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Aspiring, Part 1 of the Siblings' Tale

(Elisabeth and Edvard's World #1)

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  60 reviews
A coven of witches plots to overthrow a kingdom. One brave woman stands in their way.

At her mother’s death-bed, Elisabeth learns her mother’s illness is no accident and that her own life is in danger. Evil witches are plotting to take over the kingdom of Vendale. All alone, naive, and untrained, Elisabeth’s determination is all she has to confront her mother’s murderers a
Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published May 26th 2019 by New Wings Press
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Average rating 4.51  · 
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 ·  73 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Title - The SiblingsTale #1 - Aspiring
Author - Astrid V.J.
Book Details - ebook (won in a giveaway) pages - 238
Genre - YA Fantasy/Fairytales
I won this book as a give away on Instagram.
My view on what this book is about....
Elisabeth bounces along the road, returning home suddenly after a 3 year absence. A letter from Edvard summoning her home. Edvard is Elisabeth brother. Their mother is ill. As Elisabeth's carriage drew nearer, she could see Richard, Edvards best friend. Elisabeth is 14 and ke
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much to the author for the Instagram giveaway e-copies of the two books in the Siblings’ Tale duology! I read the whole set in one weekend and have no regrets. The book is a super loose fairy tale retelling of Brother and Sister and reads like it’s own tale.

I did read the prequel novel before this too, and feel like Gisela’s Passion (review available on my blog or here on GR) can definitely be read at any point.

I like that the book is framed as a modern story told by an archivist, s
Halo Roberts
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a long time fan of fairy tales, I truly enjoy reading an author's spin on a lesser known tale. Elisabeth and Edvard entrances you from the beginning, I loved how the author segue's into the tale through a historian's perspective. It has a lovely lilt of Old English without affecting the readability. The relationship between Elisabeth, Edvard and Richard was well done, you fall in love with each character for their strengths and their weaknesses. Elisabeth in particular I found refreshing. It ...more
Lawrence Switzer
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The title of this handsome fantasy, Aspiring, resonates in my mind with a similar word, Ascending. The story the author presents concerns the aspirations of a young woman to come into her own by acquiring a certain socially-mandated age and by surviving numerous adverse circumstances. But, as I pointed out in my first sentence, this is not merely a question of her aspirations; ascension, too, plays a dominant role as the plot unfolds, for, beyond her aspirations, she must ascend to a level of wo ...more
Ilona Nurmela
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this fairytale retelling of Brother and Sister, an old European fairytale that I personally remember as a Russian folk-tale of Alenushka and Ivanushka. The start was a lovely setting - finding the story in the archives of a kingdom and the writer letting you know Richard and Elizabeth did rule together. Even when you know how it ends, when you can’t put the book down because you have to find out HOW it ends, i.e. how the author gets there - to me that is a hallmark of a good retelling. T ...more
Hashmi Gor
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very engaging

Almost from the 1st chapter the author pulls you into her world with her realistic descriptions and the main character's emotions. The story has a Jane Austen feeling with a magical twist, which is quite unique. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3 out of 5 stars

Aspiring's premise is extremely intriguing. The moment I read the synopsis I was interested.

Astrid's writing is very crisp, clean and flows smoothly. Making this a pleasant, easy read. The characters are described perfectly, well rounded and with great back stories. The amount of plot vs dialog is distributed perfectly throughout.

All around, well written

Unfortunately the execution of this story fell short for me.

After reading the synopsis which starts with "A coven of witches plo
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If Jane Austen had come back from the dead and read modern day fantasy, she might have been inspired to write something as magical and engaging as Aspiring: Part I of the Siblings' Tale. This tale within a tale grabs the reader's attention from the outset, and before long you feel as if you aren't so much reading as living right alongside Elizabeth.
The course of the story is in no rush to reveal itself, which I was quite content with because each character is so interesting and so fully realized
Literary Classics Book Awards & Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Elisabeth has returned from school to see her terminally ill mother after a long absence. On her deathbed, her mother tells the girl it's not safe for her to be there. Rocked by an overwhelming sense of loss, Elisabeth feels ill-equipped to carry on without her mother's guidance. She knows she's a witch, but she fears she lacks the knowledge to use her powers. But her mother assures her she already possesses all she needs, and when the time is right she will be ready. Now with ...more
Renato Johnsson
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A friend passed me this book and i found the blurb intriguing. I read it even though as a 40 year old male I am far from the target audience, which is teenage girls. Nonetheless I found it a very enjoyable book, well written and easy to read. You really get inside the character of the protagonist, a 15 year old girl, and all her weaknesses and frustrations. Finally, a female character with a real character arc! The narration is unrushed and the first part provides a wonderful love story. It was ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sweet Romance escalates to Fairy Tale Grimness

The Siblings Tale is sort of like an extended prologue, where the beginning is mostly focused on Elisabeth’s mourning process and her relationship with the men in her life: her abusive father, her absent brother, and the Prince who is both an annoyance from her past and a possibility for a brighter future. And then it Escalates. It basically goes from “sweet teen, getting to know each other romance" to “the worst part of the fairy tale” with a good
Tia Didmon
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aspiring: Part 1 of the Siblings' Tale (Elisabeth and Edvard's World) is a fairytale retelling of a Brother and Sister.
It starts with an amazing setting. (The story is found in the archives of a kingdom.)
The classic fairy tale stars two siblings who navigate personal trials while caring for one another. This story has everything from a cruel merchant father to a wicked witch stepmother. One with magic and a thirst for power.
I don't want to give too much away as this is a great read with multiple
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely lovely book. It is full of life, and the plot is a beautiful mix of fairytale and realism, with a very personal approach to character development. It is a delightful read, highly recommended!
Rose Flynn
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aspiring is a deeply enjoyable fantasy retelling of the Grimm Fairytale of Elisabeth and Edvard/Brother and Sister/Sibling's Tale. I am not familiar with this particular Grimm story, but I love many of their other tales. I feel as though fans of both Ella Enchanted and Jane Austen would enjoy this tale as well. The book opens with a brief look into the future, but then returns to Queen Elisabeth's retelling of her own story as a young woman who returns from school to face the tragedy of her moth ...more
Rehana V
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aspiring is a tale for the 21st century. Though set in a fantasy realm, it deals with key issues of betrayal and support. Written for a younger audience, it can comfortably compare with a story like Disney’s Frozen.
Astrid V.J. has produced a delightful and wonderful reimagining of a brother-sister relationship. This is a story about young people coming of age in a world that can be comforting at times as it can be hostile too.
I like how Astrid VJ has built on the stories from the past to help
Angelique Bosman
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wish this book would have been around when I was about 14. As it is, I wish I knew a 14 year old girl who loves to read so I could buy this for her. One thing I like to do with books is going into them completely blind with little to no idea what it is about. I often don’t even read the back of the book. Some of the time this approach to novels works out really well for me because I have no preconceived notions of what the book “should” be about, and so I am able to focus on the merits of the ...more
Jennifer Charlinski
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aspiring is firstly a tale of sibling love in all of its 'glory' —good, bad and the ugly, with Elisabeth and Edvard's budding romance speckling the pages not too far behind. Elisabeth's character drives the story as 'a wolf in sheep's clothing' type of maiden. She doesn't fall in line easily nor abide by rules and structures with complete and utter acceptance as expected of the time and her gender, which makes her intriguing. As a reader, Elisabeth's nuances and regard for tradition keep you gue ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fairy-tale
This is a lovely fairy tale that blossoms with the turning of pages. This review is for those who are not familiar with the tale of Elisabeth and Edvard.

Typical of fairytales, this enchanting story has all the required components, a wicked controller, a fair maiden who sinks to rags and is tormented by the controller, the one who can bring help in the dire hour, and so much more. All the ups and downs that draws us into fairy tales. There are tastes of Cinderella, Rapunzel, The Little Princess,
M.L. Broome
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is magic incarnated.

You are drawn into the story immediately, a tale of girl not only coping with loss but also moving into adulthood, realizing her strengths, overcoming her perceived weaknesses and learning about the possibility of love.

I see myself in Elisabeth, uncertainty combined with a fierce determination. She is every woman rolled into one, utterly relatable and beautifully created.

The characters are vivid, the plot riveting and the backstory woven in with the skill of a m
Jillian Yetter
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This magical quick-read incorporates witches in a Cinderella-esque tale of forbidden romance, magic exploration, social class, self discovery, and societal expectations. "Aspiring" is charming yet dark and keeps the reader in love with the characters. It is appropriate and entertaining for a wide-range of audiences with heart-fluttering romance and coming of age themes. I can only imagine that the next book in the series will be a bit darker in subject matter and tone as the characters' situatio ...more
Beckham Lawre
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to say thank you to the author. I had totally forgotten what is was like to get lost in a book! Fantasy isn’t my typical cup of tea and I generally abhor reading it because the authors are so long-winded, but this one showed me that fantasy is not that bad, and I actually really enjoyed it! It was fast-paced and the action just kept rolling! This is a coming-of-age story with a subplot of romance, but oh my stars it was so juicy. I loved it. Consider the next book sold, I’m buying it as s ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Elizabeth and the characters in this novel. They are not perfect, but their imperfection is crafted so well I felt like I knew them. I followed along with them and experienced their flaws and struggles which were all wrapped in a beautifully depicted and magical world in which they live. Astrid V.J. does a fantastic job in building this fantasy universe where her series takes place. Patiently waiting for the next installment.

Disclaimer: I received a free Advanced Reader Copy of this novel
Joy RS
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoy the magical ride 😊
This book was great fun. I very much enjoyed journeying with the characters through their world, their ups and downs, and their personal development. It’s full of magic and made for a great escape from real life – and I’m a grownup! As the author herself writes: …a new realm where magic, elves, and unicorns, thankfully, do exist. it’s very well-written, which is a pleasure, and I’m delighted that there will be more.
Erica Vogel
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was amazing. It had style and flair, it kept me hooked from the first word and left me wanting more. I literally can't wait for part 2. Everything about it is enthralling and the magic and mystery of the book is enchanting but also makes you analyse yourself and th world around you. Absolutely FANTASTIC! ...more
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantasy magic love

I haven't read the tale this story is based on. Such a beautiful story. I loved the mother-daughter bits best. My mother was like that too. Helping others out wherever she could. And she will always live on through me and everything I learnt from her. What Elisabeth does, in the end, must have been so painful. I can't wait to read the next part
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
An engaging fairy tale adventure with magic. I was drawn in by Elisabeth’s narration and the development of her relationships with her brother Edvard and her love interest Prince Richard. Well-written and paced, with an ending leaves the reader wanting to know how the siblings’ story will turn out—and how they’ll deal with that wicked stepmother.

Qat Wanders
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-edited
If I could sum up this book in one word it would be charming. The author weaves together fantasy, romance, magic, and fairytale into a beautiful package. Just be ready for the ending to leave you wanting more!
Ashleigh Hattingh
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intriguing take on a classic tale with well crafted characters and a developed world. A good read.
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! The story is gripping and well told. Cannot wait to read the next one
Barbara Strickland
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Lovely fairy tale feel

This was an interesting read and a new twist on magic and witches and magic users. It is the start of a series with an almost fairy tale feel to the writing.
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Other books in the series

Elisabeth and Edvard's World (3 books)
  • Gisela's Passion (Elisabeth and Edvard's World #0)
  • Becoming: Part 2 of the Siblings' Tale (Elisabeth and Edvard's World #2)

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