Author: Sarah Henning
Plot and Themes: 3/5
Cheers Factor: 3/5
Pairing: Taillefer’s Brew
Fair warning this is obviously not poisonous duh, but I felt the name was clever given his proclivity towards experimenting.
-2oz gin (I used Breckenridge)
-¾ oz lime juice
-¾ oz simple syrup
-Add mint to shaker and simple syrup and muddle
-Combine gin, lime juice and a couple dashes of orange bitters in the shaker with other ingredients
-Double strain into glass with fresh ice
-Garnish with fresh mint sprig
“Love doesn’t know anything about class, nor should it be bound by it.”
Take a Shot: In this gender flip of the Princess Bride, Princess Amarande is in love with the stableboy Luca and her father’s untimely death makes that more problematic than just loving a commoner would be for a princess. In order for Princess Amarande to rule she must first wed because she cannot ascend the throne on her own due to the succession rules not allowing women. Then Luca is kidnapped and is being held to sway Amarande to accept a marriage proposal and she must choose between playing politics to try to save her love or track him down and rescue him herself.
“Power and strategic alliance wins out every time.”
The Itspi is interesting as well as the Torrent in terms of broad setting however, I don’t feel we ever really got a good description of any of the locales our characters were in. The Hand confused me as well as the place that the pirates brough Luca to stay at in the middle of the Torrent. It was confusing to follow at times.
I didn’t love Amarande as our leading lady and at times it was a little too aggressive to hear all the characters reiterate just how sexist their societies are, however I did love the strong female characters. I liked Koldo, Amarande, Ula and even the Dowager Queen. The intertwining of the characters was done really well and the connections of all of their stories which I really did enjoy and it was done well. I also just personally didn’t love that Amarande’s name reminded me so much of Amarantha from Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series that made it hard to like her in general. This is strictly because of name association and has nothing to do with the character, but it’s the same concept as reading a character with the same name as your ex or nemesis.
Plot and Themes
I have always loved The Princess Bride truthfully and it was nice to see the storyline play out this way. The flow of the storytelling was strong as well. It was a little slow in the beginning, but picked up about halfway into the book.
Overall, I liked this book and the way that our characters moved through the story. I wasn’t my favorite, but it was quite good and a fun retelling of an old story.
Reasons to Raise a Glass: The Princess Bride (this one is self explanatory), political intrigue, female driven plots
Too Strong: Villains seemed a bit comical almost like Wile E. Coyote comical and not in a way that was becoming of them, too much reiteration of the women being oppressed by circumstances (this is strictly my opinion that I felt the topic was repeated so often it almost felt like the book thought I wasn’t paying attention and hadn’t picked up on it the first 5 times it was mentioned)
“Men do not have a monopoly on strength.”
Warning spoilers ahead if you click read more. Proceed at your own risk!
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I really had high hopes and I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t bad by any means it was very well done and written, I just wasn’t that invested. I didn’t feel a particular draw to really root for any of the characters or rally behind any of their causes. I also hated the torture scene. That was such a devolving concept for both Renard and his brother. Taillefer becoming this genuinely heinous and abusive character just seemed really out of left field to me. It was gruesome and really didn’t make me want to keep reading if I’m being honest. I was really sad to read that because I didn’t love Renard, but I respected the need for a villain.
I don’t really have much more that wasn’t said in the spoiler free section, but it just wasn’t for me entirely. I will read the second one to see what happens though because I’m infamously curious.
“Renard, if the truth undermines you, then your footing is nothing but quicksand.”
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Each book here at Cheers&Chapters is rated based off of certain categories that are genre specific, however every book will get a Cheers Factor. The Cheers Factor is how much we wanted to raise our glass while reading it. So get your glasses ready and cheers!