I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A Stolen Kiss by Kelsey Keating
Release date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher: Swanifide Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
A stolen kiss. An unstable curse. One big mess in the making.
Derric Harver never expected to amount to anything more than the palace stableboy, but when Princess Maria’s curse keeps her from accepting a prince’s proposal, she turns to him for help, and he doesn’t dare refuse.
With the help of a lady’s maid and a prince, Derric and Maria embark on a dangerous adventure to find the sorceress who cast the curse. Along the way they battle deadly creatures and make new friends–all the while struggling with the undeniable chemistry between them. Reaching their destination won’t be easy, but the true danger peril in the truths they’ve fought for years to keep hidden.
A Stolen Kiss was a fun and adorable read! I love fairytales because there is a timeless feeling to them. No matter where or when you read them their magic will take hold and transport you to another place. This book was no different. The story is basically a retelling of The Swan Princess/Swan Maiden where a young woman transforms into a swan due to a magical curse. The story in A Stolen Kiss starts here, but there are enough differences to keep it exciting for the reader.
The story starts when Maria, the princess of Opea, is about to become engaged to Humphrey, a prince form a neighbouring kingdom. He proposes and she turns into a swan! Maria is completely devastated and her lady maid Sarah enlists the help of her brother Derric to help lift the curse. However, things are never that easy. This leads the group to embark on a dangerous journey to the faraway kingdom of Kylrea, which is full of magic, mythical creatures and shapeshifters.
What I liked:
- I loved the mixture of known and brand new mythical creatures. I particularly enjoyed centaurs who had female warriors and male caregivers. But instead of making it a female dominated society, both genders appeared equal. Ellis, the shapeshifter, was mysterious and witty. You could never tell if he was good or evil.
- The explanation of how magic works was well thought out and detailed. I liked how the reader was introduced to the magically world at the same time as many of the characters were learning about it. The appendix of magically spells and curses in the back also helped.
- There was believable character developed as the story progressed. Derric struggled with being a leader. He had spent his whole life enslaved by the royal family and always putting others first. When he begins to discover new things about himself it becomes a battle between right and wrong. Humphrey was a bit annoying at the beginning, but the friendship that developed between him and Derric was wonderful to read about.
- The story was a quick, breezy read. Sometimes it’s just nice to read without having to think too much. I laughed at the silly jokes, cheered on my favourite characters and smiled the entire time.
What I didn’t like:
- Sarah was the only character that didn’t stand out to me. She was kind of just there. She served no real purpose except to whine and complain about how she hated wearing pants and missed her fluffy bed. When she wan’t specifically mentioned in a scene I honestly forgot about her being there!
- In the story, Derric hides his true identity being using the name Daniel. This was confusing at times when both names were used within the same paragraph. This was only done a handful of times, but it did force me to reread the paragraph again to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
A Stolen Kiss is the first novel in the Stolen Royals series which will explore a variety of characters from the kingdoms surrounding Opea. Since this book was so much fun to read, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next one!