As you may recall from a previous post, I recently had the good fortune to read Miss Danielle E. Shipley’s new fairy tale novella, The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of the Wilderhark Tales). It is now time for the review!
The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of the Wilderhark Tales)
Fairy tale / Fantasy
Danielle E. Shipley
One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.
This was a short, sweet, and delightful novella. The heroine, Rosalba, is everything a princess should be — kind, beautiful, caring, and rather feisty on top of that. She falls into the classic fairy tale trap of doing something she really shouldn’t, and the kingdom pays the price for her mistake. Luckily, help arrives in the form of the chubby but helpful tailor Edgwyn — an endearing young man who is probably my favourite character in the story. He’s everything you want in a fairy tale prince, minus the rock-hard abs and … well, being a prince. But he’s kind, and generous, and their love story was so fun to watch unfold.
As this was the second novella in the series, and I hadn’t read the first, I was expecting to be hopelessly confused, but that wasn’t the case at all — this novella stands on its own as a separate story. I could tell from the way certain parts were written, and the inclusion of a couple of chapters that struck me as being rather irrelevant to the story, that these were put in to tie this novella into the existing series and please fans of characters from the first novella. As a new reader, I found that a bit irksome, but hey, I can hardly fault a book in a series for being part of a series!
Aside from that, I found this novella to be a charming and excellent read. Shipley is obvious well-read in fairy tale lore, because she draws a lot on common fairy tale tropes (evil fairy curse, princess trapped in tower, etc.), but she puts her own spin on them, which makes for a really enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend this story to any fairy tale fans out there!
Five out of five stars!