4 out of 4 stars
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Aurora and the Thief is a delightful retelling of the fairytale, Sleeping Beauty. The author, Becky Bird, crafts a humorous band of characters who will keep every reader entertained till the end. The story follows Princess Aurora who is nearly killed by her evil stepmother on the day of her coronation. Thankfully, her maidservant prevents her from dying by placing her under a sleeping spell that can only be broken by true love’s kiss. The sleeping princess is hidden away for years until she is awoken by Phillip, a thief who is on the run from Adam, the Prince of Morven. Phillip tricks Aurora into believing that he is indeed Prince Adam and agrees to help her find her kingdom because he secretly wants to steal from it. However, this is easier said than done. The princess is in danger because Aurora’s evil stepmother has been searching for her to retrieve the star moonstone, a protective gemstone that Aurora possesses.
Aurora was a strong female lead. The men around her didn’t support her interests because they believed that things like sword-fighting weren’t suitable for a female, especially a royal female. They all wanted her to dress nicely, be less talkative, and give up sword-fighting. I admired Aurora because she never conformed to their expectations. She always stood up for herself and questioned them on why certain things were proper for a prince but not a princess. Since this is a book for children and teens, I think that Aurora is a good role model for girls. This is a very positive feature of this book and it is what I liked the most.
I also appreciated the humor in the story. All of the characters in this story had me laughing out loud. Their antics brought the entire story alive in my mind. Everyone wasn’t whom I expected them to be. Phillip was always stealing and getting caught, but he always claimed he was innocent. He also had a strange penchant for silk and fine fabrics. Aurora wasn’t a proper princess because she loved sword-fighting, foraging for truffles, catching frogs, and climbing trees. Prince Adam was so enchanted by his handsomeness that he found it was difficult to accept rejection. These traits made the characters unique and funny.
Bits and pieces of this story reminded me of other fairytale movies, like Disney’s Tangled, which also featured a thieving male lead and an evil mother figure who wanted to remain young forever. Although this book followed a typical fairytale plot, some of the things couldn’t be predicted. I was pleasantly surprised at the ending when King Donald’s note revealed shocking truths. Besides this, I liked that the predictable things were stated straightaway, such as the villainous nature of Aurora’s stepmother.
There wasn’t anything that I disliked about this book. The book was written in a friendly tone and the language was easy to follow. I only spotted two minor errors, but these didn’t disrupt my reading at all. Older children and teens will surely like this story, especially girls. They may be able to relate to some of the personalities that were presented in this book. Adults who like fairytales will also enjoy reading Aurora and the Thief. I am pleased to rate this well-written book 4 out of 4 stars because I loved its fascinating bunch of characters, the strong female lead, and simple language.
Aurora and the Thief
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