The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder
Publication Date: January 11, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
A hundred years ago, Prince Briar Rose was placed under a sleeping curse. Fi, a treasure hunter, and Shane, a huntswoman, join forces to follow a strange map towards a potential treasure. While amid their treasure hunt, Fi pricks her finger on a bone spindle and is saved by the spirit of Briar Rose. Suddenly faced with the possibility of breaking the curse, Fi and Shane must overcome Witch Hunters, dark magic, and Fi’s horrible ex if they have any hope of making it to Briar Rose’s tower.
The Bone Spindle is a gender-swapped Sleeping Beauty retelling full of snark, romance, and adventure. It is told from three perspectives: Fi, Shane, and Briar Rose. I liked both of the female leads. Shane is a fierce warrior who left the clan she was supposed to inherit. Fi is the daughter of nobles who loves books and history. She speaks many languages and spends her time investigating ancient artifacts and unearthing history that has been lost.
I thought this was a fun adventure story! I liked the characters and the world-building. It was easy to follow and familiar with influence from the Sleeping Beauty story, with enough twists to make it original. My one criticism is that by the end it felt a bit heavy on the setup. It ended on a cliffhanger and left many questions open.
Thank you to Penguin Teen, Booksparks, and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Fi is a bookish treasure hunter with a knack for ruins and riddles, who definitely doesn’t believe in true love.
Shane is a tough-as-dirt girl warrior from the north who likes cracking skulls, pretty girls, and doing things her own way.
Briar Rose is a prince under a sleeping curse, who’s been waiting a hundred years for the kiss that will wake him.
Cursed princes are nothing but ancient history to Fi–until she pricks her finger on a bone spindle while exploring a long-lost ruin. Now she’s stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose until she and Shane can break the century-old curse on his kingdom.
Dark magic, Witch Hunters, and bad exes all stand in her way–not to mention a mysterious witch who might wind up stealing Shane’s heart, along with whatever else she’s after. But nothing scares Fi more than the possibility of falling in love with Briar Rose.
Set in a lush world inspired by beloved fairytales, The Bone Spindle is a fast-paced young adult fantasy full of adventure, romance, found family, and snark.
About the Author
Leslie Vedder (she/her) is a queer ace author who loves fairytale retellings with girl adventurers and heroes! She grew up on fantasy books, anime, fanfiction and the Lord of the Rings movies, and met her true love in high school choir. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in creative writing and currently lives in Colorado with her wife and two spoiled house cats.
When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her watching anime and sci-fi shows, walking in the woods and pretending they’re enchanted forests, or playing old video games. She always collects all the Skulltulas in Zelda and all the Dalmation puppies in Kingdom Hearts.
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