Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big lover of fairy tales. I have three entire shelves dedicated just to fairy tale retellings, and then two more dedicated to collections of fairy tales. When I was contacted by the author for a review and read the summary, I knew I had to read this book. The Poppet and the Lune sounded right up my alley, so I accepted and waited impatiently for my review copy to grace my mail box. The wait was so totally worth it and I am so glad I read this novel. The Poppet and the Lune is going to be one of the novels I set time aside for every year to reread, or one that I’ll simply pull out every now and then just to reread my favorite passages. I actually tried to read it as slowly as I could allow, simply because I never wanted it to end. I kept attacking it with post-it notes to mark the sentences I loved so much, to the point where they got in the way of me holding the book and turning the pages. It’s going to be a book that I treasure deeply. The writing style actually reminded me quite of a bit of someone having written down a storyteller’s verbal tale. There are times in the novel when the omnipresent narrator refers to hirself and the readers, as if zie were truly right there telling us the story, and fills in the gaps of knowledge the two main leads don’t have, which adds to my impression, and I loved it all the more for that. Franklin so clearly nails the fairy tale narrative styles that as soon as I read the opening I knew I was going to love this book. The small village surrounded by woods prowled by wolves, the lone cabin in the woods where a magical person lives, a deconstruction of a prince who should be the archetype of the fairy tale true love, and the other various magical things and places the heroes encounter on their journey, all of it is classic the fairy tale narrative done beautifully. It’s atmospheric and wonderful and so, so well done. To add to this, Franklin’s writing is beautiful, with sentences such as: “The unreality of the past weeks lifted like a fog, but its residue remained. All of the past is like that, but most especially the parts that are out of the ordinary.” pg. 248 “The patchwork girl felt as if she were a broad expanse of canvas, rolled up in a desk drawer somewhere-maybe forgotten, maybe hidden, maybe thrown away. There were things she could never be; she could never be a sculpture, or a piece of jewelry, or a tool for work, or fine linen... but there were things she could become.” pg. 48 To expand on that last quote, I loved the patchwork girl’s journey to finding herself. In a way, she’s got a very strong personality of her own, but the memories of the children she’s made of keep coming back and it makes her wonder if she’s truly her own person. Can a person really be their own being when they’re made up of several other beings? Faolin’s story is a parallel to the patchwork girl’s; he too is trying to find himself after being changed into a wolf, trying to find footing in a strange new environment. The identity narratives in this story were so well done that I cheered whenever the patchwork girl or Faolin came closer to understanding themselves. Their journey is a long and often hard process, but the pay off is so satisfying. It’s not just the main characters who are well written. The secondary characters have their own backstories detailed in the book, making them come alive just as much as the leads themselves. Perhaps the strongest example of this was with the Weirding family, tragic and yet awesome to read about all at the same time. It really was nice to see Franklin spending as much time on the secondary characters as she did the leads. I’m pretty hard to please when it comes to romance in novels, I’ll admit. It’s very rare that a couple in any form of media captures my heart because of how well they’re written. This was not a problem here. The relationship between the patchwork girl and Faolin is slowly developed, from a comfortable friendship and companionship to a strong love. They work so well together; the patchwork girl, fearless and courageous, sure of herself and yet at the same time not, and Faolin, shy and sweet and cowardly but with hidden strength. It’s such a well written romance that I had a huge silly grin on my face whenever there were hints of their developing romance. At the same time, though, it’s explicitly mentioned that should one leave the other, they would be okay. They don’t exist simply for each other. Probably my favorite quote in the story is the one where it’s said that the patchwork girl was whole before she met Faolin, and she would continue to be whole even without him there. That is how you do a good romance. I think the thing I loved best, if I could narrow it down to just one, was how the story was mostly character driven. That tends to be my preferred style in stories. I like plot driven works as well, but when you get down to it, I love to focus more on the characters and their personalities and their relationships with others. The characters drive this story, leading themselves to places where they grow and learn and make the plot happen, the plot doesn’t just blindly pull them along. It truly is the story about the patchwork girl and Faolin, and what a story it is. The Poppet and the Lune is a beautiful, well done fairy tale that gives readers a strong, empowering woman lead, a guy lead I loved, a solid romance and world building, and wonderful writing. It was heartbreaking at times and other times I downright cheered when something good happened. It feels like a genuine fairy tale you would read in a collection. I am actually hesitant to put this strictly in one age group; I feel like it’s a story that can charm and enchant readers of all ages, and simply calling it young adult or adult would be doing a disservice to the story. I’ll be bothering all my friends to read it and I cannot recommend it enough.A copy of this book was generously provided for review by the author.