Author: Celeste Baxendell
There is still worth in broken things.
With the end of her mourning period approaching, Princess Eirwen of Glaciar knows her time is up. Her aunt, Queen Regent Isolde, is going to strike soon, but Eirwen’s ready—as ready as one can be for their own assassination. As soon as Eirwen is out of the way, there will be nothing left to stop Isolde from taking over Glaciar.
With no allies, no plan, and a paltry amount of magic, Eirwen has no idea how she’s going to pull off a coup, but what other choice does she have?
As the youngest of seven, Prince Sterling of Idres is used to being overlooked at best and criticized at worst, but none of it bothers him. Nothing ever does. While he is generally uninterested in the world, when Princess Eirwen of Glaciar is mysteriously kidnapped, he takes notice while no one else seems to care.
However, when he discovers Snow White, the street performer who just so happens to sound a lot like the missing princess, he’s sufficiently intrigued. What is she doing in Idres, and what does it have to do with him?
[Stalks of Gold #1 Review]
With the second novel in the Bewitching Fairy Tales series, the author continues to combine different fairy tales to create their own unique story. While the first novel, Stalks of Gold, combined Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin, Mirrors of Ice is a story combining Snow White and The Snow Queen. In this series, each novel is a standalone with overlapping themes, so a reader can read one without reading the other, although they are both worth reading. One of the main characters, Prince Sterling briefly appeared in the first story and Aurelia and Sandor from the first appear in this one, which created a nice crossover within the series.
After the death of her father, Princess Eirwen of Glacier finds herself as the last obstacle in her stepmother/aunt’s plan to take over the throne. Queen Regent Isolde comes up with a plan to get rid of Eirwen when they are at a wedding in a neighboring kingdom of Astren. After a series of events, Eirwen finds herself on the run and in hiding in Idres, where she meets a familiar face, Prince Sterling, who she first met at the wedding. Prince Sterling, the youngest of seven children, has always found himself forgotten and lonely. He is drawn to Eirwen for reasons he cannot explain, at first, but he and Eirwen start to get to know each other. The two of them come together to create a plan to help Eirwen to take back her kingdom and to fix a curse along the way.
So far, I love how this author uses elements from the source material so the reader is familiar with some pieces, but the actual tales feel original. It was easy to find the pieces of each fairy tale without them feeling like carbon copies of the originals. True to form with fairy tales, there are elements of magic and morals for the characters to learn as there are themes of finding your own identity and self-worth throughout. Both Eirwen and Sterling were flawed characters, who were just trying to do what is best for those around them and not being entirely comfortable with themselves (each for different reasons). Their character growth was done very well as it felt like a natural progression and it was individual development to fit each character’s situation.
Eirwen was an easy character to root for from the very beginning, while Sterling was a little harder to love at first. However, there are reasons for his character being a certain way and everything comes together in a very well written and natural way by the time everything is revealed. There are a lot of heart-warming moments, including found family, which was well done. Sterling’s family was well done, but I just wish there was more about their relationships towards the end since it is a part of Sterling’s story.
Overall, this novel is a nice and easy read while still being interesting. Although it was a light-hearted read, there is enough depth to give the reader a sense of balance to create an excellent fairy tale story. As Isolde is the main villain, I would have liked a little more background for her character as a way to connect more with her evil side. Her motives are presented in the story, but I just would have like a little more depth. However, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story and I still greatly liked it. I cannot wait to see what fairy tales the author combines for her next addition to the series!
**I give a special thank you to Book Sprouts and the author, Celeste Baxendell, for the opportunity to read and review this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**