By: Elana K. Arnold
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Published: October 2nd 2018
Length: 7 hours and 42 minutes
A dark, twisted, unforgettable fairy tale from Elana K. Arnold, author of the National Book Award finalist What Girls Are Made Of
The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: When the king dies, his son the prince must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon or what horrors she faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome young man, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny of sitting on a throne beside him. It’s all like a dream, like something from a fairy tale.
As Ama follows Emory to the kingdom of Harding, however, she discovers that not all is as it seems. There is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows, and the greatest threats may not be behind her, but around her, now, and closing in.
First and foremost: This book Is being marketed to the wrong demographics. This is by far not a teen piece.
I know I didn’t enjoy this book very much for the main factor of the shock value I had received, I picked this up blindly. I did no research on it, read no reviews. I didn’t even hear of the book until the day I picked it up. And I wish that I had left this absolutely beautiful cover behind on the shelf in the TEEN section of my library.
I was so close to slapping Damsel onto my DNF pile, but after my friend saw I was listening it she told me how awful the ending was and honestly that really edged me to keep listening to it ( by this point I had realized this would have to be listened to with headphones and not while driving in the car with my children). Reading Damsel really makes you feel disgusting and I’ve read so pretty heavy dark books.
Now the details given within the book were sublime, It was very easy to envision the setting and the characters. The very deeply hidden fairytale was a mix of Sleeping Beauty meets I don’t have a damn clue. Overall yes you can say this was a fairytale of sorts.
Trigger Warning: graphic sexual assault, rape, abuse, self harm, suicide, animal cruelty.
My best advice for reading Damsel… Stop at the cover.
The narration, while the voice was not worst, the accent made it at time difficult to undertsnad. And I’m sorry you had to read that.