Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.
Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.
Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.
Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi—until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way—not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.
Amazon Link: The Bone Spindle (The Bone Spindle #1)
Author: Leslie Vedder
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure/Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is a Sleeping Beauty retelling that goes way beyond the traditional fairy tale. The gender-swapped version of the story, about Fi, a cursed treasure hunter who accidentally gets linked to the sleeping Prince Briar, is only about half the story. The other half is a F/F romance between Shane and a mysterious witch she nicknames Red. The story swaps between both of the girls’ perspectives as they adventure together.
(By the way, I just saw the cover reveal for the sequel, and it looks we are going to get chapters to hear Briar’s and Red’s perspectives! I’m so excited!)
There is also so much more going on with the world-building. Prince Briar’s kingdom was full of powerful witches, but since he was cursed to sleep for a hundred years by the Spindle Witch, witches and magic are now illegal. A cult of Witch Hunters has sprung up to hunt them down, and once Fi gets linked to Briar, she’s now a target for the witch hunters too. Not to mention Fi’s curse and Shane is running from her own past.
My only complaint is that I thought it was a stand-alone when I picked it up and I didn’t realize until the cliffhanger at the end that I was going to have to wait for more. The sequel has already been announced for February 2023, and I can’t wait!
This was an unexpected treat. I recommend it to fans of fairy tale retellings, kick-ass female treasure hunters (think Lara Croft), and exploring ancient ruins with a magical mystery.
Here is the book in my reading journal: