Sunday, May 1, 2022

Review: The Chaos Daughter by Sara Michaels

I'm starting off the month with a very unique, fairy tale retelling. This is the first in a series and rotates around the tale of Anastasia. I didn't really know much about this one before diving in but liked the idea that it is a's been awhile since I've read one. Anastasia is also a direction I haven't visited in a long time, so it sparked my interest. Add that it's a quick read at around 180 pages, and...well...let's take a peek.

The Jeweled Fairytale Retellings, Book 1
by Sara Michaels
Young Adult Fantasy
183 pages

When all magic is ruled by Order, being a child of Chaos is the ultimate danger.

Nastasya lives a sheltered, small-island life, hiding her Chaos magic and living quietly with her protective foster parents.

At the age of 18, she finally persuades them to let her venture across to the mainland… but what should be an exciting shopping trip quickly turns into much more than she bargained for, and events unfold that will change her future forever.

Nastasya has always been taught to hide her Chaos magic, but she’s never understood why.

Her past has always been a mystery to her, but her trip to the mainland leads her to question everything, and she knows she must learn more about her birth family and the power she possesses.

The Chaos Daughter is an action packed adventure of self-discovery inspired by the tale of Anastasia. Question everything, and trust no one: what Nastasya’s about to discover will change the world forever.



At 180-pages, this is a short read for the young adult audience, and it definitely keeps the pace up from start to end.

Nastasya accompanies her friend on a shopping trip to the mainland with the strict orders never to remove, touch, or even think of touching the scarf which hides the black and white jewel imbedded in her neck. But when the feared priests march through the market and spot her, her friend is captured and tortured. Wishing to help, Nastasya unleashes a forbidden magic that she didn't know she possessed, and now, needs to flee into the the desert and find out the secret behind her family.

The twist on the original Anastasia tale is really unique and takes place in a rich world with tons of possibilities. The plot leaps right into action as Nastasya is warned by her parents while preparing to head to the market across the water. It is easy to see that something is going to go wrong, but this doesn't ruin the fun, nor does it hint at the excitement which follows when things break into chaos. Nastasya has a kind personality, and she is easy to root for until the end. 

This promises to be an amazing world, and the basis for the magic and society hold a lot of richness. I wanted to learn more and experience more, but everything flies by and some aspects miss a bit more explanation. A lot of this is due to the shortness of the read and isn't necessarily a problem, since this one is adventure orientated and never leaves a boring moment. Still, part of me wishes it would have bloomed and completely met its potential.

The ending does wrap things up, while leaving enough room for curiosity about book two. So, I can recommend this one, especially for those who just want an enjoyable, quick read into a fantasy realm. 

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