I am so happy I got to read this gem of a book guys! After I stared at the cover a little bit, because let's face it, it's gorgeous, and read the blurb, I knew I had to read this book and I'm happy I did.
The first thing that stands out when I think about this book is that this is a retelling with a twist. It's a gorgeous story about two people falling in love, without any kind of magic in the mix. I wasn't exactly sure how that would work, but it did, and it was a fantastic ride. What is a fairy tale retelling without magic, you ask? A historical novel set in a really dark time in history, told in such beautiful prose, that it makes it seem impossible for at least a few elements from the story to not have happened in real life. I love the attention to detail that the author had for creating the kingdom of Demrov, from the geography of it, to the historical context of the story. And I love how refreshing the author's voice was. I haven't read many Gothic novels, but if this is how most of them sound, I'll definitely delve into the genre more.
I loved Isabelle so, so much. Her story is tragic, and yet beautiful at the same time. She was willing to sacrifice her entire future for the good of her family, even if her two younger sisters are selfish brats and don't really deserve anything beyond a good time-out. Some of the things that Isabelle goes through are really painful and hard to read about, but I feel like that makes her stronger. I also like how she sees past Adam's scars, and tries to understand him, to be civil with someone who has not had that much contact with the outside world in decades.
Adam's story is the one that I loved the most. For someone to not end up a madman after seeing the horrors he experienced at a young age, that speaks of a truly strong individual. I loved his sense of duty, even if there was no one who truly knew of his existence. The saddest part of his story is that, when you think about it, some version of it might have actually happened to someone during the French Revolution, or during any revolution really. Which is another thing that Demeter did beautifully, in my opinion, making sure that in some corner of their mind, the reader knows that this story is set in that historical time.
I am absolutely in love with this book, and I am truly, truly excited for the future of this series, to see what other fairy tales the author will tackle and transform them into literary gems. This book actually reminded me that once upon a time I used to love reading historical romances. All in all, I truly hope you guys will read this book, as it is one of the best retellings I've read so far and probably will be for a long time.