Hero by Alethea Kontis
Series: Woodcutter Sisters#2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release: October 1, 2013
Hardcover: 304 Pages
My Copy: Purchased
Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.(Courtesy of the Publisher)
In Enchanted we meet the Woodcutter sisters, each named after a day of the week and each with gifts according to the rhyme:
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
These gifts tend to manifest themselves in unforseen ways. Saturday, for example, is a workhorse of a girl. She is tall and built a bit like a man. Nothing makes her more satisfied than hard work. She rarely tires and has a hard time resting. But this also mean that will work herself to death if given half a chance. In Hero Saturday struggles to understand her place in the world and what her destiny is. Through a strange combination of events, she is kidnapped by an evil witch who mistakes her for her brother, Jack. The witch has a vendetta against Jack since he stole her eyes and she is determined to get her revenge. While held captive at the Top of the World, Saturday meets some fellow captives: Peregrine, an earl's son, Betwixt, a chimera, and Cwyn, a large magical raven. Saturday realizes she needs to kill the witch, but is not too happy to discover that she may also have feelings for Peregrine. Saturday feels that love really just gets in the way of everything.
Saturday was especially a nice surprise in a narrator. Based off of her parts in Enchanted, I wasn't sure I would gel with this hard-working, tomboy-ish, ax-wielding sister. But I ended up loving her. She wasn't perfect. She is ungracious, uncooperative and determined to do everything on her own. But watching her grow into herself was a delight. I especially enjoyed her interactions with Peregrine, who really brought out the best in her in often funny and endearing ways. I found myself chuckling quite a bit whenever they sparred and traded quips back and forth. Their relationship was adorable. I was rooting for them from page one.
I also loved all the other fairytale aspects that weave through the story. Some well known fairytale characters make appearances throughout. But my favorite aspect was how this book felt like a fairytale without being twee or over the top.
I definitely recommend this series for anyone who loves fairytales and fairytale retellings!