Once Upon A Time: Regina Rising

Book mail is the best, you guys. I recently won a contest where I would receive six books, each book by a different author. Imagine my delight when it turned out that each book was by a Young Adult author! (Read more about my love of YA fiction HERE or HERE) I didn’t really look to see which titles would turn up in my mailbox, so receiving each package felt like Christmas. The most recent package held Regina Rising a novel based on the television series Once Upon a Time. 

When 16 year old Regina meets Claire she knows she’s found a friend, and in Regina’s life, friendship is rare. With the tension between Regina and her mother escalating, Regina searches for a way to stand up under her mother’s oppressive concern and hopes her newfound friendship will stand the test. The perfect apple Regina plucks appears to mirror the perfection and goodness she is discovering, but is there poison within?

Fans of the Once Upon a Time television series will enjoy this origin story about Regina. While it could stand alone as a story, Regina Rising definitely is enhanced by a thorough knowledge of the story arc of the tv show. I do recommend it for older teens and adults, but please consider the cautions and caveats below.

Cautions and Caveats: There are a few moments of a more sensual nature which stand out perhaps more in a reading context than they might on television. But more concerning to me was the abusive nature of Regina’s mother, Cora. Again, perhaps it was the medium, but this novel pushed the envelope further on the mother/daughter relationship than the TV show does, with Cora restraining Regina and even striking her. Readers who are sensitive to reading about such things ought to steer clear. Also, much of the book focuses on various characters using magic.