A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale… Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse.
At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.
Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late. If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.
***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Evernight Teen
I love retellings. When I saw this was Princess and the Pea, I was super stoked because most of the time, retellings in YA are a little too Disney-centric when it comes to picking out their fairytale characters. Emerald Bound is a fascinating retelling that combines magic, fairytale elements, physics, and is so unexpected that you can’t help but be impressed.
The premise is wicked cool. The unique pairing of science with fantasy adds a believable twist to every outlandish turn. There are some points that, because science, seem fairly plausible and that in itself is enough reason to check this out.
The story flips between two POVs and two time periods, Lindy and Maggie, the 1600s and the present, respectively. The back story of the warring kingdoms and the poverty that makes the citizens of these small cities in Sweden desperate enough to take on sinister magic is developed and complex. It transported me to a whole different world, letting off that enchanting and semi-historical vibe of a good fairytale.
Some elements were a little predictable. And occasionally, the switch to the past was distracting, jarring, and knocked the pace down a notch.
Characters were developed and complex. The interactions were spot on. Maggie and her friends, that intro scene was intriguing, sucked you in, and was super playful.
Lindy’s POVs are full of melancholy, regret, and fierce determination. She loathes her past and how she let the sense of hopelessness consume her. She’s a complicated character whose past is as rich and dark as her present.
Maggie does some seriously ridiculous stuff. You’ll want to shake some sense into her for some of her choices. She does not think things through, but there’s something endearing about her clumsy, semi-spastic ways. Maggie’s loyalty and heart are relatable and attractive as a heroine.
The romance was cute, playful, and though a tad fast (almost instalove but without the intensity), fits with the story. It is a fairytale after all.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this: