BOOK REVIEW: SPINDLE FIRE by LEXA HILLYER
First of all, I have no idea that Spindle Fire is a duology novel so I will make this straight, right after I finished the book I was like “That’s it?” and totally not satisfied with how it ends I haven’t read the second book yet which I heard is a direct sequel from the first book. Spindle Fire has left different and various feels in me that I have to spill them out in order for me to start a new book again.
That being said, I will be sharing thoughts and my all-out review about this book so that if you find yourself aching for YA Fantasy novel and you have come to a decision to read Lexa Hillyer’s Spindle Fire, you’ll have an idea about it though on the latter part of this review , there will be SPOILERS.
So, Spindle Fire is a retelling of the classic children fairytale, Sleeping Beauty, but only bounded by tangled twists and turns of events, so tangled that I had to leave it for a day then go back to it the next day because of Hillyer’s writing. I think being a poet has contribute to the complexity of her form of writing, you could easily notice that because poetry also took part in the entire book.
The story narrates about the journey of these two sisters, Aurora and Isabelle who shared disabilities due to tithing faeries in the event of Aurora’s christening. Basically, Aurora lacks the sense of touch and voice while Isabelle is blind. Her sense of sight was tithe by a fae named Violette. Supposedly, it was Aurora, the fae was asking for the princess sight in exchange for a magic that she has given to contradict Malfleur’s curse, the king object for he has given enough to the faeries. In that case, he took advantage of Violette’s indistinct wish, she was asking for the sight of the king’s daughter, not stating that she was talking about Aurora herself, there, he offered Isabelle’s sight to be tithed. She was the king’s illegitimate daughter but Isabelle did not let it hinder her to have a strong bond with her sister.
WHAT I ENJOYED, LIKED, LOVED or simply the GOOD THINGS on this book.
The UNEXPECTED PLOT TWISTS
I used to draw speculations every time I read a book it is one-way for me to know whether a book is predictable or not, in that way, I could easily identify if a book was well-written, has a good structure and concept or it is simply cliché. Just to inform you, I’m a sucker for incredible plot twist. I have read several plot twists that left me devastated and Spindle Fire just didn’t INSTEAD it has left me astounded. As much as I wanted to spill those unexpected plot twists, I won’t because aside from it will only spoil you, I also want you guys to read this book because the plot twists that I’m talking about will definitely keep you up till dusk.
Keep this as a hint:
reaching for each other
amid the dark tale of
two fae sisters..
One fell for a mysterious man…
‘where did you come from/”
One is torn between two lovers,
Go and unveil the faes past,
one is connected to the other…
I admire how Lexa Hillyer depicts her characters. We characterized Aurora as a sweet, innocent princess yet a little clever who roams around the palace only to prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep. In this story, it’s different. Yes, she’s still the sweet and beautiful Aurora that we got used to, it is just that Hillyer made her courageous, getting her out of the comfort zone to encounter experiences that would make her stronger. (HINT: She is no longer just a damsel in distress)
And of course, Isabelle or Isbe as what Aurora calls her is such an amazing woman. Despite of her being blind and the bastard daughter of the king, she doesn’t let it restrain her from going beyond the limits, building a strong relationship with her sister Aurora, protecting her from any odds.
The rest of the characters that you will encounter are well-characterized as well. Gilbert, Isabelle’s childhood best friend, the faeries… Trust me though some of them didn’t get to play much on the entire story they’ll still give you the picture of who they are and what role do they took part in that era.
I don’t know maybe because I love historical fiction, this kind of era hypes me up. I’m thinking Spindle Fire’s time were on 1300s because if I’m not mistaken the earliest known version of Sleeping beauty were composed between 1330 and 1344. I love the setting because it creates a beautiful and majestic imagery on my mind whenever I imagine the glamour of men and women wearing their gowns with wide petticoats; a tunic, cote or cotte with a surcoat over a linen shirt men usually used, architectural designs of palaces…I have nothing to say but SPLENDID!
Think about it, aren’t they such a pleasant picture to imagine?
The Role of Poetry in the story
I mentioned earlier that Lexa Hillyer is also a poet. I was impressed by her because she was able to relate it within her novel. She has composed several poems in this book all of which I really like but this one stands out the most, the rose lullaby as she call it in the story.
WHAT I DISLIKED, WHAT MADE ME GO ‘WHAT?’ or in other words, the CONTRARY OF GOOD THINGS that I find and notice in this book. You may now leave this review if you plan to read the book. SPOILER ALERT!
First on my list…
The “?” on some scenario.
I know that there will be a sequel on this book but I don’t understand why the author has to left some characters hanging at the end of the story? I was uncomfortable, it’s like my mind was craving for answers that were left unsaid, Hillyer could have at least gave a hint about what will happen next. AT LEAST A HINT! but no they were simply left untold, leaving its readers confused
Will Gilbert and Isabelle ever see each other again?
What about the war that Malfleur planned? That’s the purpose of her Vulture army, right? I was expecting for an intricate narration for the war that will took place because it happened already, the moment Isabelle and William reached Aurora in the tower, the war is taking place. There is no vivid picture depicted of it when in fact it is one of the most important scenarios. Why? because, (1) Gilbert is now part of Malfleur’s Vulture army, Hillyer could have used that opportunity to create a little hint for us to know that they’ve seen each other even a glimpse and on the sequel everything will be revealed to Isabelle. (2) Isabelle’s proper “Yes, I do.” to Prince William. On chapter 34, it was never stated that Isabelle clearly said ‘Yes’ to William’s proposal but it was obvious that she wanted to. So does that mean, their love story isn’t settled yet?
What happened to the unfulfilled love of Aurora and Heath?
Sommeil is a dream land created by Belcouer, Malfleur’s sister where Heath and few other people lives. Please, don’t tell me everything is all just Aurora’s dreams. I am still rooting for their story. Will they end up together? Will Heath be able to escape the dream land and join Aurora in the real world? I have a feeling that Hillyer will again come up with an incredible plot twist. I hope so.
Generally, I enjoyed reading Spindle Fire but I couldn’t say that I technically love every single thing of it. I honestly didn’t like much of her writing style. I already mentioned that I even had to abandon the book for a day in order for me to finish it due to Hillyer’s complex writing (as I call them) but it’s quite impressive to know that she was able to use her professions into it (which is Poetry, goodness! I love poetry!) But in terms of execution, it flops. I admit the way every chapter is told between one character to another is a pain on the head. There was never a time that I did not review the character’s previous chapter just for me to catch up on what’s going to happen. It is difficult to comprehend but once you spend time scrutinizing every chapter, characters, it isn’t impossible that you’ll get the entire story.
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5