About the Book:
Title: Poisoned Heart
Series: The Emerald Realm
Author: Abigail Manning
Release Date: November, 5th, 2021
Genre: Fairytale Retelling
Princess Arabella is truly the fairest in all the land, and she knows it. With her pretty face, elaborate ball gowns, and glorious castle, she truly lives the perfect royal life. That is, until she is forced out of her home by a mysterious assassin.
With only the clothes on her back and the tiara on her head, Arabella flees from her castle in the dead of winter. As a last resort for shelter, Arabella takes up work in a laundry mill with seven other women. The once adored princess is now subjected to sleeping in piles of dirty laundry, but at least she is hidden. Well, she hopes so…
In the midst of her deadly game of hide-and-seek, she discovers that her kingdom is endangered by her absence. With the help of a dashing captain, a quirky noble, and her seven new companions, she must protect both her life and her kingdom. Will Arabella learn what true beauty is as she navigates her new life as a nameless commoner? While evil builds and secrets unfold, there may be more than her heart that’s poisoned.
A fairytale retelling of Snow White, Poisoned Heart is the first in a series of retellings. Arabella, princess of Isalla, knows that she is beautiful and privileged. In fact, her father would always brag about her to anyone. But with his death, she is left with her mother, who she had never connected with. The arrival of a neighboring king and his son sets into motion changes for her kingdom and the rest of her life. She finds herself being hunted by a mysterious assassin and seeks shelter amongst a group of women working at a laundry mill. Suddenly forced to work and sleep amongst dirty laundry, she hopes that she is at least safe. However, when her kingdom is endangered, she must join forces with a dashing captain, a quirky noble, and her seven new companions to protect it
Will Arabella discover true beauty and the hidden secrets embedded within her land?
This is a new-to-me author who we connected with through Instagram. I love fairytale retellings and this one was really fun! Arabella definitely grew over this story. In the beginning, she was a bit spoiled and selfish, but it was very sweet to see her grow over the story. I appreciated how influential the people around her were in her growth. It is much easier to understand and be compassionate when you truly see what others are going through and connect to them. It was so sweet to read about how she built friendships with the other ladies at the laundry mill. Hazel in particular was such a sweetheart!
I also enjoyed how Arabella grew as she interacted with Aurelia and Peter. Aurelia was so fun and I loved her passion. She really sought to use her privilege for helping others. Hopefully, we get to see more of her story! Peter was also so swoony! He was kind and supportive, while being competent and strong.
There were points where I felt like things moved a bit quickly in the story, like with Arabella’s character development, but overall it was an engaging and interesting story. There were definitely some surprises in there too! This is the first in a series, so there were some hanging strings that I am sure will be picked up further along in the series. I am excited to read more! This is a clean fairytale retelling that I would recommend to teens and up. There are some mentions of death and assassins, but nothing darker than the original fairytale.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.