Thursday 9 October 2014

Stray by Elissa Sussman Review!

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Title : Stray
Author : Elissa Sussman
Pages : 432
Published : October 7th 2014
Publisher : Greenwillow Books
Source : Edelweiss

Epic, rewarding, and provocative, this original fairy tale tells the story of Aislynn, a princess who misbehaves and must give up her royal trappings and enter a life of service as a fairy godmother. Stray will appeal to readers of Entwined, by Heather Dixon; to those who grew up watching the Disney princess movies; and to fans of the acclaimed musicals Into the Woods and Wicked.

Princess Aislynn’s magical ability is powerful and uncontrollable, and at her academy’s Introduction Ball—where she hopes to be introduced to her beloved and begin a life of happily ever after—Aislynn makes a horrible mistake instead. According to The Path, the strict patriarchal doctrine of the land, Aislynn must now be redirected—her loving heart is removed and put in a cabinet, her royal ball gown is replaced with a simple purple robe, and she is assigned to a Princess Linnea as her fairy godmother. A cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, this original fairy tale is part coming-of-age story, part fairy tale, part adventure, part sweet romance. Will Aislynn remain true to her vows and her royal family and turn away from everything she longs for? Or will she stray from The Path and discover her own way? Includes a recipe for Fairy Godmother Bookbinder Bread.

My Thoughts : 

Princesses are sent to an Academy if they show uncontrolled magic, for its not right for a princess to do magic, they must follow the Path always or will be redirected. At Aislynns Introduction Ball, which all princesses have when they turn 16, she has a magical accident and her adviser tells her that she is no longer going to be a Princess and is being redirected to become a fairy godmother. 

Despite leaving everything she knows, Aislynn tries to stick to the Path, but its not always easy. At Fairy Godmother Academy, Aislynn is assigned to Princess Linnea and needs to do all that's asked of her. She had spent years trying to hide her magic and now she has to embrace it and use it any time Linnea asks. She realises that magic may not be as bad as she thought but then she is dragged into something she doesn't understand and has to run for her life. There are things that she learns that make her rethink everything she learned. Can she find out the truth before its too late?

Im still really torn about Stray, on the one hand its a unique and captivating story but on the other it felt unfinished and we were left with so many unanswered questions. Im going to list my likes and dislikes because it seems easier.

Lets get the dislikes out of the way first. 

As I said, we are left with a lot of unanswered questions, which is why its only 3 stars. The world building just felt half finished. For example, whats the story with the Wicked Queen? I know we will probably see more of her in future books but I would of liked a bit more info on her. Why was the Path introduced and for what reason? Its not answered properly. Lastly I would of liked to learn a bit more about the classes and how they came about? 

The pacing at the start was really slow. I think it took me about 4 days to get through the first half but that's not to say it was bad because it wasn't. It was good, just slow. 

What I liked.

I really liked Aislynn. She has an innocence about her that's compelling yet she is strong, brave and caring. We see her going from a quiet girl trying to stick to the rules to a woman embracing what needs to be done. Im hoping in future books she gets stronger!! 

I loved Thackery. From the second we meet him he captures the heart. Such a sweetheart!!! I loved seeing his and Aislynns relationship grow. Its not a romance yet but it seems to be heading in that direction which I cant wait to see. He was the highlight of the book.

The idea of the classes was awesome. I loved how each class has there own colour!! 

So overall, Stray was really good. Its a unique and captivating story with amazing characters and while being quite slow to start its still a magical fairytale and I look forward to more. 


  1. I have this one on my to read list, but that's just disappointing. Sounds like the author had a good idea, but not all the reasoning behind her world thought out. Thanks for letting me know, I'll move it to my maybe list. (yes I have multiple to read lists, it's bad)

    1. Lol, Molly. Im the same and have multiple lists. This was good but nothing special :)