Rating: 4/5 stars
Genres: Fantasy, fairy tale retelling
Expected publication: April 11th 2017 by Patchwork Press
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About this book:
As her fingers move across the strings of her family’s heirloom harp, sixteen-year-old Clarion can forget. She doesn’t dwell on the recent passing of her beloved father or the fact that her mother has just sold everything they owned, including that very same instrument that gives Clarion life. She doesn’t think about how her friends treat her like a feeble, brittle thing to be protected. She doesn’t worry about how to tell the elegant Elena, her best friend and first love, that she doesn’t want to be her sweetheart anymore. She becomes the melody and loses herself in the song.
When Mack, a lord’s dashing young son, rides into town so his father and Elena’s can arrange a marriage between the two youth, Clarion finds herself falling in love with a boy for the first time. Drawn to Clarion’s music, Mack puts Clarion and Elena’s relationship to the test, but he soon vanishes by climbing up a giant beanstalk that only Clarion has seen. When even the town witch won’t help, Clarion is determined to rescue Mack herself and prove once and for all that she doesn’t need protecting. But while she fancied herself a savior, she couldn’t have imagined the enormous world of danger that awaits her in the kingdom of the clouds.
I really do love retellings but only when they are done right and since I have previously read all other books by this author I had expected this one to be just as good as well. Well, it did not disappoint. With Ballad of the beanstalk, the author brings to us the prequel of Jack and the beanstalk explaining the mystery of the magical singing harp and what happens in the land above the clouds.
Clarion has lost her father and her only solace is the harp that she learnt to play from her father. As her financial condition gets worse and she is in love with her best friend ( a relation that cannot be shown to the world), things are just not going well for her. She doesn’t believe she can ever love a man until one day everything changes. A new mystery man in town, a giant beanstalk, the village witch is hiding secrets. From there the story takes an interesting turn. What I liked most about this book was the unexpected elements and also how it was part light fairy-tale and then equally dark and real. The author doesn’t shy away from showing the real heavy stuff and then when the ending came, I was left in awe.
I liked all the characters equally and the writing just flows so easily that I finished the book in one go, without ever being bored or thinking of taking a break.
A charming and delightful read.