Thanks to NetGalley and DAW for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Synopsis: First in a duology that reimagines fairytale tropes within a space opera—The Princess Bride meets Princess Leia.
Rory Thorne is a princess with 13 fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.
Then her father is assassinated, her mother give birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his crown. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but to change the course of history.
I’m pretty sure that you’ll all be with me on this when I say there are times I just want a book that’s fun. No deep meaning. No long, thoughtful discourses to make you ponder the meaning of life. Just pure, joyful, unadulterated fun. Well, How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is just such a book. As a matter of fact, I finished this yesterday and it’s still making me smile.
While the synopsis references The Princess Bride and Princess Leia, there’s also nods to Sleeping Beauty (no sleeping curse though), and even a little Ella Enchanted. Rory Thorne is a protagonist who’s easy to fall in love with. Intelligent, yet eager to learn more. Feisty yet able to be diplomatic, under certain circumstances anyway. And she shows vast amounts of love and loyalty to her friends and family. As this is a fairytale retelling in part, there’s a touch of romance but it’s not the main focus of the story. The secondary characters are just as well written as Rory, and I’ve already picked my dream cast for any future movie.
The story is a marvelous mashup that easily could have gotten messy, but doesn’t. While the politics are complex and there are occasional info dumps that slow the pace down a few times, the storyline is mostly kept on a quick and even pace by the unknown narrator who also brings some welcome levity to the story. The ending, while not quite a cliffhanger has definitely left me wondering what the second book will bring.
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is an absolutely delightful read from beginning to end. It’s completely different than anything else I’ve read this year and I highly recommend it to readers who like fantasy and science fiction mixed with some sly humor.