By Jenni James
On Rapunzel’s sixteenth birthday, her parents are tuned to stone by the evil witch, Lady Vactryne, and the girl is taken to be forever hidden away in a tower. The young princess is afraid and all alone, and as the months pass by and her attempts to escape become more desperate, she begins to hope that anyone will come to save her.
Prince Jonathan of Balligyrn has loved Rapunzel since they were children and has vowed to battle the witch, bring Rapunzel back, and restore her kingdom, no matter the cost. It has been years since he last saw her and asked her to wait for him to return from school. Now Jonathan only hopes he is not too late.
The cunning witch has other plans for them both, one that does not involve losing her dreams to mere fools. Who will win—the woman bent on revenge, or the young girl determined to overcome it all?
So, I really enjoyed Jenni James’ first retellings so much more than her last few. This one fell flat for me, because it felt incredibly rushed and had so much potential to be something fantastic. I’ve read a few reviews that talk about how they appreciated how she handled the subject of depression, but I found it hollow and too sudden to be realistic or well-told. This is a story that tries to be a boy-next-store love story with a royal twist, and then a curse, and then Johnathan spends most of the story pining for Rapunzel and wandering around trying to find her. There is the barest trace of character development, most of what we know is told to us rather than shown because this was just bare plot bones showing through everywhere. There was just too much story for the length of book she wanted. I didn’t care for this one as much as her others. The Frog Princess was the last book she wrote that I really enjoyed.
I give this a 2.75 out of 5