What happens after happily ever after? That’s the premise behind Rhiannon Thomas’s clever twist on “Sleeping Beauty” in A Wicked Thing, which follows Princess Aurora after the (yes, slightly creepy) kiss that awakens her from a magical slumber.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.
Thomas tackles the less savory aspects of the “Sleeping Beauty” head-on in A Wicked Thing, starting with that magical, awakening kiss. Aurora is immediately put-off by being kissed against her will … and is even more horrified (rightly so) to learn that the kiss that awoke her was one of many kisses attempted over the 100 years she has slept.
After awakening, Thomas proves that Aurora’s story is not the fairy tale it’s been romanticized as (even within the world of the book). Aurora finds herself a pawn in a political struggle for the rule of her kingdom — all while mourning the family that died while she slept on, unaware. For much of the book, I felt as if Aurora was frustratingly passive — but when she finally “woke up” a second time, and took charge, I rooted hard for her success.
The first in a series, A Wicked Thing is in stores February 24th. I can’t wait to see where Aurora’s journey takes her next.