“It’s Zinnia Gray’s twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it’s the last birthday she’ll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no-one has lived past twenty-one. _
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia’s last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.” – Amazon
I first discovered Alix E. Harrow when I was blown away by her debut novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which is a love story to book lovers everywhere. Then came
The Once and Future Witches, which was another intricate tale woven with feminism, history, and hope. So when I saw that Harrow was starting a new series that began with my favorite fairy tale, I knew I was in for a treat. And once again, she did not disappoint!
As with fashion, there’s nothing really new in fiction and it’s all been done before, but how an author puts their spin on a story will determine its staying power. Sure the multiverse has been around for years and other authors have similar narratives of the princess wanting to change her fate or fairy tales being reimagined, but Harrow’s A Spindle Slintered seems timely and timeless all at once.
She includes industrial mismanagement that affects people’s health, GLBTQA issues, #metoo, feminism, and so much more into this short story, but it never feels preachy. It is what it is, many people deal with it daily, and the main character(s) have decided they want it to change… and that change will begin with them. I think since it was a novella and not a 300 page book worked in its favor because the topics were dealt with efficiently while still giving the reader a fantastic story.
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