ONCE MORE UPON A TIME by Roshani Chokshi

Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose
and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…
But alas, no more.
“What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!”
their friends and family warn.
They resign themselves to this loveless fate…
A year and a day pass.
And then their story truly begins…

Embark on a perilous journey with Imelda and Ambrose as they brave magical landscapes and enchanted creatures on their quest to reclaim their heart’s desire…But first they must remember what that is… Immerse yourself in the beauty of a highly unusual fairy tale by New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.


Title : Once More Upon a Time
Author : Roshani Chokshi
Format : eARC
Page Count : 144
Genre : fantasy / fairytale retellings
Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date : October 5, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

So, silly me, I requested this thinking it was a full length adult romance novel and not a novella (though it is adult, I guess). That said, I have nothing against novellas at all and was happy to have something short to sneak in between reads.

This was a pretty standard unconventional fairytale in the sense that how they come together is standard but, unlike how most go, they are then broken up — while still being together. They go on a journey, with a few side quests, and along the way discover more about each other than they ever did before.

I think what I loved most about this, though, was their backstories. I would’ve read a whole book about their lives before this or, even, a full length that included said backstories and expanded on their adventures from this one.

It was cute, sometimes funny, a little silly, and sweet. If this had been longer, and more adult in the vein of the romance, I think I would’ve really loved it. That said, I would not discourage you from picking this up.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND by Melissa Albert

A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve original stories by the New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood and The Night Country

Before The Hazel Wood, there was Althea Proserpine’s Tales from the Hinterland…

Journey into the Hinterland, a brutal and beautiful world where a young woman spends a night with Death, brides are wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and an enchantress is killed twice—and still lives.


Title : Tales from the Hinterland
Author : Melissa Albert
Series : The Hazel Wood (book 2.5)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 240
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Flatiron Books
Release Date : January 12, 2021

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 4 star review

I feel like this did for me what neither The Night Country and The Hazel Wood was quite able to achieve. I loved the backbone of the author’s series, all set around this fictional book of stories, but I think somehow things just never quite connected for me. I liked some bits, others would fall flat; almost like in the telling of point A to point B I would find myself lost and tangled up. But this volume? I couldn’t look away.

This author truly shines in short stories. But more than that, she shines because this places the focus on what I loved most of all : her dark fairytales. Stories that are less morality and more magic, more monstruous, more real, rarely featuring happy endings or anything happy at all. Some of these are definitely better than others but overall the whole vibe, the whole concept, just works for me.

I understand from the blurb that this book is supposed to be illustrated (I’m imagining something like The Language of Thorns but who knows!) and I’m sad to say my ARC did not have any hint of what those additions might look like. So I’ll likely be picking up a finished copy of this in order to re-experience it all with said visuals.

This is a must for fans of The Hazel Wood series but honestly? You could have disliked, or even not read, those books and still enjoy this.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **