Title: The Wish Granter
Series: Ravenspire #2
Author: C. J. Redwine
Genre: YA, Retellings, Fantasy
Published: February 14th, 2017 (Balzer + Bray)
Synopsis: The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.
So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.
But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.
The second book in the Ravenspire series brings us to the kingdom of Sundraille where the King’s illegitimate twins, Thad and Ari Glavan, have just had their lives changed in the blink of an eye. One moment, they were being pursued by the queen’s hunters who had already killed their mother, and the next, the royal family has mysteriously died, leaving Thad to take the throne. Ari soon begins to suspect that these events weren’t mere coincidence, and finds out that Thad has made a bargain with the Wish Granter Alistair Teague for her safety. But every wish comes with a price, and it is Sundraille’s people that are paying it as Teague’s criminal empire terrorizes them. Ari is determined to outwit him and recruits the weapons master Sebastian to train her even as she works to find Teague’s weakness before she loses not only her brother and Sebastian, but also her own soul.
I love that each book in the Ravenspire series can be read as a standalone, especially since this was the book that I started with. The Wish Granter is an interesting spin on the fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin. As is typical with this series, the story begins with a prologue in the style of ‘Once Upon A Time’ which narrates how a desperate Thad was tricked into making a wish, but of course, he doesn’t find out what it will truly cost him until much later.
Ari is a reluctant princess and is far from a typical one. She is a very likeable character and a unique protagonist. It’s quite wonderful how the author manages to flesh out the central characters so well in the span of a standalone, and in some cases, the side characters too! The only aspect of the story I didn’t like all that much was the romance. Sebastian as a character was, I felt, not developed enough, and I would have liked to have had more of a glimpse into his past in particular.
As you may know, there are few things I enjoy in a story more than a good villain, and Alistair Teague certainly made the mark! Reading from the his POV was a particularly nice touch, as it gives voice to Teague’s past and motives in elaborate detail, painting a picture of a crafty and dangerous villain which adds so much more depth to the story.
C. J. Redwine’s novels are always such a delight to read, and I absolutely love her narration style. Rumpelstiltskin is not a fairytale I’ve seen reimagined before, so I really enjoyed this version, since I always found this to be one of the more fascinating tales. Fans of retellings are sure to enjoy this fast paced, absorbing read, as well as the rest of the Ravenspire series.