A Spindle Splintered, a review by Amy

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A Spindle Splintered
Alix E. Harrow

120 pages
Available October 5, 2021


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Harrow’s writing is every bit as magical as the fantasies she weaves. I was completely enchanted by this clever retelling with a powerful message.

Zinnia Gray was cursed at birth, not unlike Sleeping Beauty with whom she is consumed. Knowing her congenital disease destines her to no more than 21 years of life, Zinnia lives stilted and cautiously. But on the night of her 21st birthday, caution is thrown to the wind as she is thrust upon an adventure that just might set her free.

“But the curse isn’t quite broken, the prince isn’t quite charming, and that’s not happily ever after I see swimming in the princess’ eyes.”

Harrow creates an ingenious multiverse where we find various versions of Sleeping Beauty. They each may be trapped by a curse, but these princesses are not powerless to fate and don’t need saving by patriarchy.

This is a brilliant, modern version of a classic fairy tale reimagined to allow the damsel to be her own heroine with abundant adventure and just the right amount of witty banter and self-reflection.

“Maybe the universe doesn’t naturally bed towards justice either; maybe it’s only the weight of hands and hearts pulling it true, inch by stubborn inch.”

Harrow’s writing is consistently compelling (Oh how I loved the Ten Thousand Doors of January!), always full of beautiful prose, adept world building, and rich characterization. Her storytelling pulled me in from the very first page and kept me enrapt until the very last word.

I’m not usually a fan of novellas because I often find they lack the depth I crave. That is not true of A Spindle Splintered. Harrow has created a fully complete story with all the details and emotions one would expect from a longer work. And to say her messaging is on point would be a vast understatement.

After a few darker reads, I needed a book I could escape into, and this book provided exactly the adventure and magic I longed for. I was lost in the multiverse with Zinnia and hated for it to come to an end.

Thank you Alix E. Harrow and Macmillan-Tor for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.

You won’t be disappointed in this one, friends! Happy reading.


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