Warning: If you have not read “The Wish Granter” by C.J. Redwine, do not read this review if you don’t want spoilers.
I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “The Wish Granter” by C.J. Redwine! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.
So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.
But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.”
You might be wondering, why another fairytale retelling? I’m aware I’ve already read retellings for both Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but I honestly had no idea it was supposed to be a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin until about halfway through the book. I’ll start with the good points first, then move to what I disliked.
I enjoyed reading Ari’s character in the first half to two-thirds of the book. When she sees a problem, she doesn’t just send someone else to do the dirty work for her—she’s willing to get her own hands dirty to try to find a solution to the problem. She takes action. She’s not afraid to admit her weaknesses, like not knowing much combat (hence why she gets Sebastian to help her learn), and she uses her strengths to her advantage, such as her intelligence and wit.
I also enjoyed reading Teague’s character. He really showed how ruthless he was and didn’t hold back any punches when retaliating against Ari, Thad and Sebastian, as well as the pain he felt at his earlier betrayal that took place prior to the book. Thad, for the little amount we see him in the book, truly showed he prioritized his sister’s safety over all, even if it came with a terrible price of his soul.
….And now for the not-so-great.
I disliked Sebastian’s character, mainly because he was hung-up over Ari far too quickly. He kept noticing all the curves she had, rather than her intelligence, fighting prowess and wit, which really annoyed me. This, in turn, worsened the romance between Ari and Sebastian, and I highly question whether Sebastian wanted to get together with her because she looks good or because of the inner qualities she has inside.
Speaking of the romance, it was incredibly forced. I cringed at some of the romantic scenes because of how static they felt. It didn’t feel genuine from either character’s perspective, and this brought down a lot of the book.
The plot of the book was interesting and made me want to read more in the beginning, but by halfway through the book it got incredibly predictable. Even the ‘plot twist’ of Ari dying and Sebastian sacrificing 100 souls in three-to-five hours to save her life felt predictable.
Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars for the predictable second-half as well as the not-so-great romance. However, this is a book worth reading.