Author: Brianna Sugalski
Pub. Date: March 10, 2021
Pub: Parliament House Press
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst… Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.
Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.
This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. If – for whatever reason – you haven’t picked up this book yet get on it. Between Brianna’s incredibly knack for writing and sucking you straight into the story, and Krys Janae’s narrating abilities, you’re bound to fall in love. I’m talking, signing, accents, effects…it’s got everything, and I loved it.
I can’t express enough how much I loved it.
I just want to throw the book at you, and say READ IT.
I knew that I was going to enjoy this book, it’s been on my radar for months, and when I finally got a physical copy for Christmas, I thought I was going to have the time to pick it up.
I curse work for wiping me out daily and leaving me with no energy.
So, I bet you can imagine my pure excitement when I saw on Brianna’s Instagram that the audiobook was out. I downloaded it so fast. Then when I finally started it, I didn’t want to stop listening. Unless I have like ~20 min left of a book, I usually will stop listening when I clock out.
Nope, not this book. I kept listening – on the car ride home, making dinner, sitting around messing with my phone. I didn’t want to stop listening.
I was hooked.
I was in love.
I legit love Lilac and Garin.
Lilac is so precious. A little chaotic, a bit of a mess, but so incredibly endearing. She won me over when she decided to pack an abundance of pastries over proper clothing on a long journey. Food over proper necessities.
I get it.
She cares so deeply and strongly for her people – the same people who despise her due to her curse – the ability to talk to the darkling’s of the Brocéliande Forest. But she’s not exactly equipped to go trapezing through a forest where no human dares enter, because they don’t make it out alive.
I mean, I was bound to love this before I even read it.
Lilac is wonderful, and the situations she finds herself in are kind of hysterical at times. She’s brave, but almost foolishly thought. But her determination (and sheer luck) gets her through the worst parts. And if you’re in her way, you might just want to get out of it. She’s terrified and brave and that’s a deadly combination. Nothing is stopping her, not even her fear.
I loved that we got to really see the forest, the various important places, as well as some more common ones – but not once did it feel forced, or just like it was another check mark. Lilac ends up at all of these places on her journey because she needed to be there – needed to see them.
And her journey was so important, and I loved that it kind of changed – well her reasoning changed.
Only when she’s left with no other choice, does she do what she set out to do.
Then there’s Garin, and if I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him from the first time, he opened his mouth, then I failed.
Give me a “F” because I’ll gladly fail again.
He’s not what you expect, and he does things that will shock you – especially the ending. I didn’t see that epilogue coming. Omfg, I’m so excited to see what he does next. His journey is important too, even though it’s not one he’d thought he’d go on.
He’s a vampire, morally grey, not good guy.
But he’s also soft as fuck.
It’s a nice mix.
His relationship with Lilac is pure enemies to lovers, and full of sass, back talk and banter and it’s so much fun. I enjoyed every minute of the two of them together. I was shipping them from the beginning, when Lilac was thinking of using him to basically say “fuck you” to her parents and what decorum states.
And then as time went on, I fell more in love with the two of them. Legit, Top Tier.
I can’t express just how much I love the two of them.
This book should 100% be on your radar. Brianna crafted such fun fantasy read that keeps you captivated the whole time and leaves you desperate for more. There are satisfying endings for certain characters, shocking moments for others, and just good ending overall. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, but the best kind that just leaves you slack jawed and giddy with excitement.
I know I rate with 5 stars, but 10 out of 10 highly recommend.