A damsel in distress takes on the dragon herself in this epic twist on classic fantasy—a groundbreaking collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Evelyn Skye and the team behind the upcoming Netflix film Damsel, starring Millie Bobby Brown.
Elodie never dreamed of a lavish palace or a handsome prince. Growing up in the famine-stricken realm of Inophe, her deepest wish was to help her people survive each winter. So when a representative from a rich, reclusive kingdom offers her family enough wealth to save Inophe in exchange for Elodie’s hand in marriage, she accepts without hesitation. Swept away to the glistening kingdom of Aurea, Elodie is quickly taken in by the beauty of the realm—and of her betrothed, Prince Henry.
But as Elodie undertakes the rituals to become an Aurean princess, doubts prick at her mind as cracks in the kingdom’s perfect veneer begin to show: A young woman who appears and vanishes from the castle tower. A parade of torches weaving through the mountains. Markings left behind in a mysterious “V.” Too late, she discovers that Aurea’s prosperity has been purchased at a heavy cost—each harvest season, the kingdom sacrifices its princesses to a hungry dragon. And Elodie is the next sacrifice.
This ancient arrangement has persisted for centuries, leading hundreds of women to their deaths. But the women who came before Elodie did not go quietly. Their blood pulses with power and memory, and their experiences hold the key to Elodie’s survival. Forced to fight for her life, this damsel must use her wits to defeat a dragon, uncover Aurea’s past, and save not only herself, but the future of her new kingdom as well.
Narrator: Imani Jade Powers
I would never have discovered that jewel of a book if I didn’t see it on Mogsy’s blog! Go HERE to read her review. And I am so glad that I visited her that day because that book is an absolute treat!
I couldn’t help thinking of Disney’s Rapunzel reading that book. Not because Elodie escapes a tower but because like Rapunzel, she takes her fate in her own hands and does not wait for the prince to save her.
I have seen mixed or bad reviews on Goodreads on that one and I guess it depends if you are the targeted audience or not. I am not a teenager but I still adore YA books and Disney movies. I guess that explains why I adored that story.
This is a clever twist of the classic fairytale where the prince is the villain and the princess is in a deadly predicament. Elodie will literally be thrown by the prince into the dragon’s lair without any weapon to defend herself!
Said dragon has been alive undefeated for centuries. There was a bargain made with the people of Aurea and each year three princesses have to be sacrificed to the dragon.
We don’t have the classic warrior princess that we see in many stories! Elodie was never trained in weaponry or hand to hand combat. With a sprained ankle, in a wedding gown complete with a tiara, she will truly have to use her wits and obstinate will to live if she hopes to survive. That made the story riveting and very refreshing!
Elodie is a character you can’t help but love.
When we met her, we can see that she cares deeply for her people of Inophe. Her isle is poor and Elodie has a golden heart. That’s why she is ready to marry a prince she has never met: to insure her people’s future. She also has a deep connection with her younger sister, Flora that she raised since birth. That sisterhood warmed my heart all along
Fortunately, Elodie is no meek flower. She was always climbing trees, racing horses, building houses to the utter despair of her mother in law who wants Elodie to be a “proper lady”. That tomboy upbringing and her games of designing mazes for her sister to solve will be Elodie’s greatest asset in this story! She might not be trained in war but she is far from powerless.
We will see all the ordeals she went through in the dragon’s lair, all the burns she got, twisted ankle, dislocated shoulder and more! Her pugnacity was remarkable truly! I was rooting for her all along, wondering how she was still standing after all she went through. This was brutal, desperate but Elodie was so determined!
Another thing absolutely incredible is the language of the dragon! Evelyn Skye explained how that invented language is fully functional and was created by her 13 years old daughter, linguist prodigy! If you are interested, we have tons of explanation, grammar etc at the end of the book.
Congrats to the narrator for her pronunciation too!
And I absolutely adored the ending! How not only her intelligence but also her empathy will be crucial to Elodie’s salvation. I have learned that this will become a movie or a show on Netflix and I can’t wait!
Thanks for reading!