I received a free copy via Edelweiss.
I’ve had some disappointing reads recently and I was so glad that Stray turned out to be an entertaining, beautiful and refreshing fairytale.
Princess Aislynn’s magic is uncontrollable and it rewards her with nothing but punishment. At her Introduction Ball (where she becomes of age to be married off), Aislynn makes a mistake that causes her to be Redirected — she becomes a fairy godmother in training and she is assigned to Princess Linnea, who very much becomes a friend to Aislynn. The ancient and strict teachings of her society, known as The Path is what all members of society live by and Aislynn must choose whether to live by The Path, or to stray from it.
An original fairytale, I think this novel will appeal to fans of Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and hell, even fans of our favourite Disney movies from our childhood and adulthood.
My favourite thing about Stray is the characters. I loved Aislynn as our protagonist. She had her flaws, certainly, but she is self-consciousness (yet learns to overcome this), brave and kind, even though this does mean that she lands herself in trouble a lot of the time. I really loved to read about her development throughout the novel and how she came to accept herself and her magic.
I also very much loved the charming Thackery. He is, as you probably guessed, the love interest for Aislynn — but it’s sweet and slow and leaves you aching for more interaction between the two.
The story is dark and enticing , compelling and addictive to read despite some slow pacing at times. Overall, I really did enjoy this original novel with a very genuine fairytale feel.