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Reviewed by Andy Hutchings for Readers' Favorite
If your ideal read involves a bold and fresh take on a well-established fairy tale then your search for a new series is over. Coriana Hope’s opening installment of her Forged Flower Saga: Reign or Shine tells the tale of Snow White’s daughter Princess Chrisithia as she refuses the isolated life of a royal destined for political marriage in favor of learning swordplay and seeking adventure. As she and her ally Kedrik discover that some powerful force is kidnapping royalty, the dangerous reality of a life of a thrill seeker sets in, and Chris must learn what exactly defines a hero.
This was an exciting and dynamic book that understands the twists and turns readers expect in a fantasy novel and does an expert job of subverting those expectations to create a memorable story. Coriana Hope’s cast of characters is an absolute treat; each is well-realized and brought to vivid life by the delightful prose throughout the work. The playful yet mature dynamic between Chris and Kedrik was a particular highlight of the story, providing an emotional core around which the rich plot has been woven. It’s something of a tall order to tell a narratively complete and satisfying story whilst also establishing the creative seeds that will blossom into the future installments of the saga. However, Reign or Shine rises to the occasion wonderfully with a story capable of standing alone and still whets the appetite for what I have no doubt will be an exciting series.