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Cinderella Necromancer Paperback – September 5, 2017
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"I recommend this book if you love retellings and a good hauntingly dark story." - Hannah Loves Books
"Boughan weaves a tale so mysterious and magical, harrowing and hopeful, with such deliciously dark villains, readers almost forget this is a retelling rather than a story of original beginnings." - Kirkus Reviews
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I heard of this book months ago and I am always down for fairytale retellings and add in necromancy and I knew I was going to read this story, it was inevitable. I was pleasantly surprised that this was like a meshing of my favorite version of Cinderella, the movie Ever After with it's banter between Ella and the prince in disguise and her resourcefulness, mixed with the movie The Craft, with a teen girl playing with dark forces she has no understanding of. It was such a cool yet dark premise that I could not help but to be entranced. I had no idea what would happen and it was such a delightful twisted train wreck I could not look away.
This was so much a love story, and no I am not talking specifically about romantic love, but love in general and the lengths that someone would go to and sacrifice of themselves for love. Pretty much all of Ellison's actions (be them awesome or terrible) were motivated by her need to protect her brother, the person she loved the most. There was also a slow developing romance in the story as well that played a role in Ellison's character development, but it was not the main focus of the story, more like a positive side note that gave her something to look forward to in her depressing, soul sucking existence.
The story is told by the only main character, Ellison, a confused and abandoned girl who has to learn how to survive the terrors she is dropped into. I really wanted her to lash
out at the injustices done against her, yet at the same time understanding why she couldn't. I really empathized with her and rooted her on, even while knowing nothing was a certainty in this story. I was confused at first by how the story was delivered, but then I realized that Ellison was narrating the story as seen by her use of reflection of her mistakes and pointing out how wrong her assumptions were. It was almost as if she was telling this to someone, but who I had no idea. I was super intrigued to find out who this story was being told to, and I determined it must be her speaking to the reader...and that's all I can say on the topic, except that I really liked Ms. Boughan's writing style.
The best part of this story was all the creepiness crammed into the pages. The story started slow, with the general Cinderella-esque plot, but then ever so slowly, strange and unnatural things were drawn into the story. At first it was just hints, shadows and ideas and then it was a touch by a seeming person, to full blown scary moments with all the imagery included. By the end of the book, Demon's were reigning down on the characters and living was not a guarantee for anyone.
This story is coming out at the best time of year, with Halloween just around the corner so this is the perfect first taste of the horror of the holiday. I really enjoyed this story and the surprises the author brought forth. I highly recommend this title to anyone who wants a little Cinderella with their horror and I most certainly will read more from this author in the future.
Ella finds a book and conjures spirits but doesn't know the cost. Magic always has a cost dearie...(yeah I did that)
I absolutely enjoyed the writing in this book. It was dark, magical, and convoluted. You didn't know where some part you read before would pop up but it did. The story was intricate and followed along the path of Cinderella but gave you it's own flare.
a definite read for anyone who enjoys darker fairy tales.
This is a perfect book for this time of year, but read it with the lights on!
Great story, great writing and very enjoyable to read.
What’s Good: How about the opening line for starters- “Blood. The blood of my enemies drips down my forearms, fleeing the confines of the spaces between my fingers, traveling toward freedom on the cold, stone floor.” Got your attention, yet?
This is a very imaginative twist on the fairytale. Everything old is new again in this one. There’s a few homages to the classic version of the tale, but ain’t no fairy godmothers floating around here. Nope- what comes to Ella’s aid is far more disturbing and best left undisturbed. Author F.M. Boughan cites researching historical texts and grimoires on necromancy, and it shows. Well done!
The necromancy comes into play as part of the struggle between Heaven and Hell, the forces of Good vs the armies of Evil. Ella’s struggles with what she’s doing and why are valid and believable. As her power grows, she thinks she’s come to terms with the price of it, but then she realizes that price is greater than she’s willing to pay. But will she be strong enough to do so anyway?
There’s several twists on the tale that’ll keep you involved; it’s like a full-on rendering of the original Brothers Grimm version- you know, with the sisters cutting off parts of their feet in order to fit the glass slipper and whatnot. Often gory and gruesome, this one ain’t for the faint of heart.
What’s Bad: Ella’s also a bit of a dunce. The author does a good job of putting you inside Ella’s head and making her feel like a vibrant, three-dimensional character, but too many times in the story she never bothered to question anything or stop to consider the consequences of her actions. She’s got a book of demonology/necromancy in her hands, but never bothers to read any further than what she needs to get what she wants yet always wonders about the dangers of abusing such power… maybe ya ought to flip a few pages ahead and find out??? She’s constantly skulking about the house trying to sneak around her new stepmother and siblings trying to learn things, only to bump, bang into or trip over something, leading to another Steve Erkel moment, “…oh, did *I* do that?!?” After a while you can pretty much see when they’re coming up.
There’s a few WTF moments in the plot that threaten to derail things. The night Ella’s father disappears he gives her something before he leaves- literally placing it in her hand. Does she look at it right away?- no. When does she look at it? Right after she sneaks out of the house in the dead of night, crawls under the locked main gate, runs all the way through the village to her mother’s grave, calls out to her mother’s spirit, meets a mysterious stranger who protects her from some Things That Go Bump In The Night, and sees her back to the village. Only after she’s safely home again after all that does she actually OPEN HER HAND to see what it was her father gave her. *facepalm*
The disappearance of Ella’s father made almost as much sense as all that did. For storytelling purposes he had to be out of the picture, sure, but… his reasons made no sense. It’s the usual “I had to leave to protect you” nonsense, except that he’s the one who created the problem in the first place by marrying Celia and knew full well what was going on, so clearly the best solution was to leave a bunch of people- including his own children- who’ve no idea about any of it at the tender mercies of some seriously malicious individuals and hope for the best. *double facepalm*
What’s Left: an entertaining, if flawed, work that you’ll enjoy reading. If all the Fairy Tale Re-imaginings are starting to get stale to you, this one’ll be a bit of fresh air.
Most recent customer reviews
Protagonist: Ellison (sometimes referred to as Ella) has lived a charmed life, that is until her mother falls in and passes away, leaving her the lady of the...Read more