Disenchanted

Disenchanted, #1

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
456 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

With an education in Mass Communication—and an engrossment in all that is curious and bewitching—Brianna Sugalski is an author and blog editor.

The Filipino-American author was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, but travels the country every few years with her husband and children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing up reading period literature has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.

Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives on society and systemic prejudice, and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Disenchanted, book one in the Disenchanted series, is a work of fantasy fiction penned for young adults by author Brianna Sugalski. The work does include one non-graphic attempted sexual assault, but overall the reading experience is suitable for most readers on the YA spectrum. Set in a pseudo-historical period during the French Renaissance, we meet Lilac, who is a prisoner under her own parents’ decree because of a darkness that is revealed to be within her. So, when a mysterious witch invites Lilac to the forest Brocéliande with the promise of a cure that will lead to her freedom, the young lady cannot help but follow. What results is a marvelous and magical quest indeed.

I loved this book from cover to cover. Author Brianna Sugalski weaves a highly atmospheric tale with her many talents, not least of which is the elegance and mystery of a European fantasy setting, with its dark forests and royal politics brought into sharp reality by a keen mind. Lilac makes for a very affable heroine with whom one can sympathize, and I liked her more and more as she developed against the hardships of the real world when her adventure puts her under strain. I love tales where witches do not take the typical villain role, and there were some very clever subversions of fairy tale tropes woven into this story which made it refreshing yet enjoyably familiar at the same time. Overall, I would highly recommend Disenchanted to fantasy fans looking to begin a compelling new journey with an author to fall for.

Rylanne Burdette

Lilac has been a prisoner in her castle for years. Since the kingdom found out that their future queen holds a dark secret, her parents have kept her away from public eyes and any normalcy in life. When Lilac receives a letter from a witch, offering her a way to get rid of her so-called curse, she immediately escapes the castle into the night. On her way to see the witch, the princess meets a mysterious man who offers to help her. The pair begins to open up to one another, and Lilac can't help but imagine a future with him, although it would be forbidden by her parents and the rest of the kingdom. Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski is a dark fantasy novel full of suspense, lust, and intense action.

Disenchanted blew me away! Everything about this book was captivating. Brianna Sugalski's writing style was so elegant, and the further into the book I got, the more I realized that I would need a sequel to this as soon as possible. Lilac and Garin were such a steamy couple, and the final scene between them left me with so many questions! The plot of this book flowed very smoothly, and once I was about 45% of the way through it, I ended up not being able to put it down. The overall character development was fabulous, and the intense action scenes were vivid. I will be looking out for a sequel and would recommend this book to all fantasy lovers.

L.s.

This story brought back the intrigue of vampires for me in a way that’s extremely hard to describe. I thought the trope was done a lot of times the right and eh ways since Twilight but interestingly the author who is {I think} of Hawaiian and Welsh blood wrote it around Arthur-Celt folklore, folded them in so casually I had to do a quick check online to make sure there were no secret vampires in the real stories of Arthur or Merlin. Maybe there were. Either way, sassy and non-sulky Garin’s got me convinced. He’s got the one liners and at the same time a quiet darkness to him. One of the best written characters I have read.

Princess Lilac is powerful in her own ways and she reminded me much of myself. Her stubbornness is likeable even when it’s annoying in a couple scenes. I had been growing tired of reading ya fiction where the heroine is so headstrong straight from the start that it becomes unrealistic and off putting. Her character development is well done because in the beginning I questioned everything she did and by the end I was cheering her on. And the romance took my breath away. It was real very raw and they bickered like me and my SO. The banter is SO SO GOOD. I’m going to point out the marketing is interesting because you don’t get what you think you will at least in my case. From the cover this can come off as a serious historical vampire romance which it is not.. but in the best and surprising way. There is a dark or dry satirical undertone to the writing which made me giggle a lot.
If you are looking for a novel by a new author that will make you gasp again and again in various contexts this might be for you. I panicked after that ending but am relieved to discover there’llat least be a forthcoming sequel.

Jordan

Hands down best book I’ve read this year. The only unsatisfactory thing is that we’ll likely need to wait a couple years for the sequel. Called my local Barnes yesterday (they are opening) and found out they don’t carry it. HOW. Amazon it is but how is this book not in B&N?