- Nikky Lee
Book Review: Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski
Author: Brianna Sugalski
Publisher: Parliament House
Page Count: 458
Princess Lilac has a dark gift: the ability to speak the Darkling tongue, the language of shifters and fae. Because of it, her parents have kept her secluded from the world, hidden away in the castle, while the kingdom’s people protest Lilac’s upcoming coronation believing her to be a curse upon the kingdom.
Five days before Lilac is set to take the throne, she receives a letter from a witch on the other side of a Darkling-infested forest promising her a cure for her curse—if Lilac can make it through the forest to the witch’s abode. Determined to get rid of her unwanted gift and win the approval of her people, Lilac sets off and discovers herself along the way.
Lilac starts off as a somewhat spoiled, naive character who quickly finds herself far out of her depth. However, as the story progresses readers get to enjoy seeing her character evolve, becoming more sure of who she is and determined to mend the rift between her kingdom and the darklings, who are unfairly persecuted.
Joining her along the way is the snarky exiled vampire, Garin, who has a shady past and has plans of his own that involve reclaiming his place in his coven.
Of course, both Lilac and Garin’s plans get derailed and they slowly form an uncertain alliance that turns to friendship before quickly becoming something more.
One of the things I enjoyed most about his book is how vampires in this story behave like vampires. Even Garin, our protagonist’s love interest, is inclined towards murder first and ask questions later. As such there is a nice tension running through much of the story as to whether Lilac can truly trust him.
The internal conflicts that both Lilac and Garin face are also nicely done. Lilac desperately wants to prove her worth to a kingdom who hates her but she is also sympathetic to the darklings’ plight, the discovery of which could cause her people to hate her even more and potentially cost her the crown. Garin, meanwhile, must find a balance between his desire to win the approval of his coven while also coming to terms with his feelings for Lilac, who is supposed to be his enemy.
I can’t go too much into my favourite moment because *spoilers* but I will say I thoroughly enjoyed the priest scene between Lilac, Garin and Sinclair. My only complaint was there were a couple of mentions of ‘vulcan’ features, which were quite jarring as my brain instantly went off on a Star Trek tangent 😅
Disenchanted is an enemies-to-lovers coming of age story that reminds us of the ugliness of prejudice and warns us against those who seek power for the sake of power. If you like your fantasy that combines historical with the supernatural and gives a good serving of clean(ish) romance and hilarious snark on the side, this is the story for you.
4 of out 5 vulcan vampires from me.
Content warnings: attempted rape, murder, violence, blood.
Romance/steam levels explainer:
Mild 🌶️– Some romantic interactions and kissing; no on-page or off-page sex scenes.
Warm 🌶️🌶️ – Romantic interactions, kissing, and making out; fade-to-black sex scenes.
Steamy 🌶️🌶️🌶️– romantic interactions, kissing, and making out; one or more on-page sex scenes.
Scorching 🌶️🌶️🌶️🌶️ – romantic interactions, kissing, and making out; detailed and/or longer on-page sex scenes that include four-letter anatomical terms.
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