Spindle is the 2nd installment in the 1001 nights series by E.K. Johnston, but be assured that you don´t have to read The Forbidden Wish to understand the plot. Although I´d still recommend doing so, because it´s a magical story.
All you need to know is that E.K. Johnston has a very beautiful, unique way of writing and magic practically oozes from the pages.
Also she has an undeniable talent for weaving particular, fantastic stories that´ll evoke quite realistic drams of sand deserts and burning rays of sunshine. Her stories are always a little bit more and her words are always a bit deeper. Considering required standards, Spindle is one of those perfect stories that feature all the important ingredients to guarantee perfect entertainment.
Yet I couldn´t enjoy it as much as I did The Forbidden Wish. As far as retellings go it´s certainly one of the best, not only because the setting changed from well known Disney woods to dry heat and dirt roads, but also because the atmosphere and the feeling turned darker and more desperate.
Focusing on singular parts of the book it´s rather obvious that it´s a piece of art and that pathos recedes in favor of an undercurrent of meaning and single worded truths. There´s no need for clichéd turns of events or stereotype developments regarding relationships. Yet the only thing I really could grasp was Yashaa´s and Saoud´s deep friendship.
The rest of the book dragged at some parts and wasn´t entirely relatable at others. For example I just don´t understand everyone´s blind trust in a cursed princess. Or the need to spin. Or their willingness to throw their lives away at such a young age for a cause they don´t even know about.
During their journey I was rather bored than thrilled, even though some conversations proved rather humorous. I don´t even know what I´d been waiting for, since the story had everything from beautiful world building to deep thoughts, but it didn´t click with me for most of the time.
The ending though, redeemed a lot for it was quite sober and refused to fall victim to cheesy happiness and uncharacteristic prettiness. Instead, it was sad, real and slightly streaked with hope for a better future.
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