Dearest is the third installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series. This story is mostly the fairytale of The Seven Swans and if other tales are woven in, I don't know what they are called. This story revolves around the sister Friday, who has a gift for sewing, and how she discovers the brothers and their sister. She helps them on the journey to not only break the curse but to defeat the ones who put the curse on their family as well as discover part of who she is along the way.
I really enjoyed the fairytale in this one. I really liked the combination of fairytales in the first book, Enchanted, and I was disappointed with the lack of recognizable ones in Hero, so it was nice to have just one in this book. I think she did a great job of developing the characters and making them relatable. Kontis did a very nice job with the brothers and separating out the personalities while still depicting their closeness and each of their thoughts. Some of my favorite characters were the children; they were wonderful and just added a fantastic layer to the story! The evil characters were evil, but not stupidly evil, if you know what I mean. It's frustrating when you get a villain who is just evil and doesn't know how to act another way. These evil people acted like people who were evil, not just evil in a story. Oh, there was also a mention of another fantasy story that I quite enjoyed, but that is something you should discover on your own ;)
What I didn't like about this story was that the ending was kind of weird. The characters that appeared and the stuff that happened was a little confusing, and I had to go back and re-read the scenes to fully comprehend what exactly happened. I still don't understand what happened with one of the characters at the end. Another reason it was difficult to enjoy was my fault really, but it does not harm to forewarn others. I have not read Hero in quite a while so the transition was a bit bumpy for me in some areas. I would recommend reading Hero recently before this just to make sure it's a little easier to get into. There was an unanswered question about Friday's teacher and I hope Kontis gets into it in the next book because it was brought up a few times but never really addressed.
I give this book an 8 out of 10 and highly recommend it to YA readers and lovers of fairytales!