The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors
Walker Children's | Hardcover, 404 pages
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
YA Historical Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
One Sunday afternoon, while I was tittering with my current read and unable to find something that I wanted to devour in one sitting, I went to the basement in search of something good to read.
When I picked up The Sweetest Spell, I grimaced at its cover. I'm not a fan of girls in gowns. And it certainly looks like a historical that would fail to keep me entertained for the rest of the day. The one thing that changed my mind is the mention of chocolate; the legend of how this sweet indulgence was once a prime commodity that almost spur a war. Out of curiosity, I wanted to know how this came about.
A few chapters in and I was completely enraptured by the legend unfolding before me. This decadent novel will appeal to those who are fond of romantic fairy tales. But where the other fairy tales needed a man galloping in a white stallion to save the princess, this novel features a heroine who didn't need a prince to save her. She saved herself, her people - even though there was a time when every single one of them shun her, even her father. She was born with a deformity; a foot that's smaller than the other. At a time when such oddities are considered as a misfortune to the family, her father was advised by the midwife to get rid of her. As a newborn, she was cast aside to the edges of the forest. Her father could only hope that her death would be swift. He never anticipated for her to survive.
She's pretty lucky in that way. She's a survivor through and through.
She survived drowning when the entire village perished in the flood.
She survived being abducted by a greedy man who was willing to sell her off to the highest bidder.
She survived being a prisoner of the king and queen.
It's a story about a kingdom who discovered the magic of chocolate. It's also about a tribe rejected by the rest of the because they presume them to be barbaric and primitive.
And what's a fairy tale without romance? This one didn't happen right away but it came in a sweet and slow progression - which is how I like my romance in novels. The dual perspectives aided in such a way that the readers would know exactly when the attraction becomes something more.
I tend to stay away from retellings of folklores that I am not familiar with but Suzanne definitely gave this one its own identity and charisma. This is probably one of the few instances when I wish a book is a series.