Title: The Golden Apple
Author: Michelle Diener
Publication: March 24th 2014
Genre: Fantasy ~ New Adult ~ Fairy Tale Retelling
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Kayla’s world has been turned upside-down . . .
Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.
Rane’s honor is torn in two…
In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to–including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.
Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together . . .
Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla’s actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.
The Golden Apple is loosely based on the Norwegian fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill.
I do love retellings and this one is very original because it’s based on a Norwegian fairy tale and we don’t get to see that often. These fairy tales are also not widely known (not to me anyway) so that makes it all the more special. Especially when the story woven around it is so good.
I actually liked The Golden Apple a bit more than Michelle Diener’s previous fairy tale retelling Mistress of the Wind. I loved how there was a lot of action so it never got boring, the romance was nicely done too although it didn’t overpower the rest of the story and of course above all else, the magic. I love me some magic in a book!
Kayla and Rane’s journey was fantastic. I loved their interaction, their personalities. Kayla, a princess, though no ordinary one and isn’t what she seems and Rane, doing whatever it takes to save his brother even if he had to deceive Kayla to get to the golden apple. Ah, the intrigue! As always Diener has managed to create great leading characters that you can’t help but care for what happens to them. Kayla and Rane also meet a lot of interesting characters on their journey in the Great Forest; A huge enchanted kitty, evil sorcerers, witches, trolls… you name it. It had them all.
I’m pretty excited that there will be a second book coming out in the fall because I can’t wait to see where the story is going next and if they will be able to stop the socerers’ war and defeat Eric The Bold. So yes I would definitely recommend this fantastic new adult fairy tale retelling by Michelle Diener!
His determination to win her set her senses alight, more brilliant and blinding than the midday sun off the glass mountain.
She could not get lost in his again. She would never find her way back.
She was his by law, and yet, he knew she was not his at all. She was one-one’s but her own.
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. Her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes In a Treacherous Court, Keeper of the King’s Secrets and In Defense of the Queen.
Michelle’s other historical novels include Daughter of the Sky, The Emperor’s Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies (loosely connected to The Emperor’s Conspiracy).
Michelle’s first fantasy novel, Mistress of the Wind, was published on December 19th, 2013 and her second fantasy, The Golden Apple, is due out on March 24th, 2014.
Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.