Title: The Bone Spindle
Series: The Bone Spindle #1
Author: Leslie Vedder
Genre/s and Tags: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBTQ+, Retellings, YA Fantasy, Romance, Magic
Sleeping Beauty meets Indiana Jones in this thrilling fairytale retelling for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and All the Stars and Teeth.
Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.
Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.
Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.
Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi–until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way–not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.
Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.
Thank you Penguin Teen & Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This was so much fun!! The whole time reading this I had a giant smile on my face. I love these characters and this world! I want more queer retellings.
The Bone Spindle is a genderbent retelling of Sleeping Beauty in a queer normative world. This book follows cursed bookish treasure hunter, Fi, and Shane, a lesbian with an axe (also a fierce warrior)! The two of them team up when Shane finds a strange map that could lead to treasure and/or magic. Along the way, Fi pricks her finger on a bone spindle and wakes Prince Briar Rose. With Briar’s spirit in tow, Fi and Shane will have to travel through the magical forest to his kingdom in order to break his curse.
I loved the characters of this book so much. Between Fi and Shane, I knew I was going to be a goner. Fi is the perfect book lover trope and she’s so adorable about it! I loved how tough Shane was, but she also had a fierce loyalty and a soft heart for those she loves. Her backstory really got me, I hope we continue to learn more about her and possibly see her brother and ex-fiance in the sequel!
I will say if you’ve ever experienced an emotional abusive relationship proceed with caution. Fi deals with a lot of past trauma from her past ex who not only was emotional abusive, manipulative and gaslit her, but he also cursed her before parting ways. While all these things happened in the past, Fi is still dealing with the trauma and the aftermath of it. This ex also appears in the book and tries to manipulate and coerce Fi again. So yeah, he’s a scum bag.
The magic and worldbuilding was so cool! I really loved learning more about the world and Briar Rose’s Kingdom, especially how he ended up being cursed. All in all, I really loved this retelling and I can’t wait for its sequel!!
Rep: female MC with PTSD, Lesbian female MC, sapphic female side character, bisexual female side character, vegetarian male side character, queer-normative world.
CWs: Blood, confinement, emotional abuse, fire, gaslighting, injury/injury detail, mental illness (PTSD), misogyny, sexism, toxic relationship (past one), violence.