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A Spindle Splintered: Fractured Fables #1    by Alix E. Harrow order for
Spindle Splintered
by Alix E. Harrow
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered, a feminist extrapolation of Sleeping Beauty, is the first in her Fractured Fables series - and it's an impressive opening!

In rural Ohio, Zinnia Gray, who suffers 'fatal teratogenic damage caused by corporate malfeasance' and is doomed to die young, has been obsessed with Sleeping Beauty since childhood. On her twenty-first birthday, Zinnia's best/only friend Charmaine texts to meet at an old watchtower, where Charm and friends have set up a sleeping beauty party, complete with spinning wheel.

At midnight, Zin presses her finger to the spindle's end. The room vanishes. She thinks she's dying, but instead she finds herself having saved Princess Primrose, who's been cursed by a wicked fairy (you know the story), from a spindle prick and a long sleep. Having saved Primrose from one sad fate, Zin learns that she's about to suffer another, wed to Prince Harold ('all jawline and puffed pride'). What to do?

They seek help, but nothing is as it seems. When all seems lost, Zin calls across dimensions. Several young women - 'versions of the same story, retold in different realities' - come to their aid, resulting in a reprieve for Zin. She decides to use the time to help others 'who deserve better stories than the ones they were given.' I can't wait for Fractured Fables #2.

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