Author: Shonna Slayton
Genre: YA Fairytale Retelling
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.
One of my favorite thing about Shonna Slayton is her ability to flawlessly weave historical fiction with fairytales. This was just as much historical fiction as it was a fairytale
Briar Rose is a spinner girl, trying to keep her family together. But her 17th birthday is looming, and she still doesn't have a solution. That is, until a mysterious peddler offers her the most beautiful spindle she has ever seen. I thought the industrial revolution was a great (albeit obvious) setting for this story. We got to see a lot of the inner workings of having to work in a factory in this time period, and all the troubles that went along with that.
I actually really loved the female friendships in this one, and how they were a pretty big part of the story. We got to see the little parts of their day, like going to suffrage meetings and boarding together and working. I also loved how important family was, as Briar is doing all she can to keep her family together. In fact, the first half of this story had hardly anything to do with magic at all, instead being about, well, Briar, and I enjoyed that. There may have been a little too much Wheeler, but I like how that was handled, as Briar comes to her own decisions about her life and what she wants.
The beginning and middle lagged a bit, and I felt the ending was too crammed with all the things left. But I liked this story, and the weaving of history and magic together to make a unique and interesting story.