CHARMING is a dark fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella, where the prince is still the prince, but “Cinderella” is an assassin out to kill the prince.
Got your attention, huh? Thought it would.
The story starts with Ella running out from the castle into the woods, with Prince Christophe pursuing after her. It was the third night of the ball (I must admit the movie “Into the Woods” flashed into my mind as I read this), and try as she might, Ella just cannot kill the prince, no matter that that was her mission, and no matter that the prince is foretold to die. The three nights of talking and dancing with him had changed her, shown her a side of him she hadn’t expected. So, she’s torn between duty and her heart, though she denies any feelings for him. The danger escalates when more assassins appeared in the woods, and it was the two of them against four…
CHARMING is an awesome re-imagining, giving the fairy tale a dark, gritty feel, as well as remaking Cinderella into a top-caliber assassin who doesn’t need a prince to rescue her from her stepmother’s abuse and cruelty, and who instead just might be the one the prince needs to save him from certain death. Certainly, Ms. Lawrencova has created two unforgettable, fleshed-out characters from one of the most beloved fairy tales in the world. The characters’ motivations were all well thought out and supported their actions and the direction of the story.
The worldbuilding is superb and detailed and varied enough for the reader to feel transported into a different world. The author’s writing style is easy to read; the words flow and captivate the reader into reading onward. CHARMING is a gem in the flood of retellings in the market, and it is but the first installment in what seems to be a three-part series, and I can’t wait to read the next one, entitled The Captain.
Rating: 5 stars
Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.
Once Upon a Time…
Prince Christophe can’t die. Or, more precisely, if he dies, so does his country. But that hasn’t stopped the King from hosting a ball. And it hasn’t stopped Kit’s enemies from seeking a quick end between the quadrille and the waltz.
The Children of the Wood hold out hope that their Assassin Queen will fulfill the prophecy and end Kit’s life. But when Ella vies for the prince’s attention, it’s not a knife that pierces his heart, or her own.
One waltz at a ball. One trip of a slipper. One Prince. And one Assassin.
In the world of the Never Lands, Fairy Tales aren’t quite like you remember.