Book Review: Curse of the Thirteenth Fey

Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty
Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty by Jane Yolen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not particularly impressed with this book. The plot was thin, and the characters pretty good but not deep. The magic system of Shouting the fey spells was interesting, but needed more depth, history, and development. Every little section of plot was drawn out and lacked overall structure.

I suppose I expected more scope in the setting of a fairy tale, more of a journey to different fantastical lands, but the main character, Gorse, mainly stays in one location for 70% of the book, with one obstacle, one villain, and very few antagonists.

There’s almost no buildup of tension and tougher and harder obstacles as the story progresses. There’s no progression really! The plot is static. There are only two major events in the entire book.

I appreciated that Gorse is a sickly person, always prone to headaches and fevers, but still manages to be capable and resourceful and brave, despite her various maladies. That was a good character trait! However, by the end of the book, I got really tired of hearing on every other page about how her headache was worse, and then her headache was better, but then her headache came back again. Agh. That got boring really quickly.

I really liked Gorse’s relationship with her Father, both of them reading like mad in his massive library! Their whole dynamic was the best part of the book!

I got the impression that Gorse is supposed to have a close relationship with her brother Dusty, but I didn’t see that in their dialogue or anything. Dusty is just kind of …. there. He’s not much of a character, and mostly made of cardboard and pepper.

A somewhat entertaining read. I read it all the way to the end, and I didn’t hate it. I was curious enough to find out how the story ended for the characters.

The ending was really quick, and wasn’t particularly inventive or exciting. Suddenly, everything is resolved and we all go home happy, and I needed more of a denouement.

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