I am super excited to be hosting a spot on the Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour for Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski.
Disenchanted was previously already released as a YA and it was on my TBR as such, but since I haven’t been reading a lot of YA lately I hadn’t picked it up yet. So I was pleasantly surprised when the author announced that she is republishing the first book as an adult version, because her vision has changed and the rest of the series will also be more adult. Of course, I wanted to try that!
So check out my post and review below and make sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy of the book!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Tangled meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this Breton folklore-inspired fantasy debut brimming with wry humor, epic adventure, and an irresistible romance.
At the peak of the Breton Renaissance, Lilac Trécesson is held prisoner in her own castle after a most wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Years later, her Accession looms upon her father’s decision to abdicate, and between town riots and the noble family bent on snatching her throne, she prepares for the worst…
Until a letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to banish her curse forever.
Her heirloom dagger at the ready, Lilac embarks into Brocéliande and finds herself in the grasp of a bloodthirsty barkeep who demands her help in exchange for protection against the even deadlier forces of the woods.
She is thrust on a quest to uphold her family’s legacy—and her sovereign right to destroy it and start anew—by any means necessary. Pity the fool to underestimate the girl with subpar blade skills but the pure spite to make up for it.
This is the tale of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch who can save them both.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Disenchanted is as a cozy adult romantic dark fantasy and yes, that entire description is what drew me in. The story takes place in a world filled with magical creatures like vampires, fae, witches and ogres. Except, the relationships between humans and these magical creatures is filled with hatred and fear and so when it is discovered that the human princess, Lilac, can speak the language of these magical creatures, she is held prisoner inside her own castle to avoid that the townspeople will discover her ‘curse’ and riot. But when Lilac receives a mysterious letter from a witch claiming she can heal her curse, Lilac decides to flee and travel through the dangerous Brocéliande forest, a place where magical creatures rule, for a chance to take her throne without fear of a curse and the riots that might ensue if people found out. Along the way, she meets many of those creatures, including a brooding, dark vampire named Garin who is fighting his own curse. And throughout her travels, Lilac slowly comes to realise that maybe her curse isn’t such a curse after all…
Here’s everything I enjoyed about this story:
A story full of adventure, magical creatures and politics
It was a lot of fun to join Lilac on her adventure as she has many encounters with ogres, sirens, vampires and more and gets herself into (and out of) one problem after another. But it’s not only the world of creatures that she has to navigate, there’s also the human world and its politics, like the noble family that wants to take her throne, the noble son who wants to marry her just so he can become king, and the people who might riot once they find out she speaks the language of the creatures.
A great character arc for our sheltered princess, Lilac
There’s nothing better than great character development, and Lilac definitely grows into her own throughout her journey. From her first steps into the Brocéliande forest, where she accidentally wakes up an entire family of ogres by peeing on them because she thought they were just rocks (hilarious) until the end where she becomes more confident in herself and her ability to rule and navigate the world of humans and creatures alike.
Lots of banter and angst in the enemies-to-lovers romance
I’m a sucker for romance, and especially if it’s an angsty, broody, enemies-to-lovers type of romance. So of course I ate up all the scenes between Lilac and Garin and their banter. Garin is a vampire who is struggling with his own curse and while him and Lilac do start off on the wrong foot, they end up forced to work together and grow closer despite both of their intentions.
While I enjoyed the story overall, I do have a few nitpicks: I felt like the writing could have used some more editing as some sentences were quite heavy and confusing to read. Also, some character motivations felt a bit underdeveloped. All of this did get better towards the end, but in the beginning I was quite confused and this made the story a bit harder to get into.
Overall, I thought this was a lovely, intriguing read and though I feel like this story could be a standalone and I would still be satisfied with the story and how it ended, it is still planned to be a trilogy and I’m nevertheless also quite intrigued where the story can go in the next installments and where it will take Lilac and Garin!
Southeast Asian fantasy author with a soup addiction. Diverse medievalist and developmental editor who lives in oversized sweaters, and prefers to explore the more ominous—disenchanting, if you will—undertones of history, romance, and the arcane.
My debut, Breton Arthuriana-inspired YA Dark Fantasy DISENCHANTED, released with the Parliament Press in March 2020, and is being re-released and rebranded for the New Adult/ Adult indie market in December 2022. The rest of the trilogy will follow this updated genre rating.
Enter the giveaway for your chance to win a signed copy of Disenchanted (open internationally). You can enter below or go the following link.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the rest of the tour here.