Title: The Goose Girl
Author: Robin Gallica
Series: – –
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Available: 14th June
While en route to Princess Ava’s royal wedding, Ava’s maid blackmails her into trading places by revealing a terrible family secret. Shocked and confused, the newly-demoted Ava tends the palace geese alongside Konrad, a cheerful, ambitious young man who is most at home in the outdoors. And as Ava learns more about the prince she was supposed to marry, she starts to think she might be better off with the geese.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
This is a very cute, very quick retelling of the Goose Girl fairytale, but with a few twists in certain places. One of which is a huge spoiler – so I can’t talk about it – which is a shame, because that’s a large part of what makes this such an endearing and lovely read.
Without spoilers, Ava is a princess who doesn’t want to marry, has a maid who forces her to switch places and is left adrift as a servant whom everyone thinks is a little slow and mute, while she tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. She’s naive at first, but I liked the strength she shows to keep going, to learn new things and accept her new place in life, watching the geese with Konrad.
It doesn’t deviate too far from the more traditional story, though I did like the explanation for why she can suddenly talk to her horse. If you’re familiar with the story, you might miss Falada’s larger role, but I have to say I preferred the non-talking-death-head version. I also preferred this version of Konrad for many different reasons, but mostly because he gives Ava an alternative to what she’s lost as well as showing her things in life she might have missed.
In all this was a delightful short read, with a demisexual princess, a bit of magic here and there and a few interesting twists on an old tale.
The Goose Girl is out 14th June.
Visit Robin Gallica for more details.