When I came across Owl Eyes, I was sold just by the cover. Reading the blurb? I had to read it! Just had to!
Nora knows three things: she is a servant, her parents are dead, and she lives in the kitchen house with her adoptive family. But her world is torn apart when she discovers that her birth father has always been right there, living in the house she serves.
This discovery leads Nora to more questions. Why was she thrown in an ash-covered room for asking about her father? Why is a silver-bladed knife the only inheritance from her birth mother? Why is magic forbidden in her household—and throughout the province of the Runes? The answers may not be the ones Nora hoped for, as they threaten a possible romance and her relationship with the adoptive family she loves.
With the announcement of a royal ball, Nora must decide what she is willing to give up in order to claim her stolen birthright, and whether this new life is worth losing her family—and herself.
As I said, this is a fairy tale retelling; a Cinderella retelling to be precise. I think the only retelling I read so far was Cinder and I really love that one!
I expected Owl Eyes to be “just” a retelling, but it gave me so much more than I thought it would. It isn’t just a fairy tale, it’s a darker one. You can feel the negative emotions when you’re reading. There’s hope, sure, but the negative undercurrent is so much more alive and dragged me downwards big time. Not in a bad way though!
Even though I never found myself rooting for Eleanor, the main character, she does have her own personality. She’s Eleanor, a girl who has to figure out who she is, was and wants to be with all the consequences that journey brings her.
She battles her own demons, fights her own fights and that’s the type of main character I really do like. Even though I didn’t really connect with her, I enjoyed her and that’s the main thing.
I was not a lady, and a dress didn’t make me one.
To me, the world-building was done well enough. Not in an elaborate way at the start of the story, no. You learn along the way what the world is like, what magical elements there are. You’re slowly submerged in Eleanor’s world in a manner that felt unique to me. Why? Well, like I said, you just learn everything bit by bit along the way which made Owl Eyes a very fun read since you keep discovering new things.
I simply wish Jack, the kitchen help Nora grows up with in her teenage years, had a bigger place in the story. I often found myself wondering what was going on with him, what he was thinking, where he came from and what he’d been through. Sure, you get some hints and facts, but I wanted more.
That’s not really a negative though; it’s just me being intrigued by his character, haha.
It’s like the path is full of chances, and if you can just grab the right one, you can choose your destination, no matter how far away it seems.
All in all I really loved this dark retelling. Owl Eyes is a very intriguing story indeed!