Review: The Faerie Prince

The Faerie Prince is the latest installment in the Fairytales of Folkshore series by Lucy Tempest. I have to say that this author's writing style has changed significantly since the original Thief of Cahraman trilogy. Her books used to overflow with lengthy and unnecessary exposition, and now they are succinct and to the point. This change was most noticeable in her "Cinderella" story, Princess of Midnight, which might be my favorite from this series. The Faerie Prince is the most simplistic book in the series to date, which might work a little to its detriment. It is an adaptation of "Snow White," but intentionally leaves out "and the Seven Dwarfs" from its marketing. It's just Snow White. I can only assume that Lucy cut these additional side characters to keep the story simple enough for a single book. but doing so turned a unique princess story into a generic fantasy romance adventure, albeit still a pretty good one.

The Faerie Prince by Lucy Tempest

The Faerie Prince tells the story of Snezhana, a name that I could barely read in my head without giggling a little. It looks like the author was well aware of this because she had the love interest butcher the princess's name from the moment he meets her, referring to her as "Smudgy," an even funnier-sounding nickname. Snezhana seeks out Keenan for aid when she learns that her stepmother intends to kill her and eat her heart. What she doesn't realize at the time is that Keenan is a mischievous troublemaker, whose personality is likely inspired by Puck from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. I had a feeling that Keenan would eventually become a love interest after he popped up in several earlier books from Fairytales of Folkshore, but it was hard to picture him falling in love due to his mischievous nature. This book spends some time exploring that by revealing that his morbid sense of humor is derived from years of experience losing people he cared about due to his longer lifespan as a fae. Snezhana grows sympathetic toward his plight and soon realizes that she needs his spontaneity in her life after growing up as a princess in such a rigid setting.

As a love story, this book works really well. It brings together two people from different worlds and shows how opposites can complement each other if they are willing and able to work together. Cutting the seven dwarfs from this "Snow White" adaptation places the focus solely on the relationship between Snezhana and Keenan. They spend the majority of the book plotting to find a magical golden apple that would enhance Snezhana's powers to the point of being godlike so that she would be strong enough to defeat her stepmother, who was also after the powerful apples. Snezhana's strategic nature coupled with Keenan's impulsiveness allow them to come up with plans that they never would have thought of on their own and drives home the fact that they belong together. However, the story does not have much else to offer besides the romance. There are very few side characters, and nothing important happens outside of Snezhana and Keenan's quest for the apple. There are so many other stories out there where Snow White must learn to fight to defeat her stepmother that the concept feels a little stale.

Something else I liked about this book besides the romance is the imagery. There are some beautiful transformation sequences throughout the book with stunning descriptive detail as well as a metaphorical dream sequence that Snezhana and Keenan share when they drink a magic potion to learn about the future. Snezhana matches all of the physical features of the original Snow White, but it is revealed that she died her hair black to make herself less recognizable to her enemies. This is an interesting touch for the author to include since it is unusual for someone with such naturally dark hair to have such pale skin. I also liked all the descriptions of Keenan's fae features such as his pointy hair and unique eyes because it made him truly feel like an otherworldly being. Lucy Tempest is very good at worldbuilding and does so in this book in a way that is not distracting from the main story or characters. The enchanted apple garden was also a pleasure to experience through her writing.

If you are looking for a sweet romantic fantasy adventure, this book is perfect for you. It works as a standalone since I did not feel like I needed prior knowledge from the earlier Fairytales of Folkshore books, though they did give me a preconception of who Keenan is. The imagery and romance are beautifully presented in this simple adaptation of "Snow White." However, if you are a fan of the original fairy tale, you might find this story a bit lacking. There are no side characters, nor does it reference the poison comb or corset. If you are looking for a richer adaptation of that story, I recommend A Dream of Ebony and White by Melanie Cellier.


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