Dearest by Alethea Kontis

17155793The Ocean at the edge of your house – it’s a big scary thing, and it wasn’t there yesterday. Queen Sunday, the youngest Woodcutter sister who married her enchanted frog in Enchanted, has to deal with the upheaval. Everyone who was flooded out moves to the castle, they’re hungry, and they need a change of clothes.

Big sister Friday only ever wanted to sew clothes and help people… but she has a magical dream while she is with the Sisters of Mercy, and has to rush home. She helps by watching the children. Hello, Wendy, John, and Michael! Let’s play a game called Spot the Shout-outs.

swan brothersIn Enchanted, Friday sewed the most amazing ball gowns. Now, she sews and sews clothing from whatever scraps she can find. You know who else has to sew? Rampion, the sister of the seven swan brothers. Just like in the original Grimm fairy tale, she can’t speak until she weaves a shirt for each brother, or the enchantment will become permanent. Weaving from scratch – there’s a reason it’s called from ‘scratch, as Rampion’s poor bloody finger can attest. PS, Rampion is another word for Rapunzel… and while no one was looking, Rampion has pulled a cool trick with certain plants.

swan prince crown.jpgNaturally, Our Hero (female) falls in love with Our Hero (male). But Friday is a Woodcutter sister, and destiny can go suck its thumb, she’s busy. True Love will have to wait.

The Swan Princes and Rampion are royalty in distress(tm), and Humbug comes to tell them that the Foul Usurper is coming to kill them. (OK, folks, who is the yellow-eyed Humbug? I feel I should recognize him.) Can Rampion finish the shirts in time? In the original fairy tale, she wove 6 1/2 shirts and threw them onto her brothers while she was about to be bunt at the stake for murdering them. Here, there is a twist… Fun! And hello, swan lady Odille/Odette.

The Swan family returns to their homeland – with Friday – and the game isn’t over yet. Ocean and Destruction and Fire and Dragons…

This book is so much fun, I must have the next one right away. Maybe I’ll re-read the series while I wait for it to be published.

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