by Victoria McCombs
*synopsis from Goodreads*
A Queen raised in the shadows, and a Fraud Prince who needs her help.
The sole heir to the kingdom is destined to sleep for a hundred years. To hide this liability, the queen left her cursed daughter in the care of a trusted lord, while taking his son as her own. Rowan grew up hating the boy who had her crown and vowed to one day reclaim her place as queen.
But when a neighboring king threatens a war they won’t survive, Rowan must work with the fraud prince to save Elenvérs. She pledges herself as his spy in the enemy court and lives in the heart of danger. If she can’t save her kingdom before the curse hits, there may be nothing left to wake up to.
The Winter Charlatan is the third book in the Storyteller’s Series, but it can be read without any prior knowledge of the series. I actually read it without having read the first two books in the series, and I was able to follow the plot perfectly.
The Winter Charlatan is a Sleeping Beauty retelling, which is fun for a couple of reasons. First off, I feel like Sleeping Beauty retellings are kind of rare. And second, Victoria puts a very fun twist on the original tale. This Sleeping Beauty knows all about her curse, and she is determined to break it. Add a lot of political intrigue and twists in there, and you have The Winter Charlatan.
The plot was very fun. The twists definitely kept me turning pages. And not all of the characters are as they seem.
The characters were developed nicely. Victoria did a nice job of making Rowan’s character arc have a natural progression. There was only one point when Rowan had a moment of introspection that made her arc feel a little too obvious.
The ending has me ready to read the next book! I’m excited to see what happens next to Rowan (and other characters). I also have a feeling that the next book is also going to have a couple of my favorite tropes in it. 🙂
If you’re looking for a fun, unique fairy tale retelling, check out The Winter Charlatan!
Cautions: magic; one kiss; light romance; brief, non-graphic violence
The Winter Charlatan releases December 2021.