we've been led to believe. Aurora wakes up from a hundred year slumber, unaware of how long she's been asleep or that she's essentially alone in the world. And yet, she refuses to accept that her only choice is to marry the handsome prince who awoke her, even if his family and their subjects all believe that her waking and subsequent marriage to the prince who made it happen is what will save the kingdom.

For a story that starts with a kiss, there was a distinct lack of actual romance in the book. There are actually three would-be suitors in the story, but of them all, I preferred the one that Aurora probably found the most vile. I just love a helpful rogue...sue me. Of the other two, one is the sweet but guileless Prince Rodric who awoke her from her slumber and the other is an acquaintance she made in secret outside of the castle. Two of the three presume to use Aurora for their own purposes, though there may be real feelings involved. It's hard to tell so early in the game. The other is simply a good friend and wishes to do whatever is necessary to save the kingdom from its current blight. I liked and despised one and all at least once at some point throughout the story.

When I started this novel, I'd seen nothing indicating that this would be a series. That always irks me a bit, to be reading and getting closer and closer to the end of the novel and still see no resolution in sight. But, with this novel, I didn't mind quite as much because of Aurora's considerable growth as a character over the course of the book. She wakes up, and instead of resigning herself to the role set before her, she questions the future of the kingdom at the hands of the current king. Aurora wants her kingdom to return to the magnificence she knew before the curse struck, and she knows that she must trust her heart in order to make it so. She is good at heart, but Aurora must make some hard decisions in order to ensure the safety of her kingdom in the future.

A Wicked Thing started off slow. Okay, painfully slow, with Aurora cowing to her kingdom's current rulers at first and walking around for the first third of the book in complete indecision. But I'm glad I forged through that because seeing Aurora break free of that damsel-in-distress façade was worth it. This story is not the uplifting, romantic story from your childhood. It's tragic and sad in equal parts, but Aurora's determination to set things right left me hopeful. And her story is only going to get more interesting now that she's taking charge of her future.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.

Find Rhiannon:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Tumblr


  1. good to have a warning about a slow start. If its worth it I can get though it and it does sound like its worth it. Sleeping beauty is one of my faves too. I am so excited to read this book and I am glad to see you loved it.

  2. Thanks for saying something about the slow pace; now I know to have more patience with the book. Sleeping Beauty isn't my favprite fairytale, but knowing that it deviates from the original is great. Plus I really want to meet that rogue love interest ;) Great review!

    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms.

  3. I didn't like this one as much, but I thought it was okay. The weird "romance" kind of bothered me, because there was so much going on, and not enough at all (in terms of the romance). Like, there are too many prospective love interests lol. BUT, I thought the characterization was pretty distinct as well. So glad you enjoyed this one, Jen!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  4. This sounds like it might be worth the slow start. I'll have to add it to my TBR!

  5. I'm so happy you ended up enjoying this Jen! I have it started but haven't made it very far yet. This encourages me to pick it up again. Great review!

  6. I really like this version of a fairy tale retelling. I've always imagined what kind of life they would live after the HEA. Is it really a happily ever after? Definitely something I want to read so badly!

  7. I'm always looking out for fairy tale retellings - especially ones that turn the traditional story on its head!

  8. Great review! I wasn't sure whether to read it or not, but your review convinced me otherwise (:

  9. I love original fairytale retellings, but I hate slow beginnings. So torn whether to read this book or not! But anyway, great review! :)
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...