The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales #2) (DNF)

Title: The Stillness of the Sky
Series: Flipped Fairy Tales
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Added: August 16, 2017
Date Started: November 21, 2018
Date DNF: November 23, 2018
Reading Duration: 2 days
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tales (Retellings), Romance, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton (Flipped Fairy Tales)Pages: 322
Publication Date: January 7, 2015
Publisher: Self
Media: eBook/Kindle

Once upon a time, my life was certain: it was insignificant, and it was cruel. But I refused to let it define me, no matter how great the cost.

Once upon a time, I made a wish. The world I knew grew wider than the sky and higher than the stars, and I listened to the voice within me, reaching out for freedom.

Once upon a time, my wish became my fate, and my destiny the hardest lesson to learn: kindness may be the most difficult path, but it can save entire kingdoms.

This is a “Jack and the Beanstalk with a different gender retelling,” which has never been one of my favorite fairytales.  I don’t hate it, but I could never be completely on Jack’s side.  I mean he did break into someone’s house and steal their shit so why wouldn’t the giant be angry about that?

As with most fairytale MC’s the mother is absent, though this time not dead.  She left when Jack was younger, leaving her with an abusive and alcoholic father, though apparently this was by Jack’s own choice, because if she’d gone with her “who would’ve taken care of the animals” 🙄.  Of course there needs to be a catalyst for a story (had Jack gone with her mother there wouldn’t be a plot), and I think Huchton is trying to say it wasn’t that the mother didn’t want her, but rather Jack made her own (poor) choices, but it’s pretty infuriating.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

A Court of Thorns and Roses


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Series Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: November 19, 2016
Date Finished: January 22, 2017
Reading Duration: 64 days
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Pages: 416
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Media: Paperback

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

When I first started this novel, I was immediately hooked by Ms. Maas’s compelling writing style.  Each chapter ended in such a way to nearly force you to read the next, and I devoured the initial offerings in a very short amount of time.  The realm of fairy and the human world were starkly delineated, though the former and far more powerful High Fae were a constant threat to humanity held at minimal bay only by an oft mentioned treaty.

I’m beginning to hate this phrase now, but Feyre is (initially at least) a great example of a “strong, female character,” the sole provider for her broken and impoverished family that she’s sworn to care for based on a promise she made to her now deceased mother.  Her father was severely injured by his debtors, and her sisters  are far too softly raised to do what she does, though I was impressed by how Maas threw me for a loop with her one, Nesta’s, true nature.

It’s not quite accurate to say that things go awry after Feyre kills he wolf, because subsisting hand to mouth in a run down cottage is not exactly prime living, but Tamlin taking her away means that Feyre’s family has lost their only means of survival, and the 19 year old huntress is now supposedly forsworn.  The lord of the Spring Court; however, eventually assures her that her father and sisters are now well provided for, relieving Feyre of both her vow and life’s burden in addition to allowing the young woman time and opportunity to pursue the painting endeavors she so loves.

Despite using the name “Tamlin,” Thorns and Roses has more of a Beauty and the Beast vibe to it rather than the fore mentioned.  Though Tam isn’t trapped in beast form, there is a nefarious spell laid upon his Court and its people that only Feyre can break.

Unfortunately, Maas’s exceptional writing cannot make up for certain lacks.  In Chapter 18 out of the blue, Feyre suddenly ceases her rampant hatred for Tamlin in the rose garden and is suddenly attracted to him.  There was no build up to this (that I could see) in any of the chapters before.  The enemies to lovers trope can be a beast to pull off, because it’s so common, but generally you have one if not both parties torn between their physical attraction against rampant hatred or mistrust of the other.  Then when the person does something that flies in the face of hatred/mistrust, the other begins to see them in a new light, bolstered by their already established attraction.  Or you do it as a slow, gradual change of heart.  It’s so quick in this story it comes off as unauthentic.  It makes Tamlin *spoiler* sending her home in Chapter 27 *end spoiler* so no one will hurt her due to what she means to him have less of an impact, because it really hasn’t been shown.

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