Once Upon a Time…
In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he'll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king's eyes are turned by his daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.
She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighboring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.
Purchase Link: Amazon
Trigger Warning: Rape Scene
I did not enjoy the fixation on the sensitive material at the beginning. I think it was made obvious from the the back cover to the first page on what was going to happen. I didn't like the build up to the rape scene lasting multiple chapters making you feel just as caged as the Princess did waiting for the inevitable plot point.
Aurelia kept making comments that she was scared her father was starting to pay more attention towards her which built up my anger to why no one did anything sooner. The maid made comments, the attendants were spreading gossip, and the rumors were there. I know each little thing throughout those chapters were used and built the rest of the story up, but it's never fun to spend that much time reading about such a horrific, tragic event.
Once, the escape happened the book turned completely around. There was magic, mystery, love, and trust that all grew into a fantastic fantasy fairy tale. I blushed, my trust blossomed, and my heart melted through the rest of the story. It was almost too sweet to handle, how charming, patient, and observant the prince was. I have numerous quotes below I fell in love with. I was a little confused on a few things, but I know trauma makes you have weird fascination and obsession with certain object, so I let it be. I thought it was weird that she became almost dependent on her fathers gifts and instead of finding them revolting and leaving them behind she clung to them.
If it wasn't for the first two paragraphs of my review this would have gotten a solid four stars, but averaging the twisted, unsettling, lengthy first piece with the magical second I'd have to give this three stars. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but it was a great conversation piece and I don't regret reading it. It will definitely be one that resonates long after reading it.
"You're lucky," the prince said with another smile. "How fortunate for you. Not many get to enjoy the escape books can provide."
"Did you really climb down from your window?" He pointed in the distant direction of my window and turned back to gaze at me questionably. I felt my cheeks begin to warm as I clutched tightly to the flowers in my hand. "Y-Yes. I wanted some fresh air." "We do have doors here, Allerleirauh."
"There are things in our lives we cannot control, but within those times, there are simple timeless moments, when we should remember the joy we found in a smile, a word, a gesture..."
I thought this was funny just because I never did say her name the same twice having no idea how to say it: "We should call you, Allerleirauh," Myriah said as she came to stand in front of me. "Allerleirauh?" I asked, tilting my chin as I lifted the hood over my head. It was a word that oddly rolled off the tip of my tongue.