Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
Reviewed by Linz!
I’m not joking. This is wildly spoilery.
What I drank: just a casual saturday of playing “what’s in the fridge?” w P, Virginia, and Sam. Soooo…everything? i drank it all.
What it’s about:
Imma pull from goodreads for this one, so you understand my reveiw better.
“The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.
However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.”
DOES THIS NOT SOUND LIKE THE SHIT? it totally read like a twisty version of fairy tale tropes. and i mean i guess it was sort of?
Fair warning – i didn’t really finish reading this book. it starts like a fairy tale almost written for middle grade, but little references are slid in about emory banging the help? okay, super dark fairy tale, cool, let’s keep going.
but i was SO BORED because like, by the second chapter, you know what the damn twist is – the dragon that Emory saves Ama from is totally Ama. And you KNOW the whole book is building to that twist, so now we have to get there and it’s SO much “why do i have no memories” and youre looking at Emory’s mom who was also a dragon and thinking, jesus, is Emory’s mom Ama’s mom too and could she speak up before they get married and Emory and Ama have sex? FYI you don’t find out til real late in how the dragons procreate (they don’t, apparently they’re just spawnedfrom the sun?) but it was just uncomfortable not knowing.
So in the meantime You kind of feel for Ama’s plight becasue she’s reliant on her “savior” Emory who is for sure a sociopath and real rapey. Seriously, her first night in the castle, Emory sneaks in and 100% trries to rape her. But Ama’s pretty willing to force Emory on the SERVANTS so she doesn’t have to have sex with him unless necessary. Behavior like that plus this whole…never knowing who she is because she doesn’t know who she is, there’s not a lot of sympathy garnered.
I got like, i dunno, partly through before i gave up and tried to find the ending online and WOW. WOW WOW WOW. Thank you Niffler Reads. So i skimmed to the end and read it myself and guys. what the actual shit. Emory doesn’t actually know at the time that the dragon is the girl he’s supposed to save; he stabs it under its arm, and as its rolling around in pain, he has a … revelation? and because his shit ass mom told him he has always had the final weapon to defeat the dragon, he somehow realizes that weapon is his penis and that to defeat the dragon he has to fuck it. in the cut he made w the sword. so he tells ama all this, then she kills him and eats his heart and turns into a dragon and flies away the end.
What I gave it:
1 star. It didn’t real like a final version, it was boring, and no one does anything redemptive. Also seriously he fucked a sword wound get out of here.
What I’d pair it with:
Uhhhhhhh as much alcohol as possible?