Aurora, daughter of Briar Rose, aka Sleeping Beauty, is a fairy-blessed child. According to the prophecy, Aurora is vital to bringing about the rein of the ogres that may mark the end of the world. Aurora and her brother, Jor, manage to stay hidden from the orgre queen for years, until one day, Jor is captureed. Aurora, desperate to free her brother, sets out, disguised as a boy, to raise an army to defeat the orge queen. Instead of an army, she finds an alley in a young man named Niklaas. Niklaas is battling with his own troubles; he is cursed to turn into a swan on his eighteenth birthday.
Told in alternating points of view, we see the story unfold through both Aurora’s and Niklaas’ eyes. Both struggle with their own burdens and fears, while trying to do the right thing to defeat the orge queen. The two are able to become friends before they understand the romantic attraction between them. Both are stubborn, independent, and determined not to suffer the pity of others. While the goal is to defeat the orge queen, in many ways this story is about two young people overcoming the barriers imposed by their own strong and contrary personalities.
While I very much liked the prose of this book, which was readable and filled with snappy dialogue, there were a couple of things I thought could have been done better. The prophecy of the rise of the orges was not strong enough to build up tension toward the end of the book. The motivations of the orge queen and her brother were not well enough explained. Still, I don’t review books I don’t like. This was a satisfying romance for the younger teen reader. Both Aurora and Niklaas were well developed characters, and it was a pleasure to read their story.