I’ve been having a slow time reading recently. I’m not sure why. It wasn’t the fault of the fanfiction rabbit hole or only wanting to re-read books. I just simply didn’t want new stories. Maybe it was an overload of talk shows and political stuff on YouTube. I don’t know. Perhaps it was simply the feeling that there was something I needed to before I could read the books, combined with not actually wanting to do the thing.
However that is, I’m back. I finished two books and read another two from start to finish over the weekend. One of those was As Long As We Live by Cortney Manning, a book I was supposed to be reviewing- Oh, let’s not think about how long ago it came out. (Nearly a week and a half longer than when I wrote most of this post though. I had an adverse reaction to the Moderna vaccine and during my recovery I got distracted by a new hobby. I think I’m going to be fine though.)
As Long As We Live is a lovely book, especially if you’re in the mood for fae realms, sibling relationships, and ambiguous antagonists. On Friday, I very much was in the mood, despite the annoyance of sitting invisibly in the wrong corner of a waiting room for far too long.
As Long As We Live is a Snow White and Rose Red retelling and like most retellings of that tale, it makes a good deal more sense than the original. The characters are charming, mostly. The setting is fairly classic for fairytales, but it has its own unique dangers and a few really cool features. There’s a fae city that’s located under the sea! Not a mermaid city. There’s also some very everyday and ordinary fae. Mr Martin and his various daughters. (No, I don’t not remember their names or how many there are.)
The beginning of the story is a little slow (or so it seemed when I didn’t feel like reading, but it picks up in the middle with a lot more tension and I finished it off very quickly, because I just needed to know how it turned out.
There’s a lovely “we met once, but have been exchanging letters ever since” relationship and a lot of siblings who won’t give up on each other and have each other’s backs. I also love how this story is kinda low stakes. I mean, The characters wouldn’t call the stakes low and there’s plenty of tension, but it’s nice to read something that’s not about the fate of the nation or an evil overlord.
As a retelling, this story hit most of the iconic moments of the original, along with including other nods to little things in the tale, but didn’t feel in anyway a slave to the story. I t definitely has plenty of original elements. For example, this is a story about three sisters instead of two.
I didn’t think I had encountered author Cortney Manning before, but on looking her up, I found that she’s one of the authors in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples. I only vaguely remember reading those stories, but they were all good. Highly recommended. Read Cortney’s books.
Three human sisters live in a Fae realm where every prince is blessed or cursed by a gift of magic, and royal rivalry threatens the future of the land.
Ivy Durran, the oldest sister, is a resilient young woman who clings to her sunny resolve even in the darkest situation. When a terrible blizzard strikes the land, she feels responsible for protecting her sisters: adventurous Rose and vivacious Poppy. However, the storm drives an unexpected visitor to their doorstep, one who could bring hope or danger with his arrival.
Meanwhile, Pierre, the newly crowned ruler of Concoria, strives to bring order to his frozen land and tranquility to his troubled brothers. Nevertheless, the deep magic of Concoria is not easy to tame. While Pierre would love nothing more than to escape into a simple life close to Ivy, the human lass he met years before, he instead shoulders his burdens and seeks healing for his kingdom and family.
Dark magic, frigid storms, and deadly predators must be overcome if Ivy and Pierre have any hope of saving their families and their homeland.
This retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” is an epic romance with treachery, Fae, and family ties.
About the Author
Cortney Manning resides in Missouri but has always loved traveling the world. She holds a master’s degree in Victorian Literature from the University of Glasgow and has a not-so-secret love of fantasy as well. In her free time, Cortney enjoys walking, drawing, and afternoon tea.
For more reviews and interviews and other retellings of Snow White and Rose Red, go to the tour page.