Thankfully the German publisher used the same cover motive as the original book has. Only the title got changed a bit. And even with the fact in mind, that I like this cover very much and that it was, together with the summary on the back, the reason why I wanted that book in the first place, it turned out that this pick wasn´t as good as I expected it to be. Yes, sometimes you want a book because the cover is an eye-catcher and this here is no exception. But a beautiful cover isn´t a guarantee for a great story in the book itself. And this one sadly proofs it.

A Wicked Thing*
by Rhiannon Thomas
A Wicked Thing #1
Publisher Harper Teen on February 24, 2015
Genre Children 14+
Pages 352
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

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.
Aurora awakens after more than one hundred years of sleep and knows almost immediately that she isn´t in love with the prince who kissed her. For some reason, she awoke despite the fact that it had to be a handsome prince who would love her dearly. Confused and desperate to be free again she wants nothing more but to get out of her tower. But the world outside isn´t at all the way she thought. Her beloved forest is gone and her parents long dead. And the king and queen she now has to deal with are not as friendly and helpful as they seemed to be at first sight. So what is she supposed to do: follow her heart and run or stay and see what she can do to help?

Yes, I know a wonderful fairy tale was used as the plot for this book. But for me, it just wasn´t the right choice. Sorry, but a beautiful cover doesn´t mean the book is a great one. The novel started actually pretty well. Aurora seems to be very quick-witted and the dialogue is cheeky and humorous at the same time. But then after a few pages, it changes. No humor and the cheeky stuff vanished like wiped out. The novel becomes plain despite all the bloody and cruel scenes and the action that happens. And I found myself thinking when something actually will start to happen. The figures, well, I couldn´t build any connection with them. Not to mention the story itself. The writing style of Rhiannon Thomas is simple, clear, and restrained. The tone is quiet and even during the most action-filled scenes the author isn´t able to get some speed and excitement into it. 

The author took a very famous figure with Princess Aurora but couldn´t manage to bring some sort of life into her or the others. All the figures are too flat for my taste, too pale and Aurora is way too silent and hesitant. Sorry, but a beautiful cover doesn´t mean the book is a great one. I wasn´t able to build a connection with the figures in general or the main figure in particular, as sad as it sounds. There was always a distance. And besides, I am not very fond of the main character who is acting like a lamb that is on its way to the butcher. The missing connection came additional to my growing disappointment. Yes, Aurora is beautiful and yes she can see when someone plays not the right way or tries to play her. But aside that she is just a female princess who doesn´t want to make decisions, which can´t open her mouth or stand up for what she believes in. 

Sadly this is no book I can recommend with my full heart. Okay, it was kind of nice to read how the original fairy tale could have continued, but the plot and figures were not able to live up to my expectations – and they were not even high set.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release published on February 23, 2017, by Sauerländer. 

Rhiannon Thomas
Rhiannon Thomas ©Sodium Ltd

Rhiannon Thomas is an English Lit grad from Princeton University. She currently lives in York, England, in the shadow of a thirteenth-century Gothic cathedral. When she isn´t lost in YA fantasy, she writes about feminism and the media on her blog.


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