Damsel Review

Title: Damsel

Author: Elana K. Arnold

Genre: YA Fantasy, Fantasy Fiction

Publish Date: October 2nd, 2018

Date Read: April 17, 2019

Number of Pages: 320

Stars: 1/5 ⭐️

Summary on Back:

“The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.”

Review:

*Trigger Warning*

The cover of the book was enticing and I was intrigued by the summary, but I was unable to finish this book. Out of roughly seven parts, I did not even finish one part. From the start I did not enjoy all the sexual innuendos. The scene where Emory “marks his territory” in the dragon’s lair was odd. The way certain things were talked about made my stomach churn. Every time I gave the book a chance and read another chapter, it was an even greater disappointment.

I went to Goodreads to see if it was worth it to continue reading the book. After all, the reviews on the back said it was a feminist fantasy so I was hoping that maybe it would get better and I would end up enjoying it. Oh, how I was wrong. In the reviews, people mentioned abuse, rape, self-harm, and suicide showing up later on in the book. If I was already struggling to get through this part, I knew I wouldn’t be able to read the rest. There really should have been a trigger warning at the beginning of the book because I don’t really know how I would have reacted had I continued reading the book unknowingly and come across some of those triggers.

During the first few chapters, there were definitely things that made me uncomfortable as I read. The first of such moments was the way Emory listed off the girls he had slept with and the way he spoke about them. Then there was the thing about freeing his yard and marking his territory. Or when he and his friends talked about the conquests. Or when the door moaned open. And there were other things too. I didn’t get a very good vibe or feeling from the book and I definitely wasn’t convinced enough to read more, so I put it down.

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