Today’s review is about TO WAKE A KINGDOM by Nisha J. Tuli. It’s a self-published novel that is the first in a series, but also stands alone. TO WAKE A KINGDOM is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty that uses many of the classic fairytale’s elements to create a predictable fantasy romance comfort read.
Author: Nisha J. Tuli
Series: Curse of Thorne, #1
Age Category: New Adult
Publish Date: August 23, 2022
Print Length: 414
*These are not affiliate links and I do not make a commission from any purchase made using these links.
Sleeping Beauty meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this twisted fantasy romance retelling, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Raven Kennedy.
AFTER 100 YEARS, I AWAKE NOT TO TRUE LOVE’S KISS, BUT TO A BLADE AT MY THROAT.
Enchanted into an eternal slumber to escape an evil fae, Thorne is awakened, not by true love’s kiss, but by a man with a sword at her throat. So she does the only thing a princess can do-nails him in the balls and sticks him with a dagger.
But something has gone wrong because now her entire family isn’t waking up and Ronan, a warrior from an enemy kingdom, arrives on her doorstep seeking answers she doesn’t want to give.
Bent on revenge, the evil fae returns to claim the princess and kill everyone asleep in the castle. So Thorne strikes a bargain-thirty days to break the curse or Thorne becomes her property forever. But Thorne has no idea how to break a hundred-year-old spell that’s gone awry.
As time ticks away and she scrambles for a solution, her feelings for Ronan become entwined in her fate. Now she must find a way to protect her heart, save herself, and rescue everyone she’s ever loved.
To Wake a Kingdom is the first book in a duology. There is no cliffhanger at the end of book one, and it can be enjoyed on its own.
TO WAKE A KINGDOM is clearly a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. By which I mean it pulls a lot of the same elements from the western fairytale that serve as the backbone for the story. It’s not one of those retellings that incorporates only one or two elements to then subvert the classically known story or retell it from a maligned character’s point of view. I mention this to set expectations since many retellings I’ve recently read are of the more subtle kind.
It’s easy to read and I flew through the book in a relatively short amount of time. I found the book somewhat predictable, though not necessarily in a negative way. It is predictable more so in the vein of a comfort read. That is, the reader knows what they’re about to get into after reading the synopsis.
However, the characterization of Thorne, the main character, is inconsistent. She is no doubt a stubborn and headstrong individual. But that doesn’t exactly equate to smart decisions. And she needed quite a bit of rescuing that served as a plot device to develop the romantic relationship. While some may not mind this, relationship development via convenient peril is not my preferred style. Additionally, a convenient heritage and skills conveniently became evident when the time was right. I felt this weakened the storytelling a bit since the development essentially was a heavy foreshadowing and that was it.
Overall, TO WAKE A KINGDOM is a fun, easy read for those who want something on the lighter side in terms of world building and plot development. For me it was a good interlude between two heavy novels, one of which was a horror.
Content warnings: attempted rape, blood, gore, parental death, enslavement, sexual content
Reading format: Kindle e-book