{Review/Giveaway} HERO by Alethea Kontis

Launching on our adventure!!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

I've previously reviewed Alethea Kontis' novella BLOOD AND WATER, her debut novel ENCHANTEDinterviewed author Alethea Kontis, and interviewed ENCHANTED cover designer Christine Kettner!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

   SATURDAY DIED for the fifth time that morning. Her shallow breath gently stirred the dust of the practice field. She got to her feet, shook back the strands of hair that had come loose from her braid, and pushed a larger chunk behind her ear, mixing the sweat and soil there into mud. The one clean thing on her person was the thin band of blue-green fabric wrapped around the wrist of her sword arm, a remnant of the only dress Saturday had ever worn. No matter how disgusting she got, it seemed this magic bracelet was as immune to filth as Saturday was immune to injury. 
(pg. 1, US ARC edition)

You may be able to tell from all the aforementioned posts done previously with Alethea Kontis that I love her and her novels. ENCHANTED was such a great, fresh, unique fairy tale retelling. I've read it at least three times now, and I really, really like it. And you know what? HERO blows it out of the water. ENCHANTED who? It's nothing in comparison to HERO. That's saying something! It's also a completely different beast, less fairy tale and more original fantasy. There just...aren't even words. Trust me: it is so good.

Perhaps my favorite quote in the entire book!
Saturday is the next-to-youngest Woodcutter daughter, and the only normal one in the bunch. She hates being normal next to all of her gifted siblings. It doesn't matter that she can't be killed or that she has mad fighting skills; she doesn't even have a special name-day gift, only a boring, ordinary ax. She feels the least useful of them all. It isn't until Saturday falls into her own epic journey in a quest to save her brother that she discovers her own destiny and learns just what Destiny has in store for her.

Saturday is all about action, adventure, excitement. She could care less about flirting with boys or wearing the perfect ballgown. When she winds up with her own tale to tell, she's right in her element. She's also thrown-off guard, because she wasn't expecting to find herself trapped and mistaken for her trouble-making brother. She also never expected to fall in love, least of all with a guy like Peregrine. The romance builds perfectly. There's not a case of insta-love, and it wouldn't have worked if there had been. Saturday just isn't that type of girl. She works together with Peregrine to find a way out of their situation, and they don't always like one another, leading to a relationship that takes them both by surprise.

The emotions! The feels! HERO is one of those books that leaves you unable to put it down once it takes off. The imagination it took to create this world is vast, and I love that it felt like it could have been a fairy tale, even though it really wasn't one. I loved the descriptions, and really felt like I was there. I felt cold right alongside the characters as they froze. I was just as mesmerized by the sky. I had some serious feels while reading this one. Kontis also added her signature fairy tale mash-ups, which never fail to make me smile. There is so much more to Saturday than what meets the eye, and I was so sad to say goodbye to her. I'll see her again in future books, though, and that makes me so happy. I'm really excited for BELOVED now, and absolutely ready for Friday's story. If each book is getting better than the last, I can't wait to fall in love all over again!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Welllllllll Saturday wouldn't really wear a pretty dress. It wouldn't be at all practical for all she goes through in a day! So it doesn't quite make SENSE. It does, however, match ENCHANTED. There's also a surprise in the curling design around the title (that breathes fire) that's story-related. Love that addition!

And Saturday would totally know how to rock a sword!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: HERO
Author: Alethea Kontis
Release Date: Oct. 1, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Received: For Review (BEA Copy)

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.

My favorite fairy tale writer, Alethea Kontis, pulls off another slam dunk with HERO, the second of her stories about the Woodcutter sisters. HERO is a gender-bending, swash-buckling tale...  Saturday is a strong and willful girl with plenty of heart (plus some added snark). Alethea has a knack for reminding readers why many of us love fairy tales to begin with. In this entry we are once again given a delightful story with some obvious (and some not-so-obvious) nods to classic tales...  but her overlying story and characters... are wholly unique and distinguishable – not to mention they have so much more personality. - Jenna {does} Books Giveaway of ARC 'til Sept 30!
There is hardly a fairy-tale or gender trope that Kontis doesn’t turn on its head, and readers don’t need to know about Hercules cleaning out the Augean Stables to find Saturday’s impossible task of cleaning the witch’s bird’s nest both hilarious and revolting... readers will await her next with joyful anticipation. - Kirkus Review

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1)
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published May 8, 2012

It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

Alethea Kontis

Alethea KontisNew York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a goddess, a force of nature, and a mess. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, turning garden gnomes into mad scientists, and making sense out of fairy tales.

Alethea is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, and penned the AlphaOops series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including The Wonderland Alphabet and Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome. Her debut YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and was nominated for both the Andre Norton Award and the Audie Award in 2013.
Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea now lives in Northern Virginia with her Fairy Godfamily. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Sail Away on the 
Fairy Tale Adventure Tour*
*Family Welcome

Sept 22 - LAUNCH
Sept 23 - The Missing Piece - Althethea Kontis
 - Video Rant on Debz Bookshelf
 - Celebration on Deal Sharing Aunt
Sept 24 - Interview with Miss Print 
Sept 25 - Interview with Carina Olsen  
 - The Grandfather Pirate on Living a Goddess Life
 - Meet the Inspiration Part I on The Wonderings of One Person
Sept 26 – Review on Shannon’s Blog
 - Meet the Inspiration Part II on Bookmarks
Sept 27 – Families in Lit on Leeana Me 
Sept 30 -- USA Today Happy Ever After interview
 - Review of Enchantment on Colorimetry
 - "Release Day" at Waterworld Mermaids 
 - "My Favorite Bit" guest essay (with Cat Valente) - Mary Robinette Kowal
 - Review at Libraryof a Book Witch
 - Interview & Review at Tressa's Wishful Endings
Oct 2 - Video Rant Geek Girl In Love 
  - "The Big Idea" John Scalzi's blog 
  - My Bookshelf on Mel's Shelves
  - Did You See? on Cu's eBook Giveaways
Oct 3 – Highlighting The Missing Piece on I Am a Reader, Not a Writer 
 - Review at Books for Kids
Oct 4 - Podcast with Bennet Pomeranz
 - Review of Hero on Colorimetry
Oct 5 - Hero LAUNCH PARTY at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA
Oct 7 - Character interview with Saturday Woodcutter at I Smell Sheep
 -  Craft "Stealing from the Best" on Romance Writers of America & Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal Chapter
Oct 8 - "A Twist in the Tail" at A Backwards Story
 - Review at JL Mbewe
Oct 10-15 - GRAND FINALE

Tour-Wide Giveaway
Sept 22 - Oct 17

Fairy Tale Gift Basket (US only): Signed copies of both Enchantment and Hero by Alethea Kontis plus swag!

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