Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi
Publication Date: October 5th, 2021
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I was literally filled with so much joy when I read this book. I genuinely wish it never ended even though it was perfectly executed from beginning to end! I just love Roshani’s style of writing and her storytelling is immaculate. She has equal parts of romance and fantasy and magic and world building and humor all wrapped up in a perfect present that’s sure to sweep you off your feet!
The two characters had undeniable chemistry and both of them were well rounded and strong even though this was a short novella! Roshani really knows how to fully embody the characters in the shortest amount of time! The banter was just top tier and I could imagine every scene playing out so wonderfully!
One tidbit I especially loved was in the very first chapter with the poisoned tomato! I remember at some interview or event, Roshani had mentioned researching a lot and one of the stories she had told was about how people used to think tomatoes were poisoned and it just made me so excited when I got to see that little tidbit in the book! Honestly, this book was so quick and full of love and hope and pure and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants that!
In the beginning of the book, I was a bit thrown off because the synopsis didn’t really mention the fact that it ha da sci fi element to it. Once I was able to gather my bearings though, the world building was really interesting and unique! I think the magic and world was done really well.
I really enjoyed Yassen and Elena’s POVs. They had really strong characters and I think it was really cool to see their motivations and get a glimpse into their actions, especially as the plot moved forward. However, I do feel like the inclusion of Leo’s POV felt sort of random. I didn’t really care for his POVs and I felt like there was maybe just one chapter of his that felt important to the plot. I think Samson was an interesting character and I do wish we’d gotten to see more of him (instead of Leo in my opinion).
There were a few chapters that I remember reading and then having to go back and re read because I genuinely didn’t understand what happened in them and that’s just because I tend to turn my brain off while reading whoops.
I will say that I enjoyed reading the book but I probably couldn’t tell you much about what happened and it’s partly because of myself but partly because some of the storytelling was a little hard to understand for me. It might have just been the writing style or the way the chapters were laid out. However, I’m still intrigued enough to want to read the rest of the series and I definitely was surprised by the ending, despite making loads of theories while reading the book!
If you enjoy a good political fantasy sci fi blend with morally grey characters and fire bending and prophecies, you’ll definitely enjoy this!