Opal by Kristina Wojtaszek

by Kristina Wojtaszek
Published by World Weaver Press Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult

Title: Opal

Author: Kristina Wojtaszek

Publisher: World Weaver Press

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: December 18, 2012 (Why am I just reading this now? See below for good news!)

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars — SUPERB! 

Source: I received this book free of charge from World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review

White as snow, stained with blood, her talons black as ebony…

In this retwisting of the classic Snow White tale, the daughter of an owl is forced into human shape by a wizard who’s come to guide her from her wintry tundra home down to the colorful world of men and Fae, and the father she’s never known. She struggles with her human shape and grieves for her dead mother—a mother whose past she must unravel if men and Fae are to live peacefully together.

Trapped in a Fae-made spell, Androw waits for the one who can free him. A boy raised to be king, he sought refuge from his abusive father in the Fae tales his mother spun. And when it was too much to bear, he ran away, dragging his anger and guilt with him, pursuing shadowy trails deep within the Dark Woods of the Fae, seeking the truth in tales, and salvation in the eyes of a snowy hare. But many years have passed since the snowy hare turned to woman and the woman winged away on the winds of a winter storm leaving Androw prisoner behind walls of his own making—a prison that will hold him forever unless the daughter of an owl can save him.


You know you are reading a good book when you find yourself tearing up at the beginning, purely because the story is so beautifully-written. Rarely has an author caused my eyes to leak unrelated to the story’s events, but somehow Wojtaszek manages to best choose the precise words that flow together and convey description and emotion with sheer perfection. I feel clumsy even trying to express my opinion adequately about her writing, like a gnat might feel when telling an owl how how majestic she is. There’s some serious author-worship going on over here, guys.

Opal gives readers two perspectives and two moments in time throughout the book. The difference in the “when” confused me for a while, which was likely due to the teaser on the back cover of the book. As it turns out, the “many years have passed” line doesn’t really come into play until the end of the book. Don’t worry, folks: this isn’t a spoiler. The teaser itself actually ends up being the spoiler, and is really the only thing about this book that I don’t much like.

One of the biggest triumphs that I saw in Opal was that Wojtaszek so competently wove together a progression of the owl-girl’s thoughts and actions, the reader can watch and take part in her transformation from animal-mindset focused on instinct and simplicity, to the human-mindset that encompasses a pursuit of knowledge, an establishment of trust and love of others, and a budding sense of humor. Her changes are palpable, although not overstated, and were this a longer book, likely would have continued to be just as interesting and endearing. My one wish for Opal is that it were much, much longer, because I could read Kristina Wojtaszek’s writing for thousands of pages and still feel a gluttonous desire for more. This is a book that I highly recommend reading; then when you’re done with Opal, jump right into Char, the next book in the Fae of Fire and Stone series. Thankfully, Char was just released in April, so you can get a good fix of Wojtaszek’s exquisite fantasy and fairy tale writing before the next Really Long Time between novellas. Check out my review of Char and the Book Spotlight and Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Char for yourself!


**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it, just a pretty awesome book**


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“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” ~ Neil Gaiman