You know what? I’m going to describe Disenchanted as a ‘darkling delight’.
I loved this book 😍 It was everything I want in YA fantasy: monsters in the woods, cluelessly lovely princess, love-to-hate romance, sass and bickering, and a thunderingly epic ending. I’m kicking off the MTMC Blog Tour for Disenchanted today, so get ready for (1) me flailing, and (2) a giveaway!!
THANK YOU TO MTMC TOURS FOR HAVING ME!
A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents’ castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst…
Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger-and, unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest-she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.
This is the story of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch that can save them both.
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With an education in Mass Communication–and an engrossment in all that is curious and bewitching–Brianna Sugalski is an author and blog editor at the Parliament House Press.
The Filipino-American author was born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, but travels the country every few years with her husband and two children. She admires the luminaries of the Victorian Era; growing up reading period literature, folklore, and fables has inspired her to paint vibrant settings of nature and narratives that readers will hopefully enjoy.
Ultimately, she aspires to make her own readers laugh, to challenge their perspectives on society and systemic prejudice, and to help them discover the magical meaning of their own powers within.
1. Dark forest full of dark creatures.
Look you just have to say MONSTERS and WOODS to me and I’m there. Obsessed. It’s one of my favourite combinations and I can’t get enough. In Disenchanted, Princess Lilac braves the Brocèliande where all the monsters (vampires, ogres, fae, and more) have been banished to. Humans do not go in there. But Lilac needs to find a witch to cure her curse…the curse of being able to understand the wicked speech of monsters. It’s alienated her from her people and, if they’re going to accept her as queen, she needs it gone.
Basically the forest is FANTASTIC. I loved every moment of their travels (no lagging pace there too!) and the visits to the vampire den and the tired old supernatural inn and the fae glens…it was all incredible. Also they are dark monsters, pretty monsters. But also soft monsters 🥺.
2. The actual existence of Princess Lilac.
I just loved her?! For so so many reasons. Like (a) she loves pastries and literally packed her runaway sack full of…3 dresses, some matches, aND PASTRIES. (b) She flaps about absolutely cluelessly but also passionately. (c) She loves her people, even though they’ve shunned her, and she struggles to believe anything or anyone is evil…until they prove it. (d) She has zero time for toxic masculinity. (e) She is all 🤨🙌🏻about her goals. You stand in her way? You get glared at as she stomps on past.
She’s terrified on this wild, insane adventure. AND she’s brave.
3. There is banter and bickering 👀👌🏻
All books should have banter, this is just my entire opinion tbh. Banter is like the gift and blessing of the love-to-hate trope and we have that here gloriously. Also just love when the bickering happens because two characters are begrudgingly and lovingly caring for each other 🥺
“You’re the one who kidnapped me.”
“If I had known you’d be this annoying, I definitely would’ve let the Morgen drown you back there.”
4. Vampires trying to do better.
Garin is the love interest and a vampire….which, I actually am not drawn to vampire stories usually? But I really liked this one. There’s a lot of classic vampire vibes here: they can’t go out in sunlight, they need invitations into a home, drinking blood of course, they get very protective over their….prey/lovers/either-or. 😂 The overprotective alpha-male thing didn’t get too over-strong though, which I’m glad because that’s not my thing! While Garin wrestled deeply with his monstrous side vs falling for a soft pretty princess, he definitely is not The Good Guy.
But he is a bit like:
Garin: I am terrible, unforgivable, I’ve ripped out tHROATS–
Lilac: my clothes are so filthy and blood soaked
Garin: allow me to wash them for you
5. It has magic! Humour! Deathly scenes! Politics!
And the underlying theme of: no one is born “wrong”. Your abilities and the things you can do are not a mistake 💛This was just such a fiercely fun read, I had such a good time!
Hi Brianna! So lovely to have you here to chat all a bout your incredible book today 😍🙌🏻 Can you tell us about your publishing journey? How your book went from seed idea to finished novel?
Yes of course! So in 2017, my family experienced the stillbirth of our first daughter, which really brought us within ourselves. For me, that looked like a LOT of writing, which quelled my anxiety. For whatever reason, I began with poems about an imperfect princess, and then those led to poems about a monster who just enjoyed being a monster. Six months later I looked at these poems which I would either toss away or maybe self-publish into a small collection, and I said—wait, there’s a story to be told here. Each poem became a chapter of my full first draft.
I had fully intended to self publish because the querying process (back then I didn’t even know what it was called) was daunting to me, so I hired an editor to do two proofreading/ content passes and fully invested in this manuscript.
At the end of the second pass, I had just started to get into the writing community on Instagram and Twitter via my publishing internship, and found out about PitMad and PitchWars. I, totally new to this, nervously and with the blessing of my editor, participated last minute in PitchWars in Spring of 2018–and Disenchanted got picked up by the publisher I’d had my eye on all along!
I’m so sorry for your loss, but so glad you were able to write through it all 💛 Tell us how you decided on the title! Did it go through any changes?
Oh goodness, YES. So from the poetry to my second draft, I called it THE WOODS OF DUSK AND DAWN. But then, i found it to be general and sort of irrelevant to what the book had actually became—I thought in the beginning it was going to be this badass epic fantasy, but in the end it became more heartfelt, a little more romantic, a lot funnier. Disenchanted is such a great term to describe the undertone of the book haha. The real challenge is titling the sequel and possible third book.
And the title honestly is perfect!! Tell us 3 random facts about Lilac!
1. Lilac’s favorite pastries are tarts, raspberry or strawberry.
2. Deep down, she’s very interested in learning how to ride horses, as that ability/ privilege of royal lifestyle was stripped from her when her ability was found out at an early age.
3. She has a hidden talent for picking locks…
Lilac’s love of pastries is just so relatable 👀👌🏻 Which part of a novel do you love writing the best: the beginning, the middle, or the end?
My favorite part of writing disenchanted was when Lilac and Garin got to know each other, so that would probably be, without giving too much away, the beginning-middle? Around chapter four—disenchanted is the first book I wrote and WIP I had, but I think that applies to the kind of fantasy I enjoy in general. Chapters 3 and 4 are when things pick up steam!
All of their interactions were the absoulte best ahhh!! And now lastly! Was any chocolate harmed in the making of this novel?
You have only our full understanding here 😌✨ Thank you so much for these wonderful answers!! It’s been amazing chatting 😍
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tell me if you like vampire books!! what are your faves? is this one on your tbr?