From the moment you begin reading this book, you can tell it's different from your typical fantasy novel. There's a quality to the storytelling that is easy to fall for in its first person, conversational manner, and it similarly is a story that has a certain mysterious trait-- a hint, maybe, like the old, truly magical and special tales have to them-- a curious quality that you can't quite place your finger on and put to words, but that you know makes this book special out of all the others you've read.
It didn't take me very long to realize that if I had read this book when I was a kid, or a young teen, this book would be one of the books to forever influence me and change my life. Even now, reading it when I'm a little bit older and a smidgeon perhaps wiser in the world, it left such a tangible taste of a good story in my mouth that I'd be forever doing you a disservice if I didn't say that you should go out and pick up this book, even if you have to buy it, to read it. It's a book that not only entertains and is enjoyable, but it teaches you, too. It opens your eyes. And that's why I say, If I was younger and I'd read this book, it would have changed my life.
As it is, it still hit me profoundly, and I fell in love with the characters swiftly. They had their faults, but this is a fairy tale, my friends, and the most amazing part is that in this day and age I had the chance to stumble upon a fairy tale that was uniquely retold to make it profound and engaging. It's a book that's captured my favor to the point where I can't imagine living my life without sharing the story with everyone I know. I will make them read it, because it's this fantastic!
It's humble. It's of love in the purest and most understandable, relatable sense. It's of beauty being more than appearance. It's of selflessness even when you could lose the few things that mean the world to you. It's of patience. And the best? It's completely plausible as an addition or "what really happened" telling of the fairy tale that it was inspired by.
It's one of those old, classic fantasies. It feels utterly simple when put into words, but carries well when you're reading it, experiencing it for yourself, and means more than what a review can contain. Perhaps, it will mean different things to different people. What spoke to me out of this story may not be what speaks to you, but it has that potential to tell more than just one tale, and send more than just one message. That's what makes this one so special.
If you're a fantasy lover, if you love fairy tales and their retellings, if you're a fan of the Rapunzel character or story-- read this book. If you love romance, if you love tales of knights in shining armor, if you love books about messages concerning the physical appearance and deeper beauty-- read this book. If you love old medieval magical stories, or strong main characters, in particular strong female characters, too-- read this story.
It is so worth it. It's timeless and just as wonderful.