Author: Elana K. Arnold
Publication date: October 2, 2018
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.
However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.
Not all women want to be the damsel, not all Princes are the hero.
Damsel is a dark, twisted and haunting fairytale about a damsel who is rescued by a Prince.
Before I hope into the review I need to say that this cover is stunning and all of the images will make sense once you read it.
I really enjoyed this book, it shows the dark side of a fairytale where not everything is rainbows and butterflies, the damsel doesn’t always want to be saved and the Prince isn’t always charming. The author did an amazing job of painting the setting for this book, she was able to be descriptive enough that I felt like I was part of the story.
That ending. I’m applauding Elana K Arnold, that ending was magnificent.
The main character Ama is a damsel who was rescued by Prince Emory. She has no memory of her time before waking in Emory’s arms and is confused and doesn’t understand why she cant remember anything. Ama is inquisitive, speaks her mind, is assertive and caring, some of these qualities lands her into trouble. Can you guess which ones? Ama is on a mission to understand who she is, where she came from and what happened when Emory defeated the dragon.
Prince Emory will erase any notion of Prince Charming you might have. He’s a complete dick. He’s cocky, abusive (mentally, sexually, physically), has a God complex, he’s possessive and cruel. If you thought going into this story it would be sunshine on a rainy day or grass blowing in the wind you were very wrong. The “hero” of the story isn’t always a hero.
If I had the time I could have read this book in one sitting, it was fast paced, interesting and kept me flipping the pages. While I did figure out the plot within the first chapter, I still enjoyed the book. I liked how it took a very dark take on a fairytale and turned the charming Prince into a monster. I liked how the damsel was turned into this strong and determined woman and not a simpering and submissive fool.
If you are really paying attention to what you are reading this is a very dark and haunting story. It’s about a girl who was stolen by a man and is treated like a piece of proerty. Who is treated like she has no mind of her own, who is talked about as if she weren’t there, who is made to do things she has no desire to do, who is treated as a prized mare who is just there to breed. Its about the injustice of women and the misogynistic tendencies and mistreatment of women in fairytales.
While enjoyed the story, I don’t think this will be a book everyone will enjoy. There is a bit of dry/sarcastic humour in it and if you are someone that doesn’t understand that it might come off a bit strange to you. If you’re hoping for a story that’s all sunshine and daisies you wont find that here. The underlying story is very dark and there are a few scenes(sexual assault) that might upset some people.
However, if you are looking for a quick fantasy read I would definitely suggest picking this up!