Sunday, October 11, 2020

Once More Upon a Time, by Roshani Chokshi (author), Rebecca Gibel (narrator), Shiromi Arserio (narrator), Vikas Adam (narrator)

Audible Originals, June 2020

Imelda was one of the famous Twelve Dancing Princess, until her sisters began to get married off. She falls in love with a princce--but not the heir--of a neighboring kingdom. The prince's name is Ambrose, and they marry and are granted by her father the little land of Love's Keep. The King and Queen of Love's Keep must be in love, and remain in love, and will be exiled after a year and a day if they are not in love.

Then Ambrose sacrifices their love to save Imelda's life after she is poisoned.

For a year and a day, no longer remembering why they got married, they live in Love's Keep, and avoid each other. Then their time is up, and Imelda must return to her father's kingdom, while Ambrose will be a wandering exile. And they both want something different. Then the witch who took their love from them in exchange for saving Imelda's life, returns to promise them she can grant them their true wishes, in exchange for going on a quest together to recover a potion for her, a potion that turns people to stone.
We hear the story from three viewpoints--Imelda, Ambrose, and the witch. (We also get occasional contributions from Ambrose's horsehair cloak, who believes he is still a horse.) Along the way, they learn a lot about each other, and there are incidents where each learns they really should have listened to the suspicions of the other. Most of all, though, they learn about each other's less than perfect upbringings, and the reasons for them--at least as far as they know their fathers' reasons.

They have adventures, quarrels, near-death experiences, and magical moments.

It's a lot of fun, with a very satisfying ending.

I received this audiobook through the Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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