Review: Turret

It's oddly fitting that my last post before moving from my cramped tower into a spacious castle is about an adaptation of "Rapunzel." Turret is the latest book in Camille Peters' Kingdom Chronicles, a series that has improved exponentially since its humble beginnings. Like the other books in this series, Turret places the love story first and foremost with everything else as a subplot or setting. Fortunately, the setting is interesting enough to carry it along whenever the romance needs a breather. The princess in this version of "Rapunzel" does not possess the iconic magical hair that most adaptations do (except the Barbie movie), but there is still plenty of magic to behold within the walls of the tower.

Turret by Camille Peters

Turret is technically a retelling of "Rapunzel," but I think it is actually a better version of "Beauty and the Beast" than Enchantment, the other "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation from this series. Like EnchantmentTurret portrays a princess named Gemma who is trapped in a magical castle with someone she has budding feelings toward. It's not a literal interpretation of "Rapunzel" since her captor does not live in the tower with her. Instead, her mother banished her from her own home due to her mysterious illness as a way of protecting her within the enchanted walls of the tower. Her only two companions are her handmaiden, Melina, who was separated from her love, and her royal guard, Quinn, who chose to be trapped with Gemma instead of leaving her behind. Most of the book revolves around Quinn and Gemma coming to terms with their underlying feelings toward each other.

The romance in this book is insanely cute. It covers every aspect of young love from denying a crush to complete devotion against all odds. I enjoyed Melina's sage advice to Gemma about how young men often feel insecure when they have a crush on someone and try to hide their feelings as well as the overwhelming fear of rejection. It was sweet how Melina acted like a mother figure to Gemma and didn't seem the least bit resentful toward her for being trapped in the tower since Gemma's wicked mother was the true culprit. Quinn is an interesting character too. Beneath his gruff and quiet exterior hides many secrets that he guards with incredible skill. It was a treat to see him finally open up and allow himself to be vulnerable toward Gemma at the end of the story.

My favorite thing about this book is the tower itself. It was so creative to give Gemma's tower its own personality that she is able to communicate with on an empathic level. The tower is enchanted not only to trap her but also to protect her, which opens up endless possibilities. It has magical rooms that appear at a whim and grows food, herbs, and other resources on a regular basis to keep everyone inside it alive and healthy. It's like its own magical indoor ecosystem. There is also a room of enchanted mirrors that allow Gemma to see glimpses of the outside world, another nod to "Beauty and the Beast." Unfortunately, the images that it shows her are not particularly pleasant, which is just one of many pitfalls fueled by her mother's entrapment spell.

Turret is a heartwarming romance framed around a magical "Rapunzel" inspired setting. This book is more eventful than many others in the series due to the unique setting. It has a nostalgic feel to it with an emotionally immature couple awkwardly navigating their feelings and growing into a mature and healthy relationship. The fact that they are both willing to be there for each other in spite of their personal demons is particularly touching and makes for a lovely fairy tale. Though the book is based on "Rapunzel," I think that "Beauty and the Beast" fans would get the most enjoyment out of Turret as well as anyone who loves fairy tales and romance.


Anonymous said…
Very interesting story. I loved your interpretation and comments about it.

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