Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: Hero by Alethea Kontis

  Have you seen Princess Althea’s fairy tale rant, yet?

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Publisher: Harcourt Books
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Genre: YA Fairy Tale
Source: ARC from Author
Challenge(s): Sequels, Fairy Tale, NetGalley

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world.

Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?"

As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

I approached Hero with low expectations, only because there was no way it could possibly measure up to the genius that is Enchanted. Just goes to show that I don’t know everything, because Hero was equally, if not more compelling and enchanting than Enchanted. Something about Saturday’s story just touched me in a way that Enchanted wasn’t able to, and that made my experience reading this book even more powerful.

Saturday herself was an amazing character. The contrast between her and Sunday is enormous, and not just in height. I have to admit I didn’t pay much attention to Saturday in Enchanted, and now I’m wanting to go back because she is such an interesting character. She’s the oddball of the family, with her strength and lack of magical ability, but she doesn’t let that stop her.

Gender roles are challenged, but in a very skillful manner. Saturday doesn’t worry about settling down. She has adventures to embark on! She's independent and doesn’t spend her time worrying about boys, which is something we need with the weak, bland heroines that are all over YA.*glares at Twilight* That being said, there is still romance fully present in the story, but it isn’t the focal point of the novel. And more than the actual romance, time is spent focusing on the companionship between the two, which made their more romantic moments that much more genuine.

And now to the meat of the novel: the plot! I absolutely loved it. Right off the bat there’s a ton of excitement in the air. And that’s just the start! Sometimes it seemed like there was maybe even too much happening at once, but then things would calm down for just a moment so we as readers could sort things out and catch a breath before the next adventure. It takes skill to create such a powerful, exhilarating, and beautiful novel, and for that I applaud Alethea!

Despite the lack of a basis in any one particular fairy tale, the whole feeling of the novel was that which lies in the dusty fairy tale collection you grew up with; a mixture of familiarity and knowing to expect the unexpected as you embark on an all new journey. It’s a feeling that never gets old.

3 comments:

  1. I think I'm going to like this book even more than Enchanted, because I really like the sound of Saturday. :D

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooh! I'm so excited to read this one now! I can't wait! It's gonna be fantastic! Great review, by the way.

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  3. It surprises me that you had low expectations for this one! I'm way excited for it! Saturday really caught my attention in Enchanted. It is funny how different things stand out to different people. Great review!

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