February 17, 2015

GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

A Wicked Thing
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Read an excerpt

*Book Summary*
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.
Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. 
As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

***Guest Post***

Top 5 Swoonworthy Castles of the World 
by: Rhiannon Thomas

Europe is full of fairy-tale castles. 

In England, where I'm from, castles are all stern towers and serious stone, and most of those have been tumbled over the years. I guess all the bleak rainy weather made us build fortresses to match. But the continent had a much greater tendency towards the fantastical and the dramatic, and the forests there are full of fairy tale castles waiting to be discovered.  

And since much of A Wicked Thing takes place in an old castle, I've spent quite a lot of time procrastinating researching the different magical castles of the world.  

These are my favorites.

  1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany 

This is the castle that actually inspired the Disney castles, and it was designed to be as fairy tale like as possible. It was commissioned by the Bavarian King Ludwig II so he could hide away in a fantasy version of the middle ages. It was so ambitious that it was still unfinished when Ludwig died, with only 14 rooms completed after 23 years of building, and even that cost twice what he'd expected, forcing him to borrow more and more money to pay for it. He only got to spend 11 nights in the unfinished castle before he was deposed and died under "mysterious circumstances." 

It's the ultimate fairy tale castle, and I'm dying to visit it one day. Or just to move in. 

A Wicked Thing connection: I always think of this one as Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and the forest that surrounded Aurora’s castle 100 years ago was inspired by this one. And doesn’t that tallest tower look like it was made for a princess to hide in?

  1. Alcazar of Segovia, Spain 

This one is a real castle, with the current version built as a (very fancy) fortress in the 13th century. Queen Isabella of Castille (the one who funded Columbus) took the crown here, and the castle later became the world's most gorgeous prison before it became a museum.

The best part is the way you seem to have to climb a winding, treacherous path to reach it -- the sort you might have to traverse if you were a hero rescuing a princess (or prince) in a tower. 

A Wicked Thing connection: Despite the fairy tale-ness of the story, Aurora’s castle in A Wicked Thing is old stone-looking, like this one, and her tower is exactly like the one front and center of this picture.

  1. Moszna Castle, Poland 

Another castle built by rich Victorians who just really wanted to live in a fairy tale. This one has 99 turrets and 365 rooms, and is now a Public Health Care Center and concert hall. 

A Wicked Thing connection: I love the windows and roof-detail on this one, and the square shape and jumble of towers is definitely what I picture for Aurora.

  1. Peles Castle, Romania 

This one was built in the late 19th century by King Carol I, the first king of an independent Romania, because he really liked the scenery in the area. It's currently a museum, and if you'd like to own it, you'll have to get in line -- the president of Romania has lived here, and there are currently negotiations going on about whether the Romanian government should give it back to the descendants of the old Romanian kings. 

A Wicked Thing connection: as well as being gorgeous, the castle has a big internal courtyard, like Queen Iris’s gardens in the book.

  1. Hochosterwitz Castle, Austria 

The castle is literally built into the mountain. It was originally built in 860 AD, but was renovated many times over the centuries as it changed hands and was damaged during Turkish invasions. It has 14 different treacherous gates full of traps and tricks, and local legend says that no would-be conqueror ever got past the fourth. 

A Wicked Thing connection: Apart from the old stone and the forest, this one isn’t too similar to anything in Aurora’s story. I just thought it looked epic, and I’d love to steal it for a future book.

(Note: All attributions for the images above are linked directly to the photos.)
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Follow the A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas Blog Tour and don't miss anything! 
Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.
As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog FeministFiction.com, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.
I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.
Open to all US, UK and Canada residents | Must be 13 or older to enter

FIRST PRIZE: Win (1) signed copy of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas plus a spinning wheel charm bracelet. (Note: Charm bracelet will be purchased from KawaiiCandyCouture, an Etsy store!)

SECOND PRIZE: Win (1) of (2) signed copy of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas.


  1. Christina_KitFebruary 18, 2015

    Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    I'd love to read it because it's not just a retelling, it tells us what happened after HEA and I love how she's researched settings and I LOVE her excerpt online!!

    I have a CAnadian address but rafflecopter might show my
    location outside CAnada because I’m doing a semester abroad

    thank you so very much :)

  2. I love the idea of going beyond a retelling to what happens after.

  3. First, that cover is just amazing! I haven't read many retellings on what afters /after/ the fairy tale so that really has me intrigued. I can't wait to read it!

  4. Jessabella ReadsFebruary 21, 2015

    I love the cover too! Soo pretty!!

  5. Jessabella ReadsFebruary 21, 2015

    I totally agree! We always wonder/imagine what happens at the end of our favorite fairy tales, now Rhiannon Thomas gives us a chance to read her vision of what comes "after the HEA"!

  6. Jessabella ReadsFebruary 21, 2015

    Okay, I will let the tour hosts know, as they will be the ones drawing the winners! :)


I truly appreciate each and every one of your comments!