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Book of the Week #51 "The Ghost of Briardale"

by Grace Mullins

On her eighteenth birthday, King Pintamore had a disagreement with his daughter. Angry, the princess ran to the highest tower and hid in the stairwell. Upon finding a very old woman in a room with a spindle, the princess became infatuated with the spinning wheel and asked to spin it herself. Her finger was pricked upon the spindle and she fell to the ground, immediately becoming still. The princess was turned to stone, and her three aunties into animals. Now, five hundred years later, the princess is still a stone, and her aunties are still animals. A ghost by the name of Roselee has been searching for the True Hero, the one whom can break the spell and set the princess and her aunties free. The True Hero must have either saved a kingdom, slain a dragon, or moved a mountain. Roselee has found a few men that she has believed to be True Heroes, for they had each accomplished one of the tasks a True Hero must perform. Yet they were unable to find the fairies' wands and set them and the princess free.  Franz, a resident of Yoleton, has been banished to the asylum of Briardale by the towns people for claiming to have seen a green ghost girl. Roselee believes him to be the True Hero, yet he has not performed any of the tasks requested of a True Hero. Yet there may be more to being a True Hero than what meets the eye.

The Ghost of Briardale is Grace Mullins's debut, as well as a part of Five Magic Spindles, which is a collection of Sleeping Beauty retellings. Upon receiving an advanced reading copy, I was asked to specifically write a review for The Ghost of Briardale. And I must admit, it is a sparkling debut. The Ghost of Briardale is a mix of many different elements and is very well-balanced. There's humor, suspense, fantasy, bits of romance, and a happy- as well as surprising- ending. Everything flows together beautifully and creates a wonderful reading experience. It feels more like a traditional fairytale. There are so many fairytale retellings out there, in genres ranging from science fiction, to Western, and contemporary romance. I think this is a great thing, but I will say that I find it nice to read an old fashioned fairytale.

There's something so charming about the setting of this book; in some ways it reminds me of the novel Ella Enchanted. It's lovely, though the time in which it takes place isn't stated. There are so many neat and delightfully quirky characters in this story. You find yourself becoming interested in them and rooting for them as the story goes along. Well, except for Lady Mara, for she is the villain of the story. But hey, every fairytale needs one.

All in all I enjoyed The Ghost of Briardale and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fairytales.

I give this book a 5 out of 5.

Five Magic Spindles will release on July 22, 2016. Be sure and check it out!

*I received an ARC of Five Magic Spindles, yet as always, all opinions are my own.*


  1. Great review! I too love a good fairytale. :)

    1. Thanks, Julie! I think you'd really enjoy this book. :)

  2. This is indeed a charming story, Miranda! I'm so glad to read you liked it. :)

    1. I did! I'm so happy for Grace! She did a wonderful job. Thanks, Rissi!


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