Initial Thoughts: I am such a sucker for retellings of fairy tales. Owl Eyes is a retelling of the classic tale of Cinderella. For whatever reason, I seem to read more retellings of Beauty and the Beast than of Cinderella. Although television and movies have nearly exhausted Cinderella, there is still a lot of uncharted territory for Cinderella retellings in young adult literature. So far, I have only read Cinder by: Marissa Meyer and Ella Enchanted by: Gail Carson Levine (both are excellent by the way).
Nora knows three things: she is a servant, her parents are dead, and she lives in the kitchen house with her adoptive family. But her world is torn apart when she discovers that her birth father has always been right there, living in the house she serves.
This discovery leads Nora to more questions. Why was she thrown in an ash-covered room for asking about her father? Why is a silver-bladed knife the only inheritance from her birth mother? Why is magic forbidden in her household—and throughout the province of the Runes? The answers may not be the ones Nora hoped for, as they threaten a possible romance and her relationship with the adoptive family she loves.
With the announcement of a royal ball, Nora must decide what she is willing to give up in order to claim her stolen birthright, and whether this new life is worth losing her family—and herself.” – Goodreads
I was very surprised by how Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale diverged from the original Cinderella tale. The summary appears to be a little misleading as the first part of the novel is solely devoted to Nora’s quest to find who her parents were. The Cinderella elements were very subtle, such as the (sort of) wicked stepsisters, wicked stepmother, and upcoming ball.
Nora has spent her life as a kitchen servant under the harsh brutality of Lady Portia and Lord Alcander. When Nora discovers that she is of noble birth, Nora tries to redefined herself and take back her birthright that was stolen away from her.
In many Cinderella retellings, there is a huge focus on romance. Owl Eyes has very little romance, which I found slightly dissatisfying. What I did enjoy about the novel was the world building. Nora’s world is a world of magic and spells with strange plants and a rich history. I really liked the descriptions of the odd food Nora would have to serve to Lord Alcander and Lady Portia’s guests.
Nora herself is an unremarkable character. Although she narrates the story, I never had a good sense of what she is like as a person. Her desire to find out who her parents were and to get revenge on those who wronged her, seemed to be her only motivation. Nora’s relationships with the other characters were quite shallow. The secondary characters seemed to have more personality and to be more of interest than Nora herself. If the story would have been through Jack’s point of view (Nora’s friend), I probably would have enjoyed the story more. Jack’s role in Owl Eyes was unfortunately very passive. He seemed to be just “there.” Until I got to the end of the book, I wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be a best friend character or a potential love interest.
There were moments of great potential, and some interesting changes to the original Cinderella fairy tale. This one certainly breaks the mold of the original beloved tale. My disinterest in Nora and the overall slow pacing of the story made this novel largely forgettable and not as enjoyable as I would have liked.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy Cinderella retellings and are looking for a novel with very little romance, and a bit of magic.
* I received an advanced copy of Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale by: Molly Lazer will be published on March 20, 2018.
About the Book
Title: Owl Eyes: A Fairy TaleAuthor: Molly Lazer Year Published: March 20, 2018 Genres & Subjects: Fiction, young adult, retelling, Cinderella, Magic, Fantasy,
Where to Buy…
Amazon (United States)
Until Next Time,