by Julie Daines
By Mindy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Bronwen is a girl who has seen rough times. After sickness crippled her legs and killed most of her family, all her mother and her had were each other. We meet Bronwen and her mother on a stormy night where her mother tells her the faerie folks will be out causing mischief. No sooner does she say that, when the Grey Maiden, the Gwyllion, appears at their door. They give her shelter from the storm, all while the Gwyllion keeps staring at her crippled legs. This irritates Bronwen, but she prepares a room for her to sleep. While she is getting it ready, the Gwyllion comes to her tell her she knows what it is she wants. Bronwen is surprised by this, but knows that she must watch her while Bronwen is on the swifts.
"Before she could leave the room, the Gwyllion spoke again. Nothing more than a whisper, yet her words filled the room. "Who would want a crippled wife?"
Bronwen's head snapped up. She had never said those words out loud. Not to anyone. Not even her mother. She already knew the answer. It was why she wept sometimes at night. Why she hated the boys in the village who looked at her, then looked away. If she were whole, they would be vying for her favor even though they were all below her station.
She answered the Gwyllion's question. "No one."
"And yet you dream," the faerie witch said. "The stars do not shine on dreamers. They shine on those who see the truth." (page 6 - 7)"
The next morning Bronwen sees that the Grey Maiden is gone, but she has left Bronwen a gift, old shoes. Her curiosity gets the best of her, and she tries them on. The pain she experiences nearly knocks her out, but the pain is from her legs healing. She can stand and walk. Bronwen and her mother travels to town to present her to the king since she is of age. She meets the king's son, Urien, but recognizes Rhys from back home. She quickly decides to lie about her family name, in hopes that Rhys won't recognize her. And what happens next, starts a chain of events that tangle of web of more lies that have a hard time being unraveled. Bronwen gets herself in a mix of trouble, and tries to find her way out, but the only one who can save her is herself.
4 1/2 out of 5 stars. A fabulous read full of faerie legend and folklore. It is also a story of a girl who doubts herself and others because of her limitations. I loved the lessons that Bronwen learns. Even though it takes something pretty drastic for the truth to finally come out, I love how it all unravels. Julie did an amazing job with this book. There is heart, humor, adventure and characters that surprised me. Very enjoyable read.
By Lisa, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Imagine that you are crippled, and are given a gift that straightens your legs and you can walk upright. Who wouldn't jump at a chance to change their life?
Bronwen is given this opportunity when a fairy stops at her door. The fairy gives her a chance to have a normal life while she is wearing a pair of shoes. Bronwen's desires are realized. She is given an opportunity to be presented to the King as a whole young woman. She figures she will be in and out of the King's presence and then go on her way. She didn't count on finding favor with the Prince.
Her lies of omission become greater until she feels trapped with the truth. She is given an opportunity to decipher truth from fantasy.
The book has a magical feeling to the writing. It was easy to be swept up in the story. Julie Daines has done a wonderful job in presenting and implementing her story. It reminds me of the fairy tales that I grew up with and loved. This is a story that I would love to revisit and share with my daughter.
By Stephanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This story has so much to offer: folklore, romance and magical shoes. What girl can pass up magical shoes? Not poor, crippled Bronwyn. When she is given the opportunity to wear shoes that will make her withered legs straight, she takes it. Only, the shoes came from a faerie witch.
Bronwyn travels to court where she is noticed, and sought after, by the prince. But she also catches the eye of a male friend from her village who knows she is crippled. Will he keep her secret? Will she be able to keep the magical shoes a secret from the prince? And can Bronwyn maintain her integrity while trying to figure out what her heart already knows?
While I wanted to throttle Bronwyn for not be truthful, I felt her pain and cheered her on until the end.
Julie has produced another fantastic book that draws in the reader quickly and thoroughly.
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Who knew a pair of shoes could cause so much trouble?
A beautiful tale of love and learning to appreciate what you have. So wonderfully told!
Knights in shining armor~
Damsels in distress~
Witches and fairies~
Love and deception~
Hope and healing~
Bronwen's legs are not right...
They haven't been since the sickness came.
Then one night a Gwyllion came to visit...
In the morning Bronwyn found a strange pair of shoes.
The shoes beckoned her to put them on.
As she did her legs became whole and she could walk.
And so begins the story of how she found herself "presenting" before the prince and the love story that follows.
When Bronwyn takes off the shoes her legs return to their former, deformed state.
Can she keep up the lies and deceit?
SO. SO. SO. GOOD!
A fairy tale worth reading!