ARC Review: Damsel by Elena K Arnold

* Thank you to the publisher for providing me an ARC via Edelweiss *

Before i start the official review i wanted to add a small summary  of the The story original sleeping beauty ( not the Disney one) which went like this: A KING finds sleeping beauty, rapes her, she gets pregnant with his twins , one of whom sucks the poisonous splinter out of her thumb, she wakes up , goes to the king who kills his current wife to marry her. The end. Yep, I ruined your childhood. However I think that it is necessary to add that before you start judging the book.

Damsel is the best adaptation of it , in my opinion. The reason you may not like it is because you have gotten so used to hearing the Disney version, that isn’t as twisted and makes you feel all happy and optimistic, whereas this book makes you feel the opposite. 

This book is probably going to get a lot of hate, i am sure of it. But personally, I felt that this book is something the world needs. It is a story that needs to be told, whether you may choose to read it or not. 

The plot focuses on Ama, the “damsel” rescued by Emory, the prince,from a dragon that was supposedly guarding her. She returns with him to Harding, his kingdom as his queen-to-be. She is told repeatedly that she is a woman and therefore must behave like one. And how must she do that? She must be obedient and willing to shape herself to whatever the man asks of her. As a means to pleasure him, as a loving wife and as a bearer of his children. 

Slowly Ama begins to realize Emory is not everything he seemed to be at the beginning. She begins to question what she has been told about herself and her rescue, and the truth is an ugly thing.

Yes, it is disturbing and makes you feel uncomfortable. It explores themes such as rape , suicide, depression and animal harm in graphic detail. But it also makes you think twice about a trope we all accept blindly: the prince that rescues the damsel is a hero. They are in love. They belong together. The end. 

Maybe that shouldn’t always be the story, and we shouldn’t accept it so easily. 

If you want a light read, romance and a happily ever after, then this book is not what you are looking for. If you are looking for something feminist, dark and with beautiful writing, then please don’t hesitate in reading this.


  1. Susan Crosby · September 13, 2018

    I didn’t read the review because this is an arc on my list to read… so I didn’t want to go in knowing anything! 🙂 But I’m glad someone else has read it and I book marked it to come back to!

    Liked by 1 person

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