A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst…
Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger-and, unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest-she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.
This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.
With an education in Mass Communication–and an engrossment in all that is curious and bewitching–Brianna Sugalski is an author and blog editor at the Parliament House Press.
The Filipino-American author was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, but travels the country every few years with her husband and two children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing up reading period literature, folklore, and fables has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.
Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives on society and systemic prejudice, and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.
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Breton, the language spoken in Brittany, North West France, where the story is set, is actually closer to Cornish than French, as it is a Celtic language not a Latinate one like English or French. It originated when Celts from Cornwall and Wales migrated there, taking their languages with them.
Over time the language changed, and some Bretons speak both French and their native tongue, which is sadly not as many as in the past.
I thought it might be fun to see what English, Breton, French and Cornish words associated with this book look like, as some have similarities and some are very different!
I tried to get a pronunciation guide but it can be tricky with minority languages and I was a bit wary of some of the slightly strange ones on Google. But even without knowing exactly how the words are pronounced, you can easily see the differences and similarities in the different tongues. I am endlessly fascinated by linguistics, so I hope you enjoyed my nerd out!
This was a really fun read, and came at just the right time, I really needed something enjoyable and not too taxing on my poor old brain. Lilac is a great heroine, a bit naive but very brave and determined – even though she’s been locked up in her parents’ castle for a decade she enters the forest (Brocéliande) without a second thought.
Her relationship with Garin is great fun, they have a real back and forth and she drives him nuts! It reminded me a bit of Tangled, only without the frying pan!
I loved all the elements of folklore and the humour, it made me laugh out loud a few times. Honestly it’s just a really fun, modern take on the fairy tale, with a princess who can, mostly, rescue herself.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.