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Fairytale Fantasy Review: The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener

The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener 


Ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
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 fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
If the first book felt like Michelle Diener was just dipping her toes into fairy tale retelling, The Golden Apple was much more solid and wonderful.

Kayla ans Rane were a great pairing; both had their strengths or course, but again it was Kayla who totally saved everyone's arse. It felt like men were just stumbling under her feet and generally made themselves a nuisance!


Kayla is a princess, whose father declares that whoever reaches her on the glass hill made by a sorcerer and plucks a golden apple from her hand, will marry her and inherit his kingdom. Pissed off with her father's bizarre choice, angry and feeling like she is slowly suffocating, Kayla decides to choose at least her first lover if not a husband and seduces a sweet funny guy she meets at a feast before the tournament.

Only the guy is one of the participants, and his trick ensures that Kayla would choose to help him to reach her above everyone else. 

As per synopsis, Rayne is forced to participate to save his brother's life, and he will have to use every trick in the book to win the golden apple. Only when he and Kayla ensure his victory they find out that they both had been played and now need to complete a sorcerer's quest otherwise the golden apple will drive them mad.

Their quest leads them through a dark forest full of wild magic, which Kayla discovers she can use to survive, save Rayne and his brother and defeat the sorcerer. She is a fighter and strategist and she would have done much better if Rane didn't keep her in the dark and try to do everything himself.

This is a dark, fast adventure with a great chemistry between the main characters, which I enjoyed very much. I would recommend it to any fairy tale fantasy fan for a tasty bookish snack.


* * *
Если в первой книге Мишель Дьенэ ещё была не уверена, что она собственно говоря делает, то с Золотым Яблоком  она наконец вошла во вкус, так как эта книга получилась у неё гораздо сильнее.

Читается очень быстро, как небольшой книжный перекус, легко, и скучать вам с главными героями совершенно не придётся.

Кэйла - принцесса небольшого королевства, которую отец внезапно объявляет призом в турнире: заберись на стеклянный холм, забери золотое яблоко из рук принцессы, и её рука а также королевство твои!

Кэйла жутко рассержена и не понимает с чего это её отец связался с чародеем, который построил стеклянный холм и почему он проводит дурацкий турнир. Единственная свобода, что у неё осталась, это выбрать своего первого любовника, если ей не дают выбрать самой мужа, и она спит с очаровательным пареньком в ночь перед турниром.

Только оказывается, что он один из участников турнира, и теперь ей придётся сделать всё возможное, чтобы он победил.

Рэйн вынужден участвовать в турнире, чтобы выиграть золотое яблоко и спасти своего брата, которого держат в плену его враги, и он пойдёт на всё, чтобы победить, даже обманет принцессу.

Только после его победы оба понимают, что они всего лишь пешки в игре чародея, так как теперь им придётся отправиться в заколдованный лес, чтобы украсть из него магический талисман, иначе золотое яблоко сведёт их обоих с ума.

Классически для Дьенэ, положение спасает принцесса, а мужики в основном путаются у неё под ногами и мешают её планам! Именно Кэйла обнаруживает, что дикая магия заколдованного леса подчиняется ей, и она понимает как спасти брата Рэйна и обмануть чародея.

В общем готовьтесь к интересному приключению с главными героями, которые очень хорошо работают вместе. Мне очень понравилось, и продолжение я читать обязательно буду, так как история Кэйлы и Рэйна ещё не закончена.
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