I love re-imagined fairy tales. I love to see how authors write them, no matter how subdued or exaggerated or strange. The creativity that goes into any fairy tale re-write often puts me in awe of the author. The ideas they come up with are amazing.
Once Upon a (Stolen) Time was generously given to me in exchange for an honest review. While this story only has slight hints of an old familiar tale, I had a lot of fun looking for the modernized connections.
I connected with Myra right away because she reminded me of me. I have a huge imagination and, as an adult still love to read about castles and ancient civilizations and the stories behind them. She has this romantic (and a little naive) view of life and love that is very innocent and she has no plans to settle for less. Edward, who she sees when she looks back in time through the castle mirror, is also a romantic who wants more out of his life than following in the footsteps of his royal but brutal father. It turns out that Myra not only sees through time but also has a special connection to the castle. When she realizes that Edward can see her too, from the year 1415, her life begins to change forever.
This book is easy to fall into and once Myra enters Hue Castle for the first time, gets very interesting. There are some definite modern undertones that could be compared to Beauty and the Beast but I wouldn't go as far as to call the book a retelling. I would say however, that this story has an intriguing mystery that even at the end has yet to be completely solved. I was engaged throughout the entire story and the only element I would change is how Myra and Steve were thrown together which just didn't really fit with the quality of the rest of the story. I was disappointed to be left with a huge cliffhanger at the end but I can certainly say that I will be desperately awaiting the next book to read about what happens next.
Synopsis from Amazon:
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy video game designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.
For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.