Her Dark Enchantments by Rosalyn Briar

A dark adult retelling of Sleeping Beauty, exploring the backstory of a villain AND it has a gorgeous cover?! Sign me up!

Myravelle Spinner never wanted to be evil: a healer in the King’s ‘Sleepy Wood Company’, Myravelle only wants to pay her debt in order to protect her mother from further harm. Unfortunately, her healing magic quite literally requires sacrifices and the loneliness and isolation of being the resident ‘witch’ is more than Myravelle can bear. 

Byzarien is scarred by magic and has now lost his best friend to the Witch’s torturous games. When he is chosen as her next victim he vows to escape her curse: how can he protect his family if she claims his life as well?  

When Myravelle and Byzarien eventually stop fighting each other, they realise that they are both fighting for survival, fighting for their family and, ultimately, fighting the wrong villain of the story. 

There were so many things I enjoyed about Her Dark Enchantments. I loved the Rumplestiltskin elements that were spun into the story (spindle joke!) and really enjoyed the twists on the three good fairies and the motives behind the curse on the infant Princess. Oh and obviously Little Nightmare was a fave! 

However, the pacing of the story never felt quite right. Although I felt the enemies -to-lovers storyline was done well, the story in the first half of the book was quite slow. Then, once Myravelle and Byzarien are a couple, everything switched up and was so fast paced in terms of character introduction, locations and plotline. 

Byzarien and his anger at Myravelle got a little boring after a while, it was less trauma and more tantrum at one stage and it really made me dislike the character. 

For this reason this was a book I put down and picked up quite a lot. 

However, the LGBTQ representation, the complex characters and the amazing visual transformation of Myravelle into the image of Maleficent we all conjure when we imagine the Wicked Fairy was genius. 

This retelling is definitely worth a read.

Thank you to Booksirens for the advanced copy of this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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