A young woman rides to Pinnacle City on a winged unicorn, desperate to make it to the castle before her time runs out. But after running into bandits, she agrees to ride with Philip, a farm hand who is to become apprentice to the castle’s magician.
The pair arrive safely, and it feels like a happy ever after moment. But of course, things don’t just end happily ever after, and the pair find themselves thrust onto a quest to save not just a prince, but a kingdom.
The story is set in the same world as The Girl With No Name, and it works very nicely when coupled with Iscah’s previous novel. Like The Girl With No Name, in Seventh Night Iscah uses fairy tales as the setting, but manages to twist them into something new and different. We get to see glimpses of magic, but not so much that it makes it feel like every problem can be solved by it. We have a tyrant as a king in a land of (mostly) peaceful people, winged unicorns, thieves becoming magicians and a beautiful princess. There’s a love story at its heart, but it’s not the constant main focus, and the characters grow slowly together rather than just meeting and falling instantly in love like a traditional fairy tale.
The tension remains high throughout the novel, with Iscah keeping us constantly guessing what’s going to happen next. Even the love story isn’t clear cut, with it being up in the air about who is going to end up with who and how other characters might react. The characters themselves are brilliant to read, all with their own distinctive personalities, all standing out from each other and managing to bounce off each other in a manner that feels very natural.
If you like fairy tales with a twist, and like something a little different, pick up Seventh Night, published 07/11/2013.
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