Thursday, 24 August 2017

Review: Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury

Allerleirauh by Chantal Gadoury
Published by The Parliment House
Released 22nd August 2017
236 Pages
Kindle Edition

Thank you to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Once Upon a Time…

In the kingdom of Tranen, a king makes a promise to his dying wife that he'll only remarry a woman who possesses her golden hair. In time, the king's eyes are turned by his daughter. Realising her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick him by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars, and a coat made of a thousand furs. But when he is successful, Aurelia sacrifices her privileged life and flees her kingdom, disguised by the cloak and a new name, Allerleirauh.

She enters the safe haven of Saarland der Licht, where the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus takes her under his care. Hoping not to be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Allerleirauh tries to remain hidden under her new identity when she finds unexpected love with Prince Klaus, even though his arranged marriage to the princess of a neighbouring kingdom approaches. Risking everything, Allerleirauh must face her troubled past and her fears of the future along her journey to self-acceptance in this triumphant retelling of the classic Grimm Fairy Tale.

Thoughts

I love discovering new authors, especially if they dabble in YA or YA Fantasy. I took part in the book blitz for Allerleirauh a few months ago and just from taking part in that I knew I had to read the book. To my surprise, the author, Chantal Gadoury got in touch with me a few weeks after asking if I'd like to read and review the book. Of course I jumped at the chance and could not wait to delve into this world.

Allerleirauh is a retelling of the classic fairytale All Kinds of Fur by The Brothers Grimm. When the Queen of Tranen dies her only wish is for her husband, the king, to marry a woman with the same golden hair as her. After being unsuccessful in his search the king realises his daughter, Princess Aurelia has the same golden hair as her late mother and settles on marrying her. Desperate to get out of the marriage to her father she tries to stall the wedding by making some impossible requests. When these request are fulfilled however, Aurelia escapes to the nearby kingdom of Saarland der Lict where she is welcomed with open arms by the dashing Prince Klaus.

I'd never heard of the original fairytale before so I really went into this book with an open mind and I was actually really surprised at how much I got into it. The first part of the story I will warn you now is very disturbing and does include elements of rape and incest. Reading those parts did really unnerve me and I was wondering what kind of book I was reading. Wasn't this meant to be YA? However, I do commend the author for doing that. Rape isn't mentioned a lot in YA fiction and it is an issue that should be spoken about more. 

The second part of the story was my favourite. We get to see Aurelia escape from her fathers clutches and find refuge in the nearby kingdom of Saarland der Lict. I really enjoyed reading about her relationship with the royal household, especially Prince Klaus. Oh I loved him! He was the definition of Prince Charming if ever there was one. There are a lot of strong male characters in YA but he certainly takes the spot as one of my all time favourites. He took Aurelia in despite knowing where she was from or her background and made her a member of his household. Reading about their blossoming relationship was so heartwarming and I felt like Klaus was Aurelia's own knight in shining armour. He helped her at her lowest and cared for her. That is love, in my opinion.

Aurelia's character developed exceptionally well throughout the story. She started off as a naive young woman who knew nothing about love or men and as soon as her father paid her attention she latched onto it not knowing the consequences. As soon as she escaped however, she started to grow albeit very slowly into a strong willed, determined, individual woman who could stand on her own two feet. At the end of the book she was unrecognisable from the girl she once was. Character development is crucial in fiction and the development of Aurelia was outstanding.

If I was going to say one negative thing it would be that I would have loved to have read a bit about Aurelia and Klaus' life together and how they advanced not only as individuals but as a couple as well. This may be because I liked them both so much as characters and can't let them go..heck I'm still thinking about them now and I finished the book a few days ago.

Allerleirauh was a great read that had me hooked. Yes, the first part did disturb me somewhat but without that you wouldn't have had the fabulous character development of Aurelia or any storyline to go on. This is a book that I will definitely be talking about and telling people to read for weeks and months to come. 

Rating



Chantal Gadoury is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published three novels, Seven Seeds of Summer, Allerleirauh and The Songs in Our Hearts. Writing has always come naturally to her, beginning at the early age of seven. Her love of writing evolved from a passion to read and document everything about her life in journals. (A Real-Life Harriett the Spy, without the Spying!) While Chantal is pursuing writing avenues, she enjoys acrylic painting, watching Disney and romantic historical movies and spending time with her family.


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