Sleep and Spirit: Elemental Viria Book One Author Courtney Thorne

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!

"For nearly four hundred years, there had been no female Viria born to any Royals."

Well, if that didn't just seal Aurelia's fate. . . Her birth was a miracle and a cause for celebration and excitement, but for Aurelia she only sees her birth as a curse. One she must bear without ever fully having a choice! But when a fateful birthday comes along, she decides enough is enough. Using the "gifts" her father so cunningly got for her she flees into the woods and far away from the tower that's been her prison.

A little bit of a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel but with so much more! Aurelia will find everything she wants and craves but it will come at a price. Will she be willingly to accept the price? Or will she return to the castle and be placed back under her father's thumb? What will become of our strong-willed princess?

"I would forever be the princess locked away in the castle." - Aurelia

This book had complete "Tangled" vibes as I read it! Though sorry, no big musical numbers even if the song of "Mother Knows Best" would have fit. It's insane what lengths parents will go through to achieve goals, believing they know what's best for their children. Not seeing the error of their ways or sometimes not even caring to see. Forgetting children grow into adults that make their own decisions based on the parents' actions/examples and choosing whether to follow or reject.

What I loved the most with this read was the depth and detail! Aurelia's been trapped within a tower and never allowed to go outside or enjoy life. So, when she runs away, we get to fully understand and feel what she does. I get cabin fever from staying inside the house for a few days but two decades worth? Yeah, I would be camping outside under the stars every night until the bad weather moved in!

Through Aurelia's POV, hers being the only POV in the book, we get to reexperience the things we take for granted. I loved every minute of her exploration and understanding of life outside the cold castle walls. Being free and not having to walk on eggshells and wonder where the guards were placed. I enjoyed the people she meets and the bonds she forms. 

This book was a ride when it came to emotions! Felt the whole spectrum as I read and there were several scenes and characters that made me want to punch someone. Aurelia also didn't stand for things and had a unique way of displaying it. Aurelia's an independent woman who doesn't fit the typical good-girl-princess mold, much to the dismay of several. 

I also liked the build and belief in things and the twists that soon followed. Aurelia's arc was just amazing and there's a quote I love but don't want to give spoilers! You will just have to read the book and find the quote that had me grinning from ear to ear. This book does end with a cliffhanger, and I am so ready for the next part!

"I want to have a choice." - Aurelia

This series is going to be a dark romance! The first installment is focused more on Aurelia and her character arc than anything else. Along with setting the stage, world building, and character introductions. The romance and tension are there but sorry the most MF action in this book that happens is passionate kissing. Buckle up for a slow burn that will have you groaning in frustration. Language is present in the book as well as violence, gore, and scenes with blood.

Read the content warnings at the beginning of the book! Courtney provides a list of things to look out for as you read. Aurelia's parents are not the best and there are some heavy hitters, this book may have some vibes from the Disney movie, but this read would not be approved by Disney. The author also spoils us with a pronunciation guide and brief definitions of things at the start of the read!

I loved the complexity of everything and the plot twists! Also got "Avatar: The Last Airbender" vibes from this read when the elements were being described and how to connect with them. Speaking of the TV series, not the live action movie. . . I loved the take on the elements and some of the unique abilities that came about from using them.

This was a fantastic read with great pacing and I am excited for the next installment! Enjoy the NA fantasy with some romance and don't forget to give the author some stars! Sleep and Spirit (Elemental Viria Book 1) eBook : Thorne, Courtney: Books

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