Title: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time by Samreen Ahsan
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy Romance
Length: 221 pages
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Rating – 4/5
All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.
Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.
For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.
I’d like to thank the author Samreen Ahsan for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.
Once Upon a [Stolen] Time is an Adult fantasy novel about a young woman who has been obsessed with medieval times and the subject of courtly love ever since she can remember. She swears that she was meant to live in a different time and figure this may be why she has yet to find love. Seeing her situation as somewhat hopeless, her mom and a family friend endeavor to set her up with her family friend’s son who just happens to be handsome and wealthy and has access to a castle that she has longed to visit ever since she can remember. When she gets there though she soon finds that in exploring the castle she is connected to it in ways she could not have imagined.
I haven’t read as much fantasy as I would have liked to this year and it’s my favorite genre so I we particularly excited to have the chance to read this book. This book ended up being a pretty good story, I gave it a four star rating on Goodreads, which by that scale means I really really liked it – and I did!
It wasn’t a retelling but I did get a Beauty and the Beast vibe at times. I think I expected the story to be a lot lighter than it was and was surprised to find that it definitely had a lot of dark themes to it like abuse and torture. It also had romantic and sexual elements as well. I very much enjoyed the blending of the lighter side as well as the darker side of this modernish fairy tale. Without revealing too much I would like to say that I rather enjoyed the time traveling element in this story and can’t wait to experience more of it in the rest of the series. Even though this story is classified as adult, I felt like it could even qualify as YA. At least that’s what it felt like to me.
I am anxious to continue on and see what happens to the characters that we have met, specifically our two main protagonists. They both have a lot of internal and external conflicts to resolve, some of which they will have to do together and wow, I must say that I did not see the ending coming and when I finished the last page I just…couldn’t believe it. I can’t wait to continue. I recommend this to anyone who loves fairy tale inspired stories especially darker ones. You can purchase a copy on Amazon by clicking below!