First of all, this is not a retelling.
This is an original epic fantasy tale, in which the characters aren't your stereotyped Disney tropes.
Also, and this comes from someone who is more used to reading the actual retelling's, than the original fairy tales, you should probably read Perrault's tale of The Sleeping Beauty In The Wood (which helps establishing the story's background), and even this tale by Giambattista Basile "Sun, Moon, and Talia" (tw for rape).
Trust me, this will help into the right "mood" for this tale. It also explains certain things that at the beginning may take a little to getting used to it. Like why Sleeping Beauty lives the way she does, and why apparently she doesn't even have another name other than her moniker.
This ends up being another of those ya novels who contrary to its targeted audience, I believe will be more appreciated by those of us who are a little older. Readers who want to be surprised. Basically people who won't stay in shock after getting an inkling that not all fairy tales get happy endings.
Now, on to the actual tale...
For me it was the only part of the novel in which I had trouble getting into it...basically because I was still trying to come to terms with what I was reading.
That explains why my initial reading experience may have gone somewhat like this:
_What? _Who? _But why? _Where are her parents? _Stephen? _Ogre?
WHAT IS GOING ON?
Yes, it wasn't all smooth in this fantastical adventure...but I've had from experience: The books whose beginnings I sometimes have trouble getting into it, are the ones I normally love!
They're different. And they challenge our preconceived ideas. That is why I feel that reading those original nightmarish fairy tales, made the difference between loving this or maybe dnf it.
Did you like them?
Yes, throughout most of the story...
And what about the beginning?
Well...I never suspected they would be so amazing! ;)
First of all I have a tender spot for tales in which the girl walks around disguised as a guy. Blame it on my adolescence love for the Italian series Cave of The Golden Rose. *shrugs*
Then there was Ror and Nikklas who had such a dynamic and interesting relationship (they were always bickering), that it was impossible not to love them.
Their banter, and hilarious sense of humour, made it possible for me to enjoy a book in which the characters walk a lot...while trying to get to the end of their quest.
I normally hate those type of books...the type in which the characters, walk and walk,...and walk an walk, you know?
And then do boring things while encountering various mythical beings... *don't kill me!*
THIS WASN'T LIKE THOSE BOOKS!
The pages flew (well...you know..) without notice, and I just loved it all! The adventure, the getting to know one another part, the friendship between those two.
Oh, and the part in which we get a little info about other "fairy tale" characters?
It left me hoping that there will more tales from this land, maybe told from Rapunzel or even Little Red Riding Hood pov's.
Oh, and before I forget it, let me just say that the idea of having Nikklas walk around under a certain curse was brilliant.
In the end, the only thing that I wish had been done differently, is that we might have "had" more info about the bad guys: The ogres. And I would've especially liked to have seen a certain "change" in relation to a "certain" character taking place, instead of feeling that it happened a little too sudden.
It was so CUTE!
The characters were that cute, and it was never too much, or cloying, or annoying.
And then it became heartbreaking :( and I was sure I would be crying buckets! o_O
Thankfully it all ______ __________ ___ _____ __________!
(can't say! It would be spoilerish! ;)