In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger.
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.
Spindle is a wonderful sequel to the Sleeping Beauty fairytale.
Sixteen year old Briarly (Briar) Rose works at the local mill in the early twentieth century. Her parents have died prior to the beginning of the book, leaving Briar to care for her three younger siblings under the supervision of ‘Nanny,’ a local woman who has taken them in, giving Briar until her seventeenth birthday to find a way to provide for all of them independently before they begin exploring alternative arrangements for her younger siblings. During the week, Briar lives in a boarding house in town, run by Miss Olive. As the story evolves, Briar comes into possession of a wooden spindle rumoured to increase production, which would in turn increase Briar’s opportunities.
The book progresses in the same manner as Sleeping Beauty, although it is very clearly not a retelling; while some characters that we meet are clearly part of the original tale – namely the good fairies and bad fairies – many others are descendants from that tale. I really enjoyed all of the characters – Briar was quite interesting, as a young woman trying to find a way to support a family she doesn’t want separated. She was surrounded by young women who are also trying to find their place in the world amidst the rise of Suffragettes and women’s rights. The fairies that we meet reminded me of the ones from the original tale while clearly having evolved over time and in response to what happen to Aurora. While I didn’t much care for Wheeler, Henry was a character that I wished we saw more of; despite being burdened by his family’s past, he’s determined to seek a new future for himself and his family. Briar’s siblings are a delight to read, and it was lovely to read about the antics of her young twin-brothers.
Spindle is a slow-building book, but the path Slayton has taken to telling the story is an interesting one. Not once did I ever feel discouraged by a lack of anticipation. The story itself builds tension right up until the end. It works beautifully as a sequel to Sleeping Beauty, answering questions that are left at the end, such as what happens next? Spindle brings the tale to it’s natural conclusion and takes readers on a wonderful ride on the way there.
I highly enjoyed this book and rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
title // Spindle
author // Shonna Slayton
publisher // Entangled: Teen
genre // Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy
publication date // October 4, 2016
format // eBook
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review from the publisher via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.