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Disenchanted #1

Disenchanted: Young Adult Edition

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This is the original Young Adult version of Disenchanted, published by The Parliament House Press in 2020. As of December 2023, I have since discontinued it and rereleased a rewritten version geared for a New Adult audience, and the rest of the trilogy will follow this NA rating. The new edition is entitled, Disenchanted (A Lay of Ruinous Reign: Book One) and is now available on all online retailers and select bookshops. Please reach out on my social media with any questions.

A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.

Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.

456 pages, Paperback

First published March 10, 2020

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About the author

Southeast Asian fantasy author with a soup addiction. Diverse medievalist and developmental editor who lives in oversized sweaters, and prefers to explore the more ominous—disenchanting, if you will—undertones of history, romance, and the arcane.

My debut, Breton Arthuriana-inspired YA Dark Fantasy DISENCHANTED, released with the Parliament Press in March 2020, and is being re-released and rebranded for the New Adult/ Adult indie market in December 2022. The rest of the trilogy will follow this updated genre rating.

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5 stars
187 (31%)
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199 (33%)
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134 (22%)
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56 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 205 reviews
Profile Image for ♠ TABI⁷ ♠.
Author 15 books485 followers
Want to read
July 14, 2020
Me, looking at the cover but mostly the dude lurking in the back:

Profile Image for Brianna Sugalski.
Author 4 books205 followers
February 2, 2023
Updated Review Nov 2022: This is the original Young Adult version of Disenchanted, published by The Parliament House Press in 2020. As of December 2023, I have since discontinued it and rereleased a rewritten, re-edited version geared for a New Adult audience, and the rest of the trilogy will follow this NA rating. The new edition is entitled, Disenchanted (A Lay of Ruinous Reign: Book One) and is now available on all online retailers and select bookshops. Please reach out on my social media with any questions.

A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.

Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.

The original Young Adult version of Disenchanted was poorly, poorly edited at the hands of my publisher, and I frankly did not want that to be my public impression as an author.

Drafting book two for a year has also begged for more thorough world building and lore in the series foundation, and so I am grateful for this second chance to give my characters the detail and romance they deserve. This is a scary jump for me, perhaps my own leap into an enchanted forest filled with unknowns. What I do know is that this version is the story that needed to be told, and that you all deserve.

I am endlessly thankful for your support and patience, and I would not be able to get this story in your hands without the help and support of a whole team of talented professionals and readers who have become family. My editors, Olivia Swenson, Loni Crittenden, and Julia F. (EntirelyBonkerz), thank you for your honesty and keen insight, and for making me laugh while helping my manuscript suck substantially less. Aimee Jones, Beth Wilkinson, and Lucas LaChaize, thank you for your history lessons and brainstorming sessions; I’m so grateful for your time and friendship, and that you’ve shared your colorful, stunning cultures with me and this book series.

The rest of the A Lay of Ruinous Reign series will follow the Adult rating elevation, and each will come with a trigger warnings page. If you’ve read YA Disenchanted before, I hope you’re ready. If you’re new here, Welcome to Brocéliande.
Profile Image for Tyanne.
34 reviews
March 2, 2020
I can honestly say Disenchanted took me by surprise! I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did, so much in fact that I can’t stop thinking about Garin and Lilac. I won’t go over the synopsis of this book because if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already know what the book is about.

That being said, the things I loved about this story was numerous starting with the world Sugalski created. Hello mysterious forest home to magical creatures called the Darklings! I LOVED this concept of having vampires, witches, Fae and all other sorts living their lives in a forest where humans fear to go. These characters weren’t written in a fluff way thank goodness! The author kept them dark and true to their monstrous nature and I am here for it!

And Garin...oh sarcastic, sassy and sexy, checked all of the boxes for me as the lead male. He was the balance to naive, sheltered and weary Lilac in the most beautiful way! I enjoyed their journey together because it wasn’t perfect but rather flawed and full of learning about themselves just as much as learning about each other! Talk about a self discovery journey.

The reason I gave it 4⭐️ instead of 5 was because I felt the ending was rushed. The author gave us such an adventurous journey through out the book and then everything seemed resolved in the last 15 pages. It was a good ending...just a bit rushed.

Give it a read, you won’t be disappointed!

*ARC provided by The Parliament Press in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Dani Jordan.
190 reviews296 followers
March 25, 2020
A gripping tale infused with history, adventure, and romance; Disenchanted is a compelling story of a cursed princess, a crestfallen killer, the town that wants them to burn, and the witch that can save them both.

Readers will be enticed into a world of mystery, intrigue, and romance. Sugalski showcases her mastery in worldbuilding by transporting readers to Broceliande forest and taking them on the journey alongside. Lilac and Garin.

Disenchanted is the kind of story that will sink its teeth into you and entrance it's way into your heart.
Profile Image for Lina.
84 reviews38 followers
April 12, 2020
3,5 stars
I hate to be the one to ruin the average rating of a book, but I prefer to express my genuine opinion, so here we go.
I gave this book 3,5 which in my rating systems translates to ‘this was decent, but not my thing’.

It all comes down to me misinterpreting synopsis.
What I didn’t realise when buying this book was that this is a vampire romance story. If I knew that, I wouldn’t have picked this book up in the first place.
My expectations ran counter with what the book is actually about.
As this is a fantasy novel, I didn’t expect any historical accuracy but somewhere deep down I hoped that the characters would behave according to the norms of that time period (the Middle Ages).
Instead, they were pretty inconsistent, especially when it came to speaking.
Often the characters gave out modern ‘vibes’ by saying phrases like:
‘I’d like to know your skincare routine’ Or ‘God,woman. You’ŗe mental’
or my favourite ‘I’m advising you on not being a fucking asshole, Garin’.
It’s a bit weird, because at times they spoke (presumably) as people in the Medieval age did, and other times they screamed ‘bollocks’ and called each other assholes (keep in mind that Lilac was one step away from becoming a queen the whole time).
Now that I think of it, It reminds me of ACOTAR (the first book) in that sense – there, fae are thought to be those snobby ancient creatures with good manners, yet it turns out they speak just as we do those days.
Throughout the book, I really wished that Lilac had a disposition to thinking on her own. Yes, she was feisty and all, but her logic, or rather its absence, was irritating me.
It took her so long (and required so many nudges from the others) to look at her ability from the other side (to treat it as a gift rather than a curse). She states that she intends to rule her kingdom in a way that won't hurt the darklings early in the book, but even when she gets told that darklings look forward to her reign, because they’ll finally have a queen who can understand them, she still wants to get rid of her ability. Why?
What (positively) surprised me are the mythological elements: I got what I came for.
Broceliande and its inhabitant are beyond praise. I think the authoress did a good job at organically introducing folklore to the story (or building a story around it). In any case, the result is fantastic!
There were:
*Arrogant faeries/Fair folk, who cannot lie so they speak in riddles
*Witches, warlocks
*Ogres (considered rare)
*Morgens (mermaids)
As I’ve mentioned the world building, I should probably mention the magic, too: it doesn’t really have any limitations, but as the romantic plotline is primary to the story, it doesn’t even matter.
Another aspect I liked is that (expect for the ‘’Inn situation’’ at the beginning of the book), relationship development was gradual.
Though, unfortunately, I felt no emotional connection to Lilac whatsoever.
I’m not sure whether to praise my skills of noticing clues or to admit that this book is very predictable. From the beginning I didn’t expect anything other than a happy ending, but other prompts could have been at least a bit more subtle. There was no ‘’shocking element’’ (absolutely nothing surprised me), and as I wasn’t feeling for the characters either, I felt quite bored.

I knew it all was going to end well, I guessed the majority of upcoming plot twists, I didn’t connect with the characters or care for them, so I just read. No feelings, just reading text – that’s how it felt.

Overall, I think it just wasn’t the right book for me. The writing was pleasant and easy to read, I didn’t see any problems with pacing or character development, the world was lovely, but I just had no emotional connection. I’d still recommend this book to anyone looking for a vampire romance in an unusual setting.

Not my cup of tea, but a promising release, nonetheless.
Profile Image for VICTORIA EDWARDS.
316 reviews98 followers
February 26, 2020

This changes things. Disregard my comment about the world and about Basiton, because according to Brianna we are getting more!!!!!!

Aaaaah. More Sass Garin!!!!
“What is different is not necessarily dark, and even then, darkness does not equate to wickedness.”

Disenchanted was a magical read. I very much enjoyed it. Brianna has some lovely writing, and coupled with her magical world, I was thoroughly enchanted. Haha. Ha.

Lilac was interesting. Kind of naive at times due to her lack of life experience, but she was still strong, and not in a “ill kick your ass I’m Mia Corvere” sort of way, but headstrong. I liked that about her because that’s not something you come across often. Every time I thought she would back down or keep her mouth shut when someone talked at her wrongly, she spoke up. And each time I grew to like her more and more. She didn’t have to kill a guy to be likable.

Already, I miss Garin’s sass. What a creature lol. Grain delighted me from the beginning. He was sarcastic, sassy, and snarky. He was just all the things I enjoy. On top of that he was gorgeous which kept me intrigued 😂. He was a very good love interest in that he wasn’t perfect. He would have killed Lilac has he not been cursed. He’d killed a bunch of people before because he couldn’t control himself, but he was honest about it. He apologized and he truly felt guilt for what he’d done. Did that make up for it? No. But I’m so used to assholes for love interest who could give two shits about the horrors they’ve committed. That’s why I liked Garin so much.

So I docked a star because of the romance. Being that for me personally it felt rushed. I still very much enjoyed it, but it felt pretty sudden. One moment they’re arguing and the next they’re kissing. It was abrupt enough that I was kind of shocked when it happened. But after my initial shock wore off I was still very much shipping them and enjoying their banter and cute moments.

I also wish that we got to explore the world more. I feel like we got an introduction to certain places in Brocéliande, but I left each place—the vampire coven and the faeries residence—wanting more. I know they didn’t play the biggest role, but I think they were worth exploring a bit more. Especially because Bastion just kinda dipped and the situation with Garin taking over felt like it wasn’t entirely resolved.

Other than that I really enjoyed this book, which I did not expect to because lately I’ve been going in with low expectations for most things. So definitely pick this book up if you’re interested. It’s worth a read!
Profile Image for Permanently_Booked.
817 reviews55 followers
March 10, 2020
"What is different is not necessarily dark, and even then, darkness does not equate to wickedness. Even then, I'd rather be perceived as wicked than weak, any day. Women are part heaven and hell. "

This book took me absolutely by surprise. This novel has the feel of a fairy tale, the struggle of a journey and the courtship of a bull in a china shop... and I absolutely adored it. I also went into this blind without reading reviews. I recommend doing so because it adds more to the story as things unfold. Too many mini spoilers I noticed that shouldn't have been revealed.

The characters are well developed. Lilac is our typical princes who has been plagued with a darkness the town folk do not believe makes her fit to rule. Banished to the confines of the castle, until a mysterious letter offers help. Though she has moments of immaturity it plays well into the scene coming off more as naivety and fear. She is a flawed character in the best sense of the word making it easy to connect with her plight and good heart. No one wants a perfect princess. Garin is a character I could gush about for days. He's infuriatingly witty, gracefully abrupt and has a glorious streak of anger befitting his persona. Did I mention his wit? There's a couple times I had the "oh no he didn't" monologue going though my head. Too fun.

World building, though simple, was also created and built upon gracefully. Brocéliande and it's many secrets played like an enchanted Moore in my head... just add more killer Ogres and Darklings. The magic system flows throughout the story without confusion too. Lastly, I did not find myself skipping chunks of paragraphs due to repetitive inner monologue. This novel held just the right amount of inner struggle and contemplation that kept me hooked without avid eye-rolling.

I think I read somewhere there is a round 2. I cannot wait to dive back into Brocéliande if that is the case.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,435 reviews828 followers
July 28, 2021
I really enjoyed this. I normally don’t like it when very modern language is used in a historical type setting, even a fantasy one, but this I found humorous. I liked the story especially the ending. Being YA, there were also messages of self acceptance. Thumping good read!
Profile Image for Restless Isabelle.
182 reviews16 followers
April 28, 2020
An isolated princess trapped by a shameful secret but ready to take fate into her own hands. A mysterious wood filled with magical creatures and an equally mysterious young man. Plus, a villainous plot to dethrone the ruling family. This had all the hallmarks of a fun tale but boy was I disappointed. Even more so after reading all the glowing reviews. I had to DNF this at 80% and have landed on 1.5 stars.

So first up, let's start with the not so good.
The writing was odd and jumbled. The dialogue didn't flow naturally and characters, on multiple occasions, mention things that literally haven't happened. Scenes of action had characters seemingly teleport due to wonky descriptions. Plus there was a strange obsession of describing characters burping, or burp-laughing - it was just so odd.

Lilac and Garin were just...okay. I didn't see great progression from Lilac's naiveté and Garin just read like every other I'm-bad-for-you-but-come-hither mysterious male lead. Because of this it was hard for me to connect with them or, quite frankly - care.

This being said; Lilac's gift/curse and Garin's past sew some pretty interesting seeds for the sequel to explore. And, the world held such promise.
The idea of a human kingdom existing alongside a territory of known"Darklings" (magical critters - from vampires to ogres) was really cool. Plus the political tension between the two societies lay some interesting foundations for a sequel but I just couldn't get behind the jumbled descriptions to stay till the end.

Maybe I'll pick it up and finish it if the sequel piques enough interest but doubtful at this stage.
Profile Image for julia.
821 reviews157 followers
December 30, 2020
4.5 Stars!

"[. . .] knowledge is power. Knowledge is survival."

-ˏˋ Initial Thoughts ˎˊ-

First things first, before I even get into my review for Disenchanted , may I direct your appreciation towards the wonderful cover -

Seriously, half the reason I wanted to read DISENCHANTED was because of the wonderful cover! There's something about it that captured both my imagination and fascination. Also I also think it's really funny how Garin is just lurking behind Lilac, ✨what a mood✨ Overall, I went into DISENCHANTED very unsure of what to expect and left feeling satisfied and wanting more at the same time! I would classify this book as an "adventure-fantasy-romance" that had supernatural and magical elements thrown in. This book is once again a case of Julia-buying-a-book-on-sale and once again my bargain hunting instincts paid off!

-ˏˋ The Synopsis ˎˊ-

. . .look i suck at summarizing fantasy plots so i'm just gonna copy and paste from the GR synopsis, please don't hate me. . .

This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.

Also here's a link to the whole thing if the above summary isn't enough to whet your appetite.

-ˏˋ The Highlights ˎˊ-

The Setting - Into The Woods we go! ✦ Am I on a streak of or what? This is the second book I've read in recent memory where I felt transported into the world along with the main characters. There was something so atmospheric about the forest Brocéliande. I just love an author creates a world that feels just as alive and multidimensional as their characters. Brocéliande felt both majestic and dangerous, whimsical and deadly, romantic and haunting. It almost felt like the scene in Snow White where Snow's running through the woods and everything's really intense and scary, and then suddenly she falls and we're able to see a beauty to the forest that we hadn't noticed before.

I'm really hoping that DISENCHANTED is book 1 in a series because there was so much in Brocéliande left to explore! Overall, the setting transported me deep into this world and now that the book is over I'm kinda sad that Brocéliande isn't a real place.

The Characters - Lilac ♔ + Garin ♔ ✦ Any book is only as good as its characters and I'm happy to report that I really enjoyed the characters in DISENCHANTED . We have the narrator and main protagonist, Princess Lilac. Lilac was an interesting character in that. . .she's a bit unlikeable at the beginning of the story. Or maybe not unlikeable, but a tat annoying. I don't know I was just a bit annoyed by her naïveté, which while it did fit her character - she was an extremely sheltered Princess - it just isn't my favorite character trait. While it does give ample room for great character growth it tends to make said character a bit. . .unbearable for a length of time. But I have to say, even during Lilac's more annoying moments she always retained a great sense of humor, and because of that I was always entertained!

[. . .] she’d marveled at the barkeep’s odd way of speaking, almost as if he were a refined noble himself. Now she knew, he was just really fucking old.

DISENCHANTED had a great character arc for Lilac and I loved seeing her fully embrace her gift and seeing ascend the throne.

“What is a curse to you, might seem a blessing to others [. . .]”

Now let's talk about the love interest, and arguably the second lead of the book, Garin. I really liked Garin and I thought he was the perfect love interest for Lilac. Their relationship as a whole pretty much worked for me, and individually I enjoyed Garin as a character as well. While Lilac was going through her character journey so was Garin. Garin was a . And due to that, he was clearly grappling with his past, and coming to terms with the mistakes that hurt the people he loved. Not only that, but for most of the book we're not really sure WHAT Garin's motives truly are. Now sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't. Luckily in this case it did. I thought it was really interesting how Lilac and Garin straddled the line between enemies and lovers for a majority of the book.

“The next time we meet, fate granting, I shall be queen. Will that make us enemies?”
“We’ve always been enemies, princess.”

Garin also served as a way to challenge Lilac's world view and I thought the way he kept pushing her to be better was really well done!

The Romance ✦ The Romance in DISENCHANTED wasn't the main focus, but it was definitely present. Now I think if it had been the main main focus I probably would've finished this book a lot sooner - it took me about 2 months to finish this bad boy. But, after finishing this book and having some time to reflect I'm glad it wasn't. I think if Garin and Lilac had been super wrapped up in romancing each other their dynamic would've been all off. And to me the best part of their romance was their dynamic. They had this great banter filled relationship that was equal parts loving and combative.

“I just saved you from a bunch of naked water demons who would have rejoiced in drowning you. Surely that must have garnered at least a tiny sliver of trust.”

Garin and Lilac are constantly saving each other and I think, even though Garin would beg to differ, each time Garin saved Lilac (and visa versa) it was his way of showing how much he cared about her. I also liked the way Garin didn't allow Lilac to look at him in this almost, sugarcoated way. He made it clear that if she was going to fall for him she needed to love ALL aspects of who he was.

You can’t fall for the good in me and ignore the dark. I am one of the creatures your kingdom hates and I always will be. Despite my brokenness, I’m still a monster, princess. One you cannot fix.”

I liked that when Lilac ultimately chose Garin she did so after seeing all sides of him, both the good and the dark. Ultimately the romance in DISENCHANTED really worked for me! The dynamic between Garin and Lilac was really great, and their banter gave me life.

“Should we make a run for it?” “What is this ridiculous obsession you have with running from things that can easily catch up to you?” he growled under his breath. “We‘ll need a better plan.”

✦ ✦ ✦

“I’ll rip his head off. He won’t feel a thing—” “Absolutely not,” she whispered back, frantically positioning herself between him and the doorknob. “What is your obsession with severing limbs?”

-ˏˋ Why Only 4.5 Stars? ˎˊ-

Lingering Questions ✦ Okay, so, as much as I really really liked this book it did leave me with some questions. As I've stated a few times in this review, I really hope that author Brianna Sugalski has plans for a sequel! While this book does work well as a standalone and leaves you with a solid HFN/HEA I was still left wanting more. So, here are a few plot points that left me with some lingering questions. . .

The Technicalities of the Romance So, I'm not usually one to nitpick - oh who am i kidding yes i am - but when it comes to certain things I can't not.


So, Lilac is an 18 year old Princess who has been VERY sheltered, and when I say sheltered I mean that she hasn't interacted with anyone who wasn't a servant since she was about 10, so yeah. SHELTERED . Then while on her journey of self discovery she meets the dashing and handsome Garin. Garin, if you haven't pieced it together, is a Vampire. Now not only is he a vampire but he is an OLD vampire. Usually I have no problem ignoring the giant age-gap this presents, but here? IDK , it felt very present. There were times when Garin came off as so much older then Lilac. I think it really hit home how old he was when he met up with his ex-witch GF who looks like this -

Or at least I imagined that's what she looked like. Anyway it just made me question, so many things. Like okay so Garin's a vampire, he clearly DOES NOT AGE, soooooooo what's gonna happen with him and Lilac? Is he just going to hang out with her until she dies? Will she become a vampire? Or will he bounce at some point when she starts to age out of tasteful 50 and dives straight into old old? Also when the dust settles are they gonna have anything in common? Like will Garin realize that he's dating an 18 year old?

I'm probably way overthinking this buttttt whatever.

SooOOOOooo Everything's Good Now What I mean by, is everything good now, is that the big dilemma of this book was that Lilac could speak to the darklings and that was a HUGE problem. It was so much of a problem that her parents locked her away for almost 10 years. So, suddenly it just. . .isn't? And on top of that she's hooking up with Garin, A VAMPIRE. Again I ask, we're all just good with this? I just. . .I don't know, I wanted more resolution between Lilac and her parents, and Lilac and the kingdom. It felt very weird to me that suddenly everyone was completely fine with Lilac having a darkling tongue.

-ˏˋ My Final Thoughts ˎˊ-

DISENCHANTED is a good book. Let me say it louder for the people in the back, DISENCHANTED IS A GOOD BOOK ! I'm reiterating that because for some reason this book has an average rating of 3.96, and that is UNACCEPTABLE to me. this book should have an average of 4 stars gosh damnit! This book was incredibly creative, it had a great heroine, solid hero, it interwove really interesting mythology/magic, and the romance was banter filled goodness. For a first time author BRIANNA SUGALSKI did a fantastic job and I truly hope she writes a sequel for DISENCHANTED . So, my friends, I implore you, READ THIS BOOK!

Despite all he’d confessed, Lilac found herself wishing she could drift over to stroke the sadness from his cheek—or slap the liveliness back into him.
Profile Image for Isabel (The Reader & The Chef).
234 reviews57 followers
October 15, 2020
*I received this book for free from MTMC Tours, Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef !*

I LOVED this book, I could barely put it down! Meet Lilac, a valient but slightly reckless young princess who begins her quest in search of a cure to her "curse". From the very first pages, I knew I was going to like her and she really does not disappoint. She is AMAZING, I love her sense of humor and even though she faces so many dangerous situations, her determination is admirable. Out of nowhere, she quickly meets Garin and I can now say he is also a new favorite character. I had read in previous reviews of Disenchanted that he resembles a bit of Flynn Rider from the Disney movie Tangled and even though there are huge differences, Garin definitely has the same charm. Aah, I truly loved him! He is so sassy, cunning, incredibly shameless but also sweet and caring. I loved the banter between him and Lilac, they make the best team!

Along Lilac's journey, we meet so many amazing characters including Lorietta, Sable, a few Darklings and Ophelia, they each had their small side story and I just love reading about them. One of my least favorite characters is Sinclair which is okay because he is one of the villains of this story and we are not supposed to like him.

Disenchanted is a book about adventure, magic, traveling, magical creatures, lots of bantering, romance, curses, fighting for a kingdom, wishing for food, pastries and a possible nap... it really has it all! I enjoyed reading it and I cannot recommend it enough!
Profile Image for Ashley Haas.
198 reviews28 followers
May 4, 2021

Super fun and fast read.
This was a fast paced book with lots of action and I really enjoyed it.
I listened to the audiobook and the narrator is AMAZING!
Profile Image for Shatarupa  Dhar.
607 reviews79 followers
March 11, 2020
Series: Disenchanted #1

Nineteen-year-old Princess Lilac Trécesson has spent the better part of her young life ensconced in a tower. Now close to her twentieth year and a few days away from her coronation, she receives a note which makes her optimistic about getting rid of the darkness that resides within her. But for that, she has to undertake a dangerous journey through the Forest of Brocéliande - all alone.

While on that journey, she comes to really know about the world outside, and the creatures that inhabit it. Something which the humans never bothered to find out due to their ignorance and fear. Humans - including her own parents - the King and Queen of Brittany. Will she be able to get herself disenchanted and be there for her coronation on time?

Inspired from the Celtic heritage, this one had Darklings - vampires, shapeshifters, faeries, witches, korrigans - and a human girl who has the ability to communicate with them leading to her being feared and ostracized. The story starts with a prologue in the forests that lay beyond the palace where the head of the vampire coven meets with the Duchess. The latter has a task she needs doing and thus seeks out the former.
You forget the things that humans are capable of, when fear is a strong factor.

Ophelia, the witch of Lupine Grotto, may have just the cure that Lilac is looking for to get rid of her Darkling tongue. The year is 1532 and Lilac is tired of staying hidden and of the whispered words and insidious insinuations. Thus starts her journey through the forest to reach Paimpont village, where the witch resides. She confronts a number of creatures on the way and also meets Garin who works as a barkeep at the Fenfoss inn/tavern. And who seems to be the only human around?

Garin is an important part of her journey and I am going to leave it at that. This story is a fantasy where romance is a major part of it, but in what capacity Garin is there for Lilac is something I'm not going to reveal here. It is a nice surprise! Because when Garin's real identity is revealed, I'm anything but disenchanted. Oh, I know the context of the title is different but I couldn't help but fit it right here. I loved Garin from the first page that he made an appearance in and loved him more later. The majority of the story takes place within the span of a week.
How did you destroy a monster without becoming one?

One thing that bothered me, only a handful of times though, was that this story didn't sound like something I was reading based in the sixteenth century. Maybe some contemporary words peppered throughout the text didn't quite strike right. But overall, it was such a magical and adventurous read. Highly recommended! Especially when there's more to come. It had a plausible ending, with a deliciously dark epilogue. I'm waiting to see what was in the letter that Lilac received at the end ...

P.S. Do listen to Celtic music after reading this book. It's magical.

Thank you to The Parliament House Press for an e-ARC of the book.

Originally posted on:
Shaina's Musings
Profile Image for Ebook Enthusiast.
237 reviews2 followers
March 15, 2020
Disenchanted- Brianna Sugalski
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

4/5 stars

Disenchanted is an amazing, unexpected debut novel that I devoured within hours! I stumbled upon this book on a fellow bookstagrammers page and kindly received an ARC by the author. It is the first book in a duology by author Brianna Sugalski. It’s been a while since I’ve delved into a YA fantasy novel and this one did not disappoint! Right from the start Brianna has you hooked with a world that is as wicked and dark as the stories you’re told as a child.

The main character Lilac is a princess with a curse and she sets off into the Broceliande in order to try and break it. Lilac is both naïve and strong but steadfast in her opinions. She doesn’t let what little she does know stop her from sticking up for herself. When she has an unexpected encounter with a vampire her world is changed forever. Garin is a cursed vampire who is suddenly thrust back into a world he has spent centuries avoiding. Garin is equal parts sarcastic, sassy and sexy. He is the ultimate anti-hero that I adore. He is the unexpected protector and enemy of the princess and their chemistry is off the charts.

Briana wrote characters that were flawed, funny and engaging and kept you wanting more. The secondary characters only add to the story and as the story unfolds your pushed further into the hidden world and you can’t help but want more. The romance between the two characters was quite quick but the chemistry beforehand made up for it. The story is left on a bit of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see the ending! Overall I would highly recommend this book to any YA fantasy fans who love a quick, easy to read novel.

Enjoy Everyday,
Ebook Enthusiast 😊
Profile Image for Thais • tata.lifepages •.
390 reviews599 followers
October 7, 2020
Disenchanted is a story that will draw you in from the first page. It starts with Princess Lilac, who sets out on a perilous journey in pursuit of an enchantress. There is a sense of mystery and intrigue immediately, which compels you to continue reading. At the beginning it feels like it is heading towards the well known plot: princess sets out on journey, meets a stranger, and the romance flows, however I soon found out I was wrong.

Enter Garin: mysterious, eluding, and sexy! I rooted for them to get together right from the start! I loved him as a character, and I couldn't get enough of the dialogue between him and Lilac. There was a constant smile on my face whenever those two got in a heated discussion! The world the story is set in is broad, but you get enough details and pieces of information to get a good sense of the world, and I was able to form a coherent image in my mind, which made the story much more richer.

Overall I really enjoyed Disenchanted, and I can highly recommend it if you love dark fantasy with some explosive romance in it! I will keep an eye out for the upcoming sequel!!
Profile Image for Cecille.
94 reviews
March 1, 2020
This is an e-ARC I received from Parliament House Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity. ☺️

A debut novel by Brianna Sugalski, she is a Filipino American Dark Fantasy/YA author. Disenchanted is about a princess who has discovered an ability (or a curse, depending on your views) when she was 10 years old and will make an impact on her future as a ruler. This is set during the peak of French Renaissance, and has different fantasy creatures in the story.

The main protagonist is Lilac, the princess born with a “curse” that changed her fate forever. Her actions from the start of the book till the end for me was because she wanted to be a worthy Queen for her people.

Garin is a delight, although I sometimes thought of that other famous fantasy creature when I read what he is, BUT he still is totally different. He is nice when he wants to, but is dangerous even with that particular “defect” in him. I would’ve liked to read more about Bastion though, he seems to be a handful.

Overall, I was given glimpses of the world of Darklings, but it would be nice too to be given more in-depth description.

I enjoyed this book and was eager to read it when I was a few chapters in. The end was a bit of a cliff hanger though, and seeing that this is a duology, it will hopefully be concluded well by that time.
Profile Image for Fizah(Books tales by me).
633 reviews53 followers
November 27, 2020
This book was everywhere and people were raving about it, so I had to read it.

Lilac’s coronation is in a few days but there are riots, the public doesn’t want a Queen who can speak the dark tongue. Sinclair is next in line for the throne and first in line for her future husband. She spent all of her life in the castle, hiding her ability to speak the dark tongue. One day she got an offer from a witch who claimed that Lilac can get rid of her unwanted gift. There goes the rest of the book.

Vampires are not my type, so when I got to know that another MC is vampire, I got a bit alert. On the positive side Garin ended up as one of the most likeable characters of the book after Adeliade. he is dark, sarcastic and caring. Adelaide didn’t get much time but her vibes were totally amazing. Though Lilac was just one dimensional.

I loved the worldbuilding, Author took her time and give us a beautiful, magical and detailed world. I also loved the historical touch of the story.

The pace of the story wasn’t perfect, I skimmed many parts because things got dragged without any reason, and the parts I was looking forward to passed so quickly.

Overall it was an enjoyable book.
Profile Image for Emma Katherine.
271 reviews11 followers
March 8, 2020
Read my full review here: https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/20...

Opinions: This is a tale of the underdog through perseverance, creativity, and strength. Lilac is an inexperienced character that finds a place in our hearts through her naivety and misplacement in society then wows us by her development throughout the novel. By the end of the book, I was nearly falling out of my chair and squealing at Lilac's improvement in confidence, skill, and relatability to the reader! Sugalski's world building was impressive and immersive, the plot was complex and forthcoming, the themes were supported and pertinent to readers - what can I say, it was a fantastic book! I would reread Disenchanted by Sugalski in a heartbeat because it is inspirational and thought-provoking. If you're looking for meaning in fantasy, you'll find it here!

My Favourite Thing: If I must choose one thing I love the most, I would say I truly enjoyed the atmosphere of Disenchanted. I appreciate Sugalski's use of diction and other literary techniques to create this effect and completely immerse the reader into the world. Although there could've been more world building within the various locations, the tone and themes of each scene were overwhelmingly present and encapsulating. Disenchanted was not only a good book, but a pleasant read!

My Least Favourite Thing: Hmmm... to be honest, Disenchanted isn't my favourite book in the entire world, but there's nothing wrong with it! I enjoyed all of the elements without any hesitation: characters, themes, writing style, plot, setting, and context. I strongly recommend this book to any curious readers!
Profile Image for Donna Weiss.
922 reviews7 followers
March 23, 2020

I’m giddy!!! I just finished Disenchanted and I don’t want to leave this amazing, captivating world!!!! Not to mention I WANT MORE OF GARIN & LILAC...NOW!!!!!!

The main characters were so real and flawed, but watching them grow and falling in love with them was everything I want in a story!!!! The other characters that they meet up with in the story have me intrigued, I’m looking forward to reading more about the characters of this magical world!!!!

Speaking of the world!!!! The world building was freakin AMAZING!!!! I could smell the smells and fear the creatures that Lilac did. This book came alive in my hands!!!

Brianna Sugalski is a phenomenal writer. She’s a master at putting everything she sees in a way that we can feel it and visualize it. I’m looking forward to so much more from her!!!
Profile Image for Caelena Fey.
61 reviews5 followers
July 3, 2020
I love the covers. My expectation did not disappoint me this time, I really like the world building and the romance, even if I didn't know that there will be a vampire involved.

I don't want this to end, I still wanna know what happens next. I hope to see their reign together.
Profile Image for BooksCoffee.
906 reviews
March 17, 2020
Sugalski makes her foray into the world of dark fantasy with this fabulous first installment of the Disenchanted series, set in a medieval world where a Brenton princess struggles to deal with her anomaly to win her people’s love and respect and become the rightful owner of the throne.

Set during the peak of the French Renaissance, it follows 19-year-old Lilac, a Breton princess, as she leaves the security of her parents’ castle days before her coronation ceremony and ventures into the forest Brocéliande to see The Witch of Lupine Grotto to get a cure for her darkness. With hostile townsfolk who despise the young princess with her supposedly dark curse and a scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac must join hands with a mysterious stranger to battle the evil forces and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.

Sugalski skillfully guides the reader through this exhilarating, thoroughly crafted saga, combining elements of paranormal and magic with vivid action sequences and emotionally moving scenes of introspection and romance. She has drawn her cast with skill and precision, imparting them depth and nuance at once. The inevitable underlying attraction between Lilac and Garin is developed in gradual strokes, making the relationship of the couple all the more sensual. The couple’s interactions provide a great deal of entertainment as Lilac’s inexperience lands her in awkward situations.

Lilac despite her self-doubt has the charm and integrity of a worthy heroine and an easy character to like. Readers will relate to her struggles to fit in. Garin shines through and through. His integrity, loyalty, and sense of humor combined with his charming personality and inbred defiance for loathsome nobles will gain him readers’ immediate affection. The other characters are well-drawn.

Sugalski does an admirable job balancing large-scale political conflict of the plot and characters’ interpersonal conflicts. Though the story is woven on the yarn of a political conflict, it’s romance that stays at the heart of the book. Sugalski, with an exceptional eye for characterization and situations, creates an absorbing fantasy that’s a delightful romance and a compelling coming-of age tale wrapped together.

With its witty, sharp dialogue, crisp prose, and tight plotting, this impressive series opener has all the merits of a well-crafted fantasy.

Readers who love medieval-esque fantasy will be greatly rewarded by this thrilling tale of magic.
Profile Image for Jess Ostrander.
273 reviews31 followers
March 10, 2020
Thank you to The Parliament Press and the author for a review copy!

A prisoner in her parent's castle since an unfortunate curse was revealed on her 10th birthday, Princess Lilac longs for freedom and her own coronation. But with the hatred and anger of the townsfolk and a nobleman bent on stealing her crown, Lilac fears the worst. Even her own parents seem like they fear her. But then one day, a mysterious letter arrives. The witch Ophelia promises that she can rid Lilac of her Darkling tongue for good... if Lilac can get there. Escaping her tower, Lilac travels through the forest Brocéliande in search of Ophelia and her cure. With only a dagger and the unwanted help of a stranger, Lilac must make it through the dark forest, and survive the creatures who live there.

Okay. So wow. I was initially drawn to this book because of the cover. Anything Queen Gabi illustrates is probably going to be my jam. And then the synopsis drew me in. And I was instantly hooked on the story! I loved Brianna's style. The world building was pretty good. I was wishing for just a bit more on the forest itself, but I feel like book two will give us even more. I loved the fantasy elements and how we get some classic fantasy races and some not so common ones. And can I just say I'm here for vampires making a comeback? Because I so am. And the characters were great too! I loved Lilac's development throughout the story. She starts so naive and inexperienced, having only learned of the world through books. But I love how she grew and changed. And then Garin. I loved him from the second we met him. I really liked how he was written and the ways he grew and developed over the story. His sass and snark are everything. I love that he wasn't perfect, and that his flaws didn't magically go away either. He's done some bad things, but he feels remorse. To say much more might give spoilers, but he's for sure my new book boyfriend. And the other side characters were interesting and well fleshed out. I feel like there's so much room for development and more of their stories in the next book too. I really want more of Piper and Bastion!

Overall, I loved this book! It kept me up way too late because I couldn't put it down! It has all the fantasy elements I like. And well developed characters who don't feel like stereotypes. I loved the world and its blend of the real and the magical. I loved the romance, and can't wait for more in book two! I will be impatiently waiting until I can get my hands on the next book!! I highly recommend this one!!
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
1 review2 followers
February 28, 2020
It usually does not interest me to hear that a book is written about Brittany as it is often the same old thing with knights, swords and fairies. No offense intended, when I saw the author that wrote it, it was what most interested me. I went into this with little expectation but I was shocked by Brianna's description of Brittany in depth to minor detail. Coming from Morbihan I am impressed. She wrote about our country separate of France and covered the past tastefully. If you expect a book with perfect historical accuracy this is not the book for you. From what I can see it was based in Breton history but still belongs to the Young Adult Fantasy (though I found myself wondering if Lilac is based on Anne of Brittany) genre, allowing deviation. There were still many rich descriptions and references to Breizh culture with other Celtic fairy tales that I noted immediately.

Lilac is not a traditional or local name whatsoever but the story was so compelling that I'll let this pass. Brianna wrote of the Château de Trécesson which is a real castle near Brocéliande forest and Paimpont. No one knows the origin of the castle ruins other than that it is from the 1500s but there are many ghost stories around it like the woman in white, so this book is fascinating being that detailed around a random setting. The strangeness of her name does not distract from the story, it only adds to her quirks.

Garin! The AUDACITÉ. He is very funny and somewhat rude but he's much more a believable love interest than usual in this genre. The reveal of his true character is well done, I didn't expect it. I screamed lol. He is the highlight of this book without taking away from Lilac's plot. Sinclair is this coarse disgusting excuse for a person who has no redeeming qualities, easy to hate his guts.

It nearly received 4 stars because I thought it was a standalone but the ending is exceptional now that I see it will have a sequel and maybe (hopefully) more. In the last chapter there is a scene where Garin made a speech to Lilac about the importance of preservation of language and it is chilling if you know our war history. I need a break and then will start over. This book will be one of my favorites this year. If the publisher chooses to translate Disenchanted into French or Breton languages I think many other readers will enjoy it.
Profile Image for rylanne burdette.
416 reviews58 followers
November 27, 2020
Lilac has been held prisoner in her own home for as long as she can remember. She’s heir to her father’s throne, but because she is different from everyone else, her own people and family are afraid of her. Lilac escapes from the castle and begins a journey to find a way to get rid of her “darkness.” It is during this time that she meets Garin, a mysterious man who joins her along the way and makes her realize how strong and powerful she could be.

Disenchanted is a phenomenal book for any and all fantasy lovers. I don't usually read fantasy, but I absolutely devoured this book. There was action, romance, and drama, and everything flowed together so smoothly. I was so captivated by the plot that I was able to read a majority of this book in one sitting! Garin and Lilac are one of my new favorite fictional couples, and I cannot wait to see where their relationship takes them in the sequel.

A huge thank you to Divine Tours and Brianna Sugalski for the copy of this book in exchange for participating in the tour!
Profile Image for Julia Norge.
101 reviews11 followers
May 21, 2021
This was such a great book surprise! I picked it purely based on the title, and it did not disappoint. I started reading with no expectations and knowing nothing about it, but I soon discovered a fun and sassy protagonist, a thrilling adventure, and a curse that might actually be a gift. Brianna weaved magic and suspense with romance and adventure with such skill that I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. A stunning debut that I recommend to lovers of magic, adventure, old epic worlds and a little bit of romance.

Update: I have received an audiobook version of Disenchanted for my participation in a tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Brianna Sugalski. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. If anything, the audiobook has allowed me to re-experience the story in a different way. The narrator did an especially good job of differentiating the Darkling language, and of voicing the sassy protagonists.
Whether you wish to read it or listen to it, Disenchanted is definitely a story worth getting lost in.
Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,718 followers
July 4, 2020
Girl meets boy, girl turns out to be heir to the throne, boy turns out to be a centuries-old vampire…tale as old as time, right? Wrong. Sure, Disenchanted delivers all the explosive romantic energy you’d expect when a woman on a mission to save her kingdom gets mixed up with a reluctant bad boy bodyguard. But, Brianna Sugalski’s magical pen delivers so much more: adventure, intrigue, humor and the kind of deep and diverse world building that leaves you eager for more.
Profile Image for Justine.
222 reviews59 followers
March 20, 2020
How do you destroy a monster without becoming one?

Disenchanted is a charming and beguiling New Adult dark fairytale-esque debut from author Brianna Sugalski. Deep within its bones, it’s a tale of embracing, rather than shunning, the aspects of oneself that go against the grain and set them apart from the majority; that it’s ok to be different, and changing to appease others does more harm than good. We follow a princess as she ventures into a dark and mystical wood with hopes of finding a witch to reverse her curse, but instead finds her true place and purpose. With delicious tension, enchanting surroundings, and treacherous encounters, this thrilling adventure is one that surpassed any and all expectations I had when first embarking.

Of the many aspects of this book that I absolutely adored, the characters Sugalski has crafted are just stunning. Lilac, a naive, sheltered princess, entering the unknown – fearless to a fault, and willing to endanger herself to bend to the whims of her kingdom in order to save it. Garin, cursed with an insatiable hunger – masks his guilt and pain behind a facade of snark and lies. The Darkling and the princess with the Darkling tongue. As unconventional as their relationship may be, they balance each other’s quirks and shortcomings in the most dazzling of ways. The author also introduces an utterly loathsome villain with Sinclair, making it remarkably easy to ignore the misdeeds of our male lead. I loved the dynamics between all these characters, all of which kept the pages turning at a rapid pace.

It’s impossible to discuss this book without addressing the world that’s constructed around us. A historical fantasy at heart, there are references that make this story relatable, but then…then we’re transported to Brocéliande. Beyond the rolling hills and farmlands of Brittany, a mysterious and magical forest filled with all manner of monsters awaits. Humans tend to steer clear of this living wood, unwilling to succumb to its deadly charms, but those unlucky few become undoubtedly bewitched by those that inhabit it. Simply put, it’s devastatingly beautiful, and I’m thrilled I was able to spend the majority of my journey lost beneath its rich canopy.

Sugalski’s writing is what predominantly adds the fantastical touches to this tale of risk and vulnerability. A lyrical prose coupled with vivid descriptions completely engulfs, effortlessly carrying away readers to another place and time. A straight-forward plot with the majority of its focus on the evolution of its characters transforms this epic romp into a very intimate illustration of personal growth and self-awareness. The mechanics used to build tension do so without flaw, which oftentimes had me audibly declaring “just one more chapter”. It’s easy to lose yourself in this world she’s created, and I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more.

As soon as I learned of Disenchanted, I knew this was a book I needed to read, and it completely consumed me. While the ending felt a bit rushed and left me with some unanswered questions, I was happy to discover there will be more – yes, there will be more! A gorgeous debut, ripe with racy romance, haunting pasts, and bloodletting aplenty, I’m excited to see where Sugalski takes us next. If you’re on the hunt for a fairytale that isn’t afraid to give in to its darker side, consistently blurring the lines, then I suggest you give this one a try. I highly recommend.

Note: A huge thank you to the author and The Parliament House Press for providing me with a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


See this review and others at Whispers & Wonder
October 20, 2020
Ratings: 3/5 🌟

- I was really excited to read this story because 1. The cover is absolutely stunning and seems like a story I would enjoy 2. The synopsis was intriguing with elements I tend to enjoy in YA fantasy! However, this was just an average read for me and I didn’t love it as much as I hoped to. The story wasn’t what I expected and it just so happens that it is not my preference for fantasy story
- This isn’t a full fantasy story but a mix of fantasy and supernatural, which I wasn’t expecting. I do really love supernatural but I am not a fan of supernatural vampire romance, which is probably why I didn’t clique with this book as much as I wanted to.
- Thankfully, it is not cringey and it wasn’t torturous to read. In fact, it was pretty enjoyable and i do like the relationship dynamics at the start of the story. There is a lot of interesting details which makes the whole supernatural element more unique and interesting.
- As I mentioned, it is a supernatural vampire romance which I tend to not like. Inevitably, there will be some typical vampire + human interaction and romantic scenes but I actually don’t mind them that much! I did enjoy their relationship, especially at the beginning. Towards the end of the story, I did find their progress a little slow and wished more has happened but that is for book 2 I’m sure.
- The plot progression is great and there are awesome action scenes. The start was amazing but things got a little slower towards the beginning. I was hoping the story will end with a bang at the end but it was a little underwhelming and brief. It was also a little confusing for me because I didn’t quite know what was going on but everything cleared up at the end. If only the middle section had more action, it would be a much more entertaining story for me.
- I love the setting and the magical world. It is set in the French Renaissance with a unique magical system that is fascinating. I did wish there had been a little bit more world development. Not that there isn’t any (it is actually rather fascinating), but I guess because I love it so much that I want MORE! I was however, disappointed in the setting.
- I love fantasy stories set in medieval times but this story did not feel like it at all and was actually really confusing. The characters do no resemble people from that time period at all, especially in their dialogue. Words like “skincare” was mentioned which makes it extremely odd. After all, it’s supposed to be set in French Renaissance and I don’t think skincare is a word from that time period. I’m not expecting it to be historically accurate, it is a fantasy after all, but I wished there was more resemblance in order to make the setting clear.
- I really wanted to love this book and unfortunately it is just not my preference. However, if you are a fan of supernatural stories with elements of fantasy, this could totally be your thing!
Profile Image for Haley Calvin.
Author 1 book9 followers
March 26, 2020
It’s finally time to bring vampires back and honestly, I am soooo ready.

I was actually recommended this book by Jess(@metalheadreader) and I took a leap of faith and purchased a copy. I’m super glad I did, as I was actually super impressed! Since this book was published by an not well-known publishing house, there were a few typography issues but it didn’t change any of the meaning. It only bugged me a little as I’m taking classes about how to form and layout books!

This book was *chef kisses*. The writing was so pretty and it flowed so well throughout the novel that it had a romantic folklore vibe to it and I think that was the goal. The way Sugalski described places and people had my heart grow in my chest. The story takes place mostly in the Brocèliande forest and all the imagery of the scenery and the denizens of it were so phenomenal that I had to stop and reread because it was so beautifully written!

Now the characters were also super realistic which made the whole experience that much more immersive. The dialogue was written in a more formal way but it made sense since it was 1400’s Brittany. The banter between Lilac and Garin was so fun but it also didn’t seem forced. The way Lilac talked with other characters, too, was also very smooth and the conversation was fluid. Even when Lilac was talking with Sinclair with her ‘damsel-in-distress’ voice, the stuff she said worked and I think that’s such an amazing accomplishment to achieve.

The author didn’t quite explain certain magic very well but it could have been because the narrator, Lilac, didn’t even know how it worked. Even when we thought her Darkling tongue was a curse, it might not actually have been. It seems that the creatures of the forest have their own form of magic but I hope Sugalski covers it more in the sequel!

The romance was very fun and rewarding and was somewhat of a slow burn. It was an enemies to lovers love story and the witty banter was so enjoyable and Lilac and Garin had something other book couples lack; chemistry. There was a definite connection which had me rooting for them the whole time and when it finally did, it was so sweet and well worth the wait! I’m excited with where they will go in the next book considering the ending.

I found the idea of Darklings as their own community an interesting take on the creatures of the forest. I liked how it wasn’t just limited to one fantastical species but multiple living in respectfully in the same area. I loved how they had their own language and Lilac was the only mortal to be able to speak it. It created a clear divide and prejudice between the mortals and the Darklings.

This ties into the politics of this book splendidly as it does play a big part of the book. Lilac isn’t the most liked princess of Brittany but she is the sole heir. To win the favor of her people, she tries to get rid of her cursed Darkling tongue. The book covers a bound-to-happen arranged marriage and how he would have more power than her even though she’d be queen. It’s complex with old laws from dead Kings about the forest dwellers and Lilac becomes progressive in trying to vie for both sides. It’s super interesting to see the author’s take on a historical monarchy with a fantasy twist to it.

Overall, I thought the plot was a fun twist on folklore themes but I felt like it was a little much. I felt like we were constantly doing things, going from this place to the next. It felt a bit rushed and I wished I could have had more flow between each key point. I also found the ending with the witch a little wild. It made sense but I was hoping that it would have turned out differently.

The goods definitely outweigh the bads and I’m really looking forward to the sequeal! Like I said, it was super fun, super romantic, and I highly recommend if you like vampires, folklore, and fantasy!

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