Extraneous fiber rotary units, or my review of Spindle Fire

spindle fire

Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1)

By: Lexa Hillyer

Publisher: Harper Collins

Publication Date: April 11th, 2017

Format: eARC

A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.


It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

Fantasy retellings are hard. Afterall, the author’s understanding of the source material is key, to do a classic story justice. To make the story worth reading, though, the author must balance this with making the story their own. With Spindle Fire, Lexa Hillyer has done just that.

I don’t think it is a secret that this is a sleeping beauty retelling. And there are faeries that come to the birth of a child, but they don’t provide protection from, or curses involving, extraneous fiber rotary units. They tithe senses and such, and this is a story where sleeping beauty has some control over her own fate.

Our story revolves around two sisters, one who cannot speak or feel and one who is blind. I loved that they had developed their own form of communication with each other, something that was just for them. However, their disabilities do not hamper their lifestyles and they have adapted to work around them, live with them, not let them hold them back. This is especially evident with Isbe, who has learned to navigate her world, and even interact with it in dangerous ways, despite her inability to see it. I missed not becoming enveloped in how Aurora moved through her world, though, as early in the story she is transported to Sommeil and has regained use of her voice and can feel for the first time in her life.

Lexa’s writing is lovely, but I fell in love with Isbe’s story much more than I ever did Aurora’s.Her journey was more compelling and so was her romance. While both leading ladies were stuck in love triangles, Isbe’s was much more bearable: Aurora was stick in one where she got to be passive aggressive with another girl over a rather non committal hot Heath.

I really enjoyed the premise of the story, and the fact that Aurora wasn’t a passive character while her kingdom fell ill to a sleeping sickness. However, I really only enjoyed one point of view and that made the story drag. There is still room for the sequel to clear things up and shore up the story, and I’m holding out hope that it can redeem the premise’s potential.

Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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