Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Release Date: March 16, 2017
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 2/5 stars
“As her fingers move across the strings of her family’s heirloom harp, sixteen-year-old Clarion can forget. She doesn’t dwell on the recent passing of her beloved father or the fact that her mother has just sold everything they owned, including that very same instrument that gives Clarion life. She doesn’t think about how her friends treat her like a feeble, brittle thing to be protected. She doesn’t worry about how to tell the elegant Elena, her best friend and first love, that she doesn’t want to be her sweetheart anymore. She becomes the melody and loses herself in the song.
When Mack, a lord’s dashing young son, rides into town so his father and Elena’s can arrange a marriage between the two youth, Clarion finds herself falling in love with a boy for the first time. Drawn to Clarion’s music, Mack puts Clarion and Elena’s relationship to the test, but he soon vanishes by climbing up a giant beanstalk that only Clarion has seen.
When even the town witch won’t help, Clarion is determined to rescue Mack herself and prove once and for all that she doesn’t need protecting. But while she fancied herself a savior, she couldn’t have imagined the enormous world of danger that awaits her in the kingdom of the clouds.
A prequel to the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk that reveals the true story behind the magical singing harp.”
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I usually really enjoy fairy tale retellings or extensions, however this one was a tough read for me. This book is supposed to be a prequel to Jack and the Beanstalk.
There are a lot of characters thrown at you right away and it’s not clear who is who. This could have been easily remedied by telling the reader straight off that so and so was Clarion’s friend or something like that. The beginning was just poorly handled in general.
The writing just doesn’t flow very well either, it’s actually kind of a mess. I had to re-read sentences a lot to make sure I understood what was happening. It was just very awkward to read.
The above could have been forgiven if that story had been interesting but it really wasn’t. There aren’t any surprises in here and the story is pretty dull (especially since it involves magic and giants…which should be exciting). In general the whole thing was pretty boring and I was counting down the pages so I could just be finished with it. Luckily it’s not all that long.
The only positive aspect to this book is that is does a good job portraying same sex relationships without making a huge deal about it. However, even this gets a bit muddied because of the poor writing. I spent a while in the beginning trying to figure out what was up between Clarion and Elena because it was just written poorly.
Overall I wasn’t a fan of this book and almost stopped reading this a number of times. It’s poorly written, doesn’t flow well, and is boring. The only positive in this story me was that it addresses same sex relationships in a realistic way. I wouldn’t recommend if you like fairy tale retellings and/or extensions…look elsewhere.