by Tia Nevitt
Pros: great characterization, interesting premise
Cons: short (I would have loved more description), simplistic writing
This is a novel being published by Carina Press. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, it's a new branch of Harlequin Enterprises specializing in digital books (as in, there won't necessarily ever be a print version of the books published by them). The books are sold non-DRM protected, for reasonable prices.
I got a copy of The Sevenfold Spell via Netgalley, for review purposes. The book came out on September 27th for the extremely low price of $2.99 US. The price is less surprising when you take into account the fact that the book is only 97 pages.
The premise was intriguing so I decided to give it a read. The story begins with all spinning wheels in this unnamed country being destroyed. A curse has been laid on the princess that when she turns 16 she will prick her finger on one and die. Another fairy mitigates the curse so that she will simply fall asleep but the royal family is determined that this event never occur. At no point do they consider the hardships this will cause those who have no other means of income than spinning thread.
Enter Talia and her mother, spinsters who find themselves living off of money Talia saved up for her dowry. With her prospects ruined, her only suitor's father has decided to send the boy to a monastery rather than have them wed.
Talia enjoys a few weeks of pleasure with him before he leaves, ruining her reputation and awakening her desires.
The book isn't quite a romance, nor is it erotica (though is has a few quick, explicit scenes), nor is it fantasy (though there are fairies). It's a fairy tale, from the point of view of someone who doesn't have a fairy godmother.
While there's little description in the novel, Talia is a well realized character. Her motivations are sound, even when she makes 'bad' choices. She experiences true growth in the novel, and gives one potential lover, Andrew, some good advice. And, being based on fairy tales, despite how bleak things become, it does have a happy ending.
Ultimately, it's a quick, entertaining read. Talia's a great character and Tia's interpretation of Sleeping Beauty is good.