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Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty
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Curse of the Thirteenth Fey: The True Tale of Sleeping Beauty

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  899 ratings  ·  151 reviews
A reimagining of Sleeping Beauty from a master storyteller.

Gorse is the thirteenth and youngest in a family of fairies tied to the evil king's land and made to do his bidding. Because of an oath made to the king's great-great-ever-so-many-times-great-grandfather, if they try to leave or disobey the royals, they will burst into a thousand stars.

When accident-prone Gorse fa
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Philomel Books
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3.43  · 
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 ·  899 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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3.5 stars

If you're looking for a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, I'm afraid this isn't going to impress you much.
The story itself revolves around the fairy who 'cursed' the princess. But it's also not like the new Disney reimagining of Maleficent, so it doesn't have that Why Did The Good Girl Go Bad? flavor to it.
And I think you probably need to know that going into the book in order to keep you expectations in line.

Ok, so what is this story about?
A section of a young (13ish years old) fairy's lif
Cloie Rainilla
A very short and sweet story. Characters and plot thin but likeable. I just couldn't resist reading another book about the Fey. I would read it again and recommend it.

2.8 Stars...maybe?
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It is not just the brilliant imagination but how detailed and complex the world and relationships are that make this book magical. The elements of the Sleeping Beauty tale are there and even though they are important, they take a back seat to the world that Yolen has imagined. Gorse is the thirteenth fairy who goes on her own adventure before she makes it to the christening of Sleeping Beauty. Through no fault of her own, but rather a self-absorbed, exiled fey prince cuts the line meaning that t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the first Jane Yolen book I read that I have not particularly enjoyed. I felt like it tried too hard to be something else - to conform to some type of genre or something. It just wasn't typical Jane Yolen. I did manage to get through the entire book, and if I could describe it in one word, I would say "muddled". I just wasn't invested in it. I had such high hopes for a Jane Yolen novel, but it just wasn't for me.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
At the beginning of this story I fell in love.

The world is enchanting. The language babbles like a brook. There are made up fantasy games and rules that are mentioned but not explained, giving the feel of a real world that extends far beyond the borders of the pages.

I started reading this and thought, this is everything I'm looking for in a story. This is what I *want*.

And at no particular point did that ever fade. It just never blossomed either. Our heroine doesn't demonstrate any particular in
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
I'm not particularly impressed with this book. The plot was thin, and the characters pretty good but not deep. The magic system of Shouting the fey spells was interesting, but needed more depth, history, and development. Every little section of plot was drawn out and lacked overall structure.

I suppose I expected more scope in the setting of a fairy tale, more of a journey to different fantastical lands, but the main character, Gorse, mainly stays in one location for 70% of the book, with one obs
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gorse is the 13th child of a Shouting Fey mother and elven father. She is part of a family that has been forced out of the ancestral home (Under the Hill) and have to live tied to the land by the ruling family. But they are allowed to stay and are protected by the ruling family so long as they respond to the family's Bidding. If they are Bid to do something and they refuse the entire Fey family with burst into a thousand stars.

So when the family is Bid to bestow gifts on the newborn princess all
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Gorse is the thirteenth child born to her Shouting Fey mother and elven father, and she gets a little magic from each of them. But all that magic is at the service of the royalty of their kingdom, who long ago gave them refuge from the Unseelie and who have kept them as serfs ever since. When the king has a little daughter, he commands Gorse and her family to give the princess blessings. Gorse, fresh from an adventure underground with trolls and fey princes, accidentally curses the princess to d ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fae
Not bad but not great. The story started to really drag and I had to force myself to read it. I finished it more on principle than actually wanting to hear the end.

I wouldn't call it a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty. It felt like Yolen forgot the subtitle of her book, then remembered at the last minute and hastily added Sleeping Beauty to the end. I wish someone had warned me about this before I picked it up.
Kate Forsyth
Jane Yolen is a wonderful writer of fantasy and historical fiction for young adults, and has a particular interest in fairy tales that has long drawn me to her work. The Curse of the Thirteenth Fey is a reworking of the Sleeping Beauty tale, told from the point of view of the thirteenth fey (the one that cast the curse of death on the princess). Its written with a great deal of humour and charm, and all ends happily (even though the princess and her family are really not very nice people).
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Though I respect Jane Yolen as a children's author and I do love a few of her books, she's not my favorite. I didn't feel like her expertise translates well into novel form. There's a little bit of dryness, I guess, that makes her storytelling lack the magic I look for in fairy stories. The storyline is interesting, though only thinly tied to Sleeping Beauty: most of the story doesn't have anything to do with the ending with the curse much at all.

***spoiler alert***
Gorse is the thirtee
I don't think this is really a retelling, though it is titled as one. The connection with Sleeping Beauty distracts from the best parts of the story. I found myself often wondering when we were going to be back to the main plot, not realizing that we were already there.
I think it would have been far better with a little tighter prose and plot. A fun read as is, but another round of editing could have made it really good.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy retellings of fairy tales, and this story was very imaginative and not what I expected. It's really the story of the faeries rather than of Sleeping Beauty. The story we recognize as Sleeping Beauty is a very small part of this story, but it works well being small. I will look for more of Yolen's books.
K Grant
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was hesitant picking this one up - I'm not interested in re-telling of fairy tales, but I have loved everything I have read from this author. Jumping into a full fantasy tale was a bit difficult, but Jane Yolen describes her worlds with such clarity that I soon enjoyed the full submersion. I loved that "sleeping beauty" was barely in the story and a new fairy tale was my focus.
Olivia Rockwell
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
In the book ‘Curse of the Thirteenth Fey:True Tale of Sleeping Beauty By Jane Yolen We meet main character Gorse and she’s the youngest in a family of fairies which is tied to the evil King’s land and was made to do his bidding. Soon enough Gorse becomes ill and goes to the castle and sets a spell on the royal family which was a sleeping curse
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the story of the fairies from Sleeping Beauty, not a retelling of the original fairy tale. I enjoyed it as I like fey stories a lot. Wasn't sold on the ending with Grey and Gorse but otherwise a solid adventure story.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonine Bergen
I have always enjoyed Jane Yolen. She writes a good yarn with strong characters and a touch of whimsy. This one is especially fun as it tells the true story of Sleeping Beauty.
Ezza Dee
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I guess..
Jadis LeFeu
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decently fun fairy tale retelling. Very clearly YA. Interesting worldbuilding I would've enjoyed exploring more.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
I just couldn’t get into the story or characters. The storyline was slow and dragged on.
Malavika Malanthara
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I rated this book 4 stars not becuase it has any faults which it did not, but because I would only rate books 5 stars if they are my absolute favorite series or something
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable fantasy novel. Great read for upper elementary or middle school students.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
Not bad; fairly original.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
An odd mix.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Quite nice.
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Interesting idea for a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, but not well-done.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Great writing, but I think the story could've been longer or a bit better developed
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
“But wanting and getting are hard neighbors and bitter friends.” 4 likes
“After a while, the story becomes the truth because no one actually remembers how things really happened.” 0 likes
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