Series: Ravenspire #2
Published by Balzer + Bray on 2017-02-14
Length: 423 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf
Reading Challenges: 2022 Backlist Reader Challenge, 2022 Beat the Backlist, 2022 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
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.
An interesting spin on Rumpelstiltskin and a sweet budding romance all wrapped in one pretty package! The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine is the second book in her standalone fantasy series Ravenspire. Each book retells a classic fairy tale, set in the same world with brief mentions of previous characters so it can truly be enjoyed without reading book one. Bargains with the Fae always come with a price as Thad Glavan learns when he wishes for the safety of his sister and receives a kingdom in return.
Arianna Glavan and her twin brother are the bastard children of the king of Súndraille, never meant to rule. When he, his wife and legitimate heir die of illness, Ari and Thad find themselves back in the castle, Thad as the new king and Ari a crowned princess. The shift from peasant to princess is hard for Ari. She struggles with the change in roles and relies heavily on her brother for help. But he is keeping a secret, his soul is forfeit to the Wish Granter in ten years time and she will be named as his heir. To save her brother and her kingdom, Ari has to find the courage and strength she didn’t know she had.
I love Ari! She is not at all your typical princess in looks or attitude. She’s got a full figure, loves to bake and eat, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Her loyalty to her brother and friends is endearing. It also bolsters her actions. I love how she befriends Sebastian, the new and quite young weapon’s master. Ari treats everyone the same, no matter their class.
Sebastian is a beautifully broken character. Having spent his childhood in the slums with an abusive father, he is determined to be the opposite of what people expect of him. He doesn’t like to be touched, he’s skittish in a way that I haven’t seen in a character before. I like how Redwine handles this with care. She shows his emotions through his actions/reactions to others and walks us through his broken thought process. My heart ached for him, and I loved how Ari is able to read him in such a short time.
The Wish Granter himself is a phenomenal character. He is one of those morally gray villains that you hate to love or love to hate. Going by the name Alistair Teague, he has set up a sort of mob-like atmosphere in Kosim Thallis, where Sebastian is from. He makes the rules, and no one dares to break them. He grants wishes to those that are desperate and in return takes their souls. He is truly horrific, but (and you knew that was coming) his reasoning for doing so is heartbreaking.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Wish Granter. Ari and Sebastian are so easy to root for. Their romance is made sweeter by the friendship that starts it. The details to the story, the urgency of saving Thad from his fate, and the Wish Granter himself add a haunting beauty. I love Redwine’s twist on Rumpelstiltskin. She humanized him, making him relatable. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings and fantasy romance, I highly recommend this one.
This month’s theme is “Fairy Tale,” and I knew exactly which book I wanted to read when I saw it. The Wish Granter has been on my TBR since I finished The Shadow Queen, but somehow got pushed aside and lost in the never-ending pile. I’m so glad I made time to read it this month. It reminded me of how much I love this world and Redwine’s writing style. I can’t wait to continue reading the series. Highly recommend it!