- Title: Gisela’s Passion
- Series: Elisabeth and Edvard – prequel. Reads fine as a standalone.
- Author: Astrid V.J.
- Publisher & release: New Wings Press, November 2019
- Length: 312 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ more than likely
Today is my Instagram tour stop!! Thank you to the author and BookFox tours for the electronic copy to share with you guys! If you head on over to http://www.instagram.con/onereadingnurse you can find my entry point to the giveaway for a signed copy.
Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
Ever since she can remember, 18-year-old Gisela Winry has wanted to dance. Her strict father sees dancing as the path to immorality, licentiousness and debauchery. Devastated at his wrath after she secretly auditions and wins the title harvest queen of Ylvaton, Gisela turns to her best friend, Hilarion, who proposes a path she cannot take. With their friendship broken, Hilarion retreats to the solace of the forest where he lets his hatred and jealousy fester.
Meanwhile, Gisela meets Vincent, a young nobleman seeking to escape his dead brother’s shadow. Will Gisela be able to uphold her family honour and get to do the one thing she’s always been passionate about? Will Vincent’s chance encounter with the lovely harvest queen from a tiny village become more meaningful than earning his father’s approval? And will Hilarion fight for the love of his life or give in to the darkness within him.
Immerse yourself in the life of the common people of Vendale in this prequel to the Siblings’ Tale. Gisela’s Passion is the retelling of a lesser-known Slavic folk tale which is better known in its incarnation as a French ballet.
Romances in any form are usually not my go-to reads, but Giselle (the folktale and ballet) is a tragedy above all else. I’m glad that I gave it a shot!
Gisela loves to dance and is otherworldly in her talent. All she wants is to be the harvest queen at the festival, to have one chance to do something of her own before settling into domestic life. Her father has a hatred of debauchery though and is more concerned about choosing her husband and having the vineyard tended. Women were property in that era and not much more.
The writing felt like a stage play at times. It is vividly descriptive of the sun and sights and scenery, as well as people’s actions. I am sure this was intentional and very well done. Other than one (pretty cringey) sex scene the book is clean and pretty straightforward.
If you have read the Elisabeth and Edvard books and read this as a prequel, the ending makes sense I think. I hadn’t read them and found myself confused at the sudden mention of elves, mages and magic at all at the end of the book. I knew there were spirits involved but the magic hadn’t been mentioned prior to the ending and it came as a shock.
At the end I wish Gisela would have quit making excuses for the men, even in the old world I think women deserved a LOT better. This is a gorgeous retelling of the ballet / folk tale. Whether you like romance, tragedy, theatre or ghosts, I would recommend this to pretty much anyone.
Here is the link to the book on Amazon: