Monday, July 10, 2017

Coiled- H. L. Burke

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: A healing touch. A hideous face. A looming curse.

As the ugly twin to a perfect sister, Princess Laidra lives her life in the shadows—until her parents offer her as bait for a giant serpent.

Her escape attempt leaves her shipwrecked on a secluded island with only one inhabitant: Prince Calen, who lives under a curse. If anyone looks upon him, he turns into a giant serpent. Speaking to him in the darkness, Laidra sees past the monster to Calen’s lonely soul, and she determines to free him from the magic’s hold.

But if Laidra can’t break the curse in time, Calen will become a mindless creature of scales and fangs forever.

A YA mythology/romance that retells the myth of Eros and Psyche with adventure, magic, and true love.

My Thoughts: The myth of Eros and Psyche is one of the greatest love stories of Greek mythology, as well as a personal favorite, so it was without hesitation that I picked up this novel by Burke, particularly since I knew that there would be hints of Christian faith throughout. The romance of this novel fully lived up to my hopes regarding this retelling, such that I finished it in two days.

The first half of this novel was amazing, and fully satisfying on its own had the story concluded there. The way Burke handled the concept of two people falling in love without ever seeing each other's faces and, once they did, seeing that one of them was far from outwardly beautiful, was touching and honest. Because the truth is that Calen is not attracted to Laidra, but he his captivated by her heart which has looked past his own deficiencies and challenges him to find something worth living for.

The second half of the novel was not as great in my mind. There were numerous confrontations in which the characters debated their reasoning and tried to justify their actions, much of which seemed slightly ridiculous to me. I think people are far less eloquent when put on the spot as well as far less willing to see reason. That Calen and Laidra were able to make peace with so many people who had previously wanted them dead was also something that felt off, though what I would have preferred to happen probably would have made this a much darker story.

As to this being a YA novel, both parents and readers should know that discussion of physical attraction is part of this story, as well as the knowledge of marital acts taking place (though these are only mentioned with one fade-to-black at the end). It is up to each family what they believe to be acceptable content for teen and tween readers, but I personally believe that Burke handle this subject in a manor that reflects a healthy relationship. I am happy to have read it and to recommend it.

I have proved an honest review after having received a free ecopy from the author.

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