Review of The Puppet Queen by Mira Zamin
Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: After Selene's homeland falls to the Pari curse, she is forced to must contest for the throne by her insidious fiancé. When rivalries threaten to plunge the country into civil war, Selene must fight through magic and malice—her family's fate hangs in the balance.
The Puppet Queen is a young adult fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty infused with the folklore of the Middle East.
The story this week is a retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale but from the point of view of Sleeping Beauty’s sister, her twin sister. Selene, our main character, is the mischievous twin of the future sleeping beauty. She is constantly venturing outside when she’s not supposed to and getting into trouble.
One day she convinces her sister Auralia to go out with her. That’s when things start to get crazy. Some men from the palace follow them and summarily escort Auralia back to the palace. When she arrives back Selene wonders why her parents, the Emir and Emira of Aquia, never cared when she left the palace on her own but are obviously worried about her sister venturing out.
It is then that she is told the story about the Pari curse that was placed on her family. The night she (and her sister) were born lightning struck their sacred tree and the blame was placed on Selene since it happened at the exact moment that she came out of her mother’s womb. A Pari queen came to her parents but since Selene was somewhere else at the moment, she saw only the one child and assumed that this was the one responsible for the damage to their tree.
Her father tried to reason with the Pari queen but to no avail and Auralia was cursed to hurt her finger on a spindle which would usher in death for everyone in Aquia. The curse was later adjusted by the djinn so that they would only sleep and then only until Auralia’s true love released them with a kiss.
Of course the plot goes on but I will leave the rest for you to read. And it is really a great story worth reading. I loved the character of Selene and how she grows in the novel. Even when her mother is asleep Selene uses her words, and those of other family members to guide her in her quest to remove the curse and rule Aquia.
First, she must fight against an abusive husband and learn to rule in her own right. Later she goes up against his cronies as well as the other Emirs and Emiras in Ghalain with only the help of a few trusted friends as well as the djinn who have helped her family before. She will soon find a way to break the curse, find her sister’s true love and become the woman she was destined to be.
If there is any downside to the story, it would be the lack of editing. Several times I was jarred out of the story by typos and other errors that could have been prevented by the author hiring a good editor. However, it was not enough to make me stop reading. So as long as you’re not too bad of a stickler for these kinds of things and you like Fantasy, you should enjoy the story.
Contains: mild language, violence