Eileen has never been interested in love. Ever since her father’s abandonment, she’s vowed to never experience such pain again. But the enchanted forest has different ideas. When the continuously shifting pathways lead her to a mysterious stranger, Eileen finds her promise to fiercely guard her heart increasingly difficult to keep.
One night when she becomes lost in a storm, the enchanted forest’s pathways lead her to the castle, home to the kingdom’s Dark Prince, where Eileen finds herself entangled in what many consider an opportunity but which Eileen believes to be a curse: competing for the Dark Prince’s hand through a series of tests that judge one’s royal worth. Eileen is neither royal nor interested in becoming a princess. But the mysterious stranger she met in the woods has his own reasons for helping her succeed, although the cost of his assistance may be too high: that of Eileen’s heart, the one thing she’s vowed never to give.
Inspired by “The Princess and the Pea” and “Rumpelstiltskin”
I love a good young adult novel. And the author gets bonus points if they include something to do with a fairy tale. I did like this one, but the first half or so was really hard for me to get into. It just seemed to start really slow plot wise.
I liked Eileen. She’s a young girl who lives by an enchanted forest. Eileen spends a lot of time in the forest sketching. She also spends time with her friend Rosie reading love stories. But Eileen never plans to marry. Her heart was broken by her father leaving as a child and she’s vowed never to marry. I loved the way Rosie bakes magical things. The scene where these two bake their enchanted cakes was one of my favorites.
I loved the way the forest in this one is almost as developed as any of the other characters. It leads Eileen from one place to another on paths designed just for her. One day it leads her to a man.
Aiden appears to try to hurt Eileen. But he extracts a promise that she must visit with him three times. During those times, Eileen comes to care for him.
This is where the plot got really interesting for me. The forest leads Eileen to a castle, where she’s mistaken for a princess wanting to compete for the princes hand in marriage. The only one there who knows Eileen is Aiden. And he helps her as best as he can. But the question is, does Eileen really want to marry the prince?
I loved the second half of this one. It made me want to read the next one by this author.
I was sent a copy of Pathways as a gift. All opinions are my own.
What to read after Pathways
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