Review – A Spindle Splintered

Posted May 16, 2024 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – A Spindle Splintered

A Spindle Splintered

by Alix E. Harrow

Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 119
Series: Fractured Fairytales #1
Rating: four-stars

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.

Alix E. Harrow’s A Spindle Splintered is a delightfully meta take on Sleeping Beauty, inspired by the Spider-verse. Which makes it sound kind of gimmicky, perhaps, but it (mostly) isn’t — it’s created out of love for the story, for all the ways humans have told the story of Sleeping Beauty, and what a modern take can look like.

Being a novella, it doesn’t go super deeply into world-building or anything: the point is obviously the play with the tropes, the pure fun of summoning a space princess with a blaster gun to save a Sleeping Beauty from her fate. And it works: I tore through it, and loved Zinnia’s relationships with Charm and with her parents, and with Charm falling head over heels for Primrose.

In some ways, I liked Zinnia’s feelings toward her own narrative, the fact that she knows she’s going to die, and sometimes I wanted to tell her to just give it a rest. Which would be unfair with a real person, of course, but it isn’t always super fun to read about in fiction.

Overall, though, very enjoyable, and I’m keen to read the second novella soon too.

Rating: 4/5

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