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Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite
Disenchanted (A Lay of Ruinous Reign: Book One) by Brianna Sugalski is a fantasy adventure filled with romance and intrigue. Princess Lilac has a peculiar curse. She can communicate with the magic folk in her kingdom. Her parents have kept her locked in their castle, and all she can do to while away the time is read, eat, and sometimes raid her father’s alcohol stock. A few days before she is to take over the crown from her father, she receives a letter from the Witch of Lupine Grotto saying that she can cure her of the curse. Lilac escapes her tower and travels into Brocéliande, hoping to return in time for her accession and free of the curse. Once in the forest, she realizes things are rather different in real life. She also does not bargain on meeting Garin, the barkeep at the first inn where she finds refuge. He has his plans for Lilac, and whether he will take her back to the castle in time remains to be seen. Together they face danger and a slightly off-kilter Fae King. In true fantasy style, there are fae creatures, human villains, and a danger-sensing dagger.
Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski is the adult version of a previously released young adult novel. The author has successfully produced a dark fantasy filled to the brim with sexual tension and vulnerability. The characters are authentic and are complemented by excellent world-building, successfully combining fantasy aspects with the historical era of the Breton Renaissance. This promises to be a series of note and will be on my to-be-read list. Though there is some sensitive content, it has been treated tactfully and falls within the context of the plot. Some of these themes are the gender discrimination and abuse of those who are on the fringes of society, as well as the struggle against assumptions and being your true self even if you are to rule a kingdom.