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Modern fairy-tale princess Taylor Hatfield has problems. One: he’s a guy. Two: his perfect brother Atticus is the reincarnation of Snow White. Three: Taylor has no idea which princess he is supposed to be. Four: Taylor just left his prince (a girl) at the altar. Despite his enchanted lineage, Taylor is desperate to find his Happily Ever After away from magic, witches, and stuffy traditions. Regrettably, destiny has other plans for him. Dammit.
When word reaches Taylor that Idi the Witchking has captured Atticus, Taylor is determined to save his brother. He enlists the help of rakish and insufferable Corentin Devereaux, likewise of enchanted lineage. A malicious spell sends Taylor and Corentin on a road trip through the kitschy nostalgia of roadside Americana. To save Atticus, they must solve the puzzles put forth by Idi the Witchking. As they struggle, Taylor and Corentin’s volatile partnership sparks a flash of something more. But princesses have many enemies, and Taylor must keep his wits about him because there’s nothing worse than losing your heart… or your head.
Americana Fairy Tale is a mash up of classic American road trip tale with fairy tale world. Taylor Hatfield is a princess by birth even though he’s a male. His brother, Atticus, also has the same title. Taylor is supposed to marry a prince who is his soulmate and continue his family name. On his wedding day to Prince Phillipa, a female prince, he runs away, leaving his brother to shoulder the responsibility to carry their family name. After he runs away, Charles, their strange uncle turns out to be possessed by Idi, the Witchking. He imprisons Atticus and sends a huntsman to kill Taylor so he can unlock Atticus’ Snow White birthright.
On the road, Taylor meets Corentin, the huntsman sent by Idi. Corentin convinces him that he is on Taylor’s side and together with his fairy godfather Ringo, they set on a road trip to save Atticus and contains Idi malevolence (Idi himself cannot be killed).
Idi has set up so that they jump from one state to another in no particular order and every time they arrive at a place, something happens to them and slowly the darker truth about Taylor’s family and Atticus is revealed.
I needed some time before I could immerse myself in the book. There was so much going on and a lot of details and world building to catch up in the first few chapters. There were a lot of things that didn’t seem to make sense until the middle or even near the end of the book and it made the book less enjoyable to me. One example was the reason why Taylor was a princess even though he was a male and why Phillipa was a prince even though she was a female. The second reason it was hard for me to enjoy the book was the changing scenes during the roadtrip. One day they were battling gigantic metal elephant and the next they were attending mermaid ballroom party.
I felt that the author tried to cram in as much fairy tales as possible to the story, from Snow White to Huntsman, the Beast, Witchking, fairy godmother and godfather, and so on. There wer deluge of information, mixed with information that were obscured for plot twist later. Mix that with the modern America settings, well it felt like eating fusion sushi with too much going in it. I thought this was an example where “less is more” would be good to apply.
Taylor himself undergoes a major character development. If you don’t like him until halfway of the book, it is understandable. He’s whiny, temperamental, and acts like a… well… princess. After undergoing life threatening situations, learning about his destiny, and finding his soulmate he matures and bravely faces his enemies head on, even though his heart breaks from it.
Corentin is a great character from the beginning. The conflict causes by his curse and his own conscience and later on, his love for Taylor.
The supporting character and the enemies are also interesting, although they are not always what they seem. I found that the change in Atticus was a hard to believe and a bit forced because there was nothing that he was capable of such things before Taylor ran away and he was imprisoned by the Witchking.
Overall, this is quite an interesting book if you want to read something different and fairy tale-ish without being too sugary sweet.