Monday, April 24, 2017

#Monday Review - The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine #YALit #Fantasy @cjredwine @BalzerandBray

Series: Ravenspire # 2
Format: Ebook, 432 pages
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Edelweiss 
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague, who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.
So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.
But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul. 

"He'll grant you the deepest desire of your heart, but in ten years he'll return for your soul." 

The Wish Granter is the second installment in author C.J. Redwine's Ravenspire series, and an interesting twist on a German fairy tale called RumpelstiltskinThe Wish Granter's key characters are Princess Arianna, Sebastian Vaughn, and Alistair Teague, aka the villain aka The Wish Granter. Arianna and Vaughn are thrown together to face off against a man who grants your hearts desire, and then comes back to collect your soul in (10) years. There is no getting out of the bargain you make with Teague. If you try, he will find a way to may you pay.

Arianna and her brother Prince Thaddeus are the bastard twins of the King of Súndraille. After the Queen gives birth to a son, they find themselves being hunted by the Queen's hunters who wants them dead. After their mother is killed, Thaddeus one desire is to make sure that Arianna is safe no matter what. So, in doing what's, he makes a wish and a deal with Teague. (3) weeks later, the Royal family is suddenly dead, and Thaddeus is King of Súndraille, while Arianna, who describes herself  as curvaceous, which terms means she has some meat on her bones, becomes a Princess who is expected to act way beyond what she was born into.

But, in making his wish, Thaddeus is manipulated to the point where he is a King with no real standing. Nobody really trusts Thad. They question whether or not he had anything to do with the Royal families demise. Nobody except for his own sister who finds out about the wish, and Teague, and makes her plans to help Thaddeus break is agreement without losing his soul in the process. Teague now has an in towards all of the (7) Kingdoms that make up this world. Teague is also a Fae who has been living off the high horse for 200 years. He knows everything there is about tricking people into doing what he wants them to do.

I really liked Arianna. I liked that she considers herself a bit on the chunky side. I loved that she is eager to bake, and have fun, as well as find a way to defeat Teague which leads to some interesting twists and surprises. I love that she isn't just thrust into the spotlight, and becomes everyone's darling Princess. I love her connection to her best friend Cleo, and Mama Eleni. Ari is really good at baking, and numbers, and no so good at handling weapons, which makes Sebastian all that more important in the general scheme of things.

Sebastian is a character who knows a thing or two about living in squalor, having a father who is brutal, a mother who is addicted, and losing a brother thanks to Teague's business dealings. He becomes the King's weapon's master where he meets Arianna. Sebastian is a man of little words, but enough experience to understand Arianna's goals. Sebastian is curious about Arianna's request to make certain weapons. He becomes caught up in her desire to help find a way to defeat Teague and break his hold over her brother, and the kingdom of  Súndraille which has seen a dramatic uptick in violence.

The Wish Granter is told in the third person narrative rotating between Ari, Sebastian, and of course, Teague who really is a twisted sort of villain. You can call this a retelling, if you like. Or, you can say that the author made her own tale of a man who grants wishes, and takes souls without any reservation or hesitation. Even though it's not like the original story, Redwine still manages to write about fascinating characters, and twisted villains who face off against those who are more than up to the task of winning. I am all in regarding the romance. It is rather sweet, and yes I know that I normally don't use that word. The romance doesn't hinder the story. It enhances it, and makes it more intriguing to know that two characters can find a way to find chemistry when things are not exactly copacetic. 

While The Wish Granter may be the second installment in Ravenspire series, it is actually a standalone within the series itself. 

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