A glittering sword and living melody.
A stolen stormestone and detestable pardon.
The war in Aslaria, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.
Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before.
You can follow Hope at https://authorhopeann.com/
So, when she announced that she was releasing the first three books + the prequel of this series in one shiny volume, I was needless-to-say enthused, and I volunteered to review the book for her.
It took me a while to get to it, and then I devoured the whole thing in a day and a half. Ish. Somewhere in there. In short, I loved it. This is the best series ever. Everyone and their dog should read it.
So, quick breakdown:
Rose of the Night: The prequel story to the Beauty and the Beast tale. This was an intriguing tale. I have an obsession with reimaginings of the Fall, and this was a pretty good one. It really fit well with the mythos of this world, and was pretty good set-up for Rose of the Oath, which followed it.
In defense of RotO, it was a stronger story and fit better with the world's mythos ... but, on the other hand, while RoP had been a breath of sweet air by following the original version of B&B, RotO ... hit more of Disney's beats. And that's one of my biggest peeves when it comes to any retelling period: retelling Disney (Disney is, itself, a retelling, and therefore copyrighted!). But it was only a few beats, so I think that I have forgiven it. Not my favorite in the collection, but it was a beautiful story.
And also the only romance.
The Song of the Sword: I love it and you can read my review for it here: http://oscarlettreviews.blogspot.com/2016/08/song-of-sword-legends-of-light-by-hope.html
Shadows of Hearsweald: Now this was an interesting story, and probably, of the collection, the book that followed its fairy tale the loosest. After all, H and G (can't remember their modified names off the top of my head and I'm too tired to look them up), are older - she's already engaged, and he's had time to be an ex-soldier of Tauscher's. There's no candy house or witch to eat them ... and H and G are step-siblings - the stepmother is H's actual mother. They're also cousins, though, but I failed to catch which of the deceased parents had been siblings.
I rather liked this one, though, due to the loose approach it took to the fairy tale and how condensed the story world was ... there were a lot of details that I didn't catch, and thus I'm confused on a lot of issues (Such as, again, whose sibling was whose in the parental department.) That said, it was a strong and powerful story of forgiveness and the Peace that can come of it.
On the whole, I'm thoroughly in love with this collection. Fairy tales + the fruit of the spirit? Wait, didn't I mention that each of the stories was centered around the various fruits? Love, Joy, Peace. Each beautifully illustrated. I loved it. Also, allegory.
I think, really, the only quibble I have with the collection (beyond those I've already mentioned) is that all four stories use the same plot twist. But they're plot twists that made sense for the tales they were telling, so ... I'll let it be. They were awesome.
Profanity: NONE - no offensive language
Sexuality: NONE - not even hinted at
Other: Quite a bit of fighting, scars, people die.