My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When we read, do we do it to devour a story, or for it to devour us?
I lost myself in this story. When I found Trick, I was so sick with a cold that I could do nothing but lie under the covers with hot tea and DayQuil, but when I read it, my cold was quickly forgotten and the story devoured me completely.
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Allow me to explain, sweetings…
TRICK is a story that contains the essence of some of our favorite and familiar tropes, but instead of force-feeding us the usual bag ‘o tricks (no pun intended), a new twist is created, a new hero is born, and a new type of love interest is unveiled. TRICK follows our MC, Briar, who is the princess of the Autumn kingdom, through a self-transformation process that is ignited through meeting a very special court jester named Poet. Poet is not everything you assume at first. Poet is so many things, and may represent a different shade in everyone who reads him. My reaction to him was visceral—I fell in love with him, his quick wit…his brooding, layered heart, and I fell even more so when I learned about his secret. We never quite find out his real name…and my god it somehow made me want him more. Well played, Natalia.
The Characters 5/5: The character development in TRICK is astounding. None of the characters are the same by the time you reach the end. Multiple character arcs are extremely difficult to write, and Natalia has achieved it beautifully.
The Plot 5/5: A certain central plot (biting my lip trying to stay spoiler-free!) becomes extremely important (especially to Poet) and emotionally very heavy. I found this plot was a very brave move as I do not think I have encountered such a theme before in fiction writing. It’s uncomfortable to see some of the characters react the way they do, and I think Natalia uses this discomfort to illustrate exactly why it needs to be addressed. It is a very real issue that I believe is relatable to modern society.
The Romance 5/5: *Fans self*…Someone turn on the AC, this one gets steamy, guys. Tastefully written, the romance alone would keep a reader entangled in the pages. I will never think of a man in tights the same.
Adult content: I would advise adult discretion before allowing anyone under 18 to read this story. Adult themes including sexuality, masturbation, violence, and ableism are all encountered (albeit beautifully written!)