by Kelsey Keating
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: 1st of March 2016
Title: A Stolen Kiss
Author: Kelsey Keating
Publisher: Swanifide Publishing
Book: #1 of Stolen Royals
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Rating: 3 Voodoos
A stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.
Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria’s curse keeps her from accepting a prince’s proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn’t dare refuse.
With the help of a lady’s maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends–all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won’t be easy, but the true peril lies in the truths they’ve fought for years to keep hidden.
A Stolen Kiss is the first in the Stolen Royals Series–an adventure with magical creatures, dangerous secrets, and being true to the power within.
A Stolen Kiss is a cute and quirky retelling of The Swan Princess. From the very beginning I could tell this was going to be wonderful children’s story. It had the distinct feel of a fairy-tale but told in a more modern way. I like the medieval setting and the concept that all those fairy-tales we’ve grown up reading were the history of Opea and the surrounding countries.
As a child Maria was cursed. She would turn into a swan every night until the spell was broken with a Kiss. But somewhere along the line the Curse went wrong. She stopped turning into a swan, and Maria, not wanting to disappoint her parents (who were excited about finding a Prince to some day rule their lands) decided to pretend the Curse was still active. What she didn’t expect was to turn into a swan when her Prince finally showed up and kissed her! Now Maria, Prince Humphrey, the Stable-boy (with a secret) Derric/Daniel and Sarah her maid (and Derric’s Sister) must go in search of the woman who cursed her in the hope that she will be able to lift the squiffy-curse and free Maria.
I really enjoyed this story. I loved that there was always something happening or something to figure out and there was always someone new to meet just around the corner. This story reminded me a lot of Ella Enchanted it had a similar easy going feel to it, the idea that not everything is as you expect it to be, especially when it comes to monsters and beasts, and most importantly the idea that whatever you’re searching for is probably not what you actually need.
I had some issues at times, when I thought the story was a little basic (ie when problems were solved too quickly) but looking back at it now, I don’t think I would change any of it. I keep reminding myself that it’s aimed at Children rather than older teens and that means it can’t be too heavy or slow. I’ve seen this has been one of the issues for other reviews and I understand their irritations, but for me, while the story may not have been overly complex it still gave us some wonderful characters and a plot that tackled a myriad of classic fairy-tale issues. Love, honor, family (and not the conventional type), never judging people by their appearance or their relatives and most importantly, self-belief and it did all this whilst keeping a constant and fast pace. I think that’s quite impressive!
All in all, this was a good start to a new Children’s Fairy-tale and I will definitely be returning to this series to see what happens next!
I hope we’re going to see a lot more of Ellis. A promise is a promise after all.