Macmillan Audio. Aug. 2023. 3:43 hrs. ISBN 9781250900944. $10.99. FANTASY
Kingfisher (Nettle & Bone) returns with a ruthless Sleeping Beauty retelling—the young princess, Fayette, is asleep because she’s dangerous. The traditional fairy gift at Fayette’s birth is twisted, leaving the royal family with a devilish daughter and a meek fairy changeling, Toadling, who tries her best to fix the problem. Left for hundreds of years protecting the tower, Toadling resists the meddlesome knight’s insistence on exploring the keep, yet in this topsy-turvy world, the unexpected denouement can still deliver a happy-enough ending. Narrator Jennifer Blom adopts a gentle, almost ethereal tone to voice the action of this Grimm-like fairy tale. Subtle voice variations are used for the handful of characters, and Blom compellingly vocalizes the intensity of the novella.
VERDICT With a running time of fewer than four hours, this is perfect for short road trips. Recommend to faerie and folk tale fans who enjoyed Seanan McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series or Kell Woods’s After the Forest.
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