I like stories when characters seem like real likeable people, and villains too. I also enjoy reading the retelling of fairytales. I have a Kindle with lots of books! I sort them by genre. One folder is called 'would read again' This book made it to that folder. Looking forward for more from this author!
A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale...
Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate.
Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.
If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend.
14+ due to adult situations
A part of me died long ago.
It was the part of me that feels, and it was Calista’s fault.
What happened tonight was nothing new—innocent victims welcomed into our home, not knowing they would never leave. I learned long ago I could not help them, so I stopped trying.
But this time something was different. This time I was awake, burning with a gut-wrenching guilt, as the next victims slept downstairs. This time I knew the victims. And they didn’t deserve what was coming.
It had always been hard for me to make friends. I’d been called loner, loser, outcast, and freak. Even still, I remembered Maggie offering to show me around when I first transferred to their school. Through her, I met Kate and Piper. The three of them were always nice to me, while other kids kept their distance and spread rumors behind my back. I told myself I didn’t care—I wasn’t like them.
But being a loner was lonely.
So tonight when I saw Maggie and her friends here, something inside me snapped. Or, perhaps it was the dead piece of me coming back to life. Now I cared desperately about what was happening in the room below mine.
But there was still nothing I could do.
Calista usually lured in victims from out of town to avoid arousing suspicion. Pregnant ones were a particular favorite—easy prey, she called them. But Maggie and her friends came here all on their own. The opportunity was too good for Calista to pass up.
Everyone thought Calista was my mother, but she wasn’t.
Back in my day, almost four centuries ago, Calista had an alternate method of luring in victims. She and her husband, Theodore, advertised for hired help with their inn. The number of parents willing to sell their daughters into a life of servitude in exchange for a forgiven debt or a clean slate was staggering.
My father was one of them.
By the time my mother found out what he’d done, it was too late. There was no escape. I was bound.
My story was well known in this land, whispered as a bedtime tale to ease children into sleep. But, just like any other story passed down through time by rumors and idle gossip, the fragment that survived was woefully incomplete. It began something like this:
There is rumored to have been (once upon a time, of course) a princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses.
That much was true, though in actuality it was only one mattress, not twenty. The pea was also real, though most would call it a precious stone—an emerald, to be precise.
The gem that sealed my fate was now in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Calista was furious when she found it missing. She thought I’d stolen it until she remembered my limits. The identity of the true thief remains unknown.
Even though the emerald is no longer in our possession, we are still bound to it, as it is bound to us. Admirers of the opulent necklace where it rests don’t understand it. Like me, the gem is a prisoner, struggling against its fate.
Even now, centuries later, I don’t understand all the details of what happened to me that night. But it began with a troubled slumber on a bed of enchanted emeralds.
Emerald Bound is a wonderfully-written debut novel by a heck of a talented and imaginative author. In the same way that West Side Story is based on Romeo and Juliet, Emerald Bound takes the concept of the classic Princess And The Pea fairy tale, and makes it into something new, modern, and fresh. As a fan of fantasy, I like to check out YA every now and then, and stories like this are why. Emerald Bound is definitely a gem worth discovering.
I really had a fun time with this story. I do most of my pleasure reading in the air, traveling for work. My requirement is that the story keep me fully engaged during the flight. This one easily fits that bill and more. Emerald Bound is a story I would enjoy reading to my kids at bedtime, or out on the backyard lawn on summer nights. Alas, my kids are now grown. But I have grandkids and this is a book I will share with them!
Emerald Bound is a reinterpretation of the Princess and the Pea. The story opens with Maggie Rhodes and her friends doing a "Spy-by" and things soon get...complicated...with Maggie finding herself trying to break a four hundred year old curse to save one of her friends. While I don't usually read YA, I enjoyed this book. It creatively builds off the fairy tale in interesting ways and despite being for a YA audience, the author's easy, flowing, writing moves forward an often complex plot with a lot of twists that adds mystery along with adventure. Although the story is plot driven, the characterization was well done and I found myself rooting for Maggie even as I stayed up way too late to see how the story would end.
I just finished a copy of this book last night, and I have to say...it was awesome!! If you enjoy fairy tales, young adult novels, magic, or books with a lot of action, I promise you will love Emerald Bound! Let's start with the story: Based on the fairly tale The Princess and the Pea, Maggie Rhodes finds herself tangled up in some crazy story about an enchanted emerald that feeds off life after her best friend goes missing. Determined to find her friend, she learns to believe the unbelievable and trust in the help of others while maximizing the full extent of her resources. This includes believing in magic and attempting to break in to the Smithsonian. Did I mention that Maggie is a perfectly ordinary 16 year old? I loved how every section of the story connects with all the others. There are no superfluous chapters or scenes that should have been cut; everything from start to finish ties together in a beautiful and comprehensive way. Emerald Bound features some really great characters. Maggie and Lindy are the two main heroes. I love Maggie because she is a normal girl who is called upon to do things that are far beyond her comfort zone. She is presented with a seemingly hopeless situation, struggles and perseveres, and eventually does amazing things. I love how relatable she is. It is inspiring to read about someone I can connect with who overcomes her trials and comes out on top. I also really love Lindy. She is a girl who has had far more than her share of struggles in life. As Maggie puts it, she's a fighter who has lost too many rounds. When Lindy sees that Maggie and her friends are in trouble, some of her fire comes back and she puts her all into ending the evil and injustice that has surrounded her for 4 centuries. Another character I love is Garon, the love interest for Maggie. I don't need to go into details, but he's awesome. Overall, this book was a serious page-turner and so fascinating. I love fairy tales and their retellings, so naturally I was going to enjoy this one. The Princess and the Pea is not a common theme for stories and I love how cleverly this adventure was put together. The writing is strong, the story is exciting, and the characters are dynamic. Now go buy a copy and enjoy your next good tale! 5 stars