Review: Charming: A Charming Book One

Charming: A Charming Book OneCharming: A Charming Book One by Andi Lawrencovna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fresh, unique and riveting… this re-interpretation of Cinderella is an attention grabber. Ms. Lawrencovna is a new to me author who I will be watching. In Charming, this is not your Disney happily ever after fairy tale. There are "fairies" as in a race which seems to be modelled after the fae. That is about all that is similar. Because Cinderella is not an unloved fatherless girl. Instead, she is a strong warrior with an exacting mother. Her mother is queen and will not tolerate disobedience.

The conflict in this story is monumental. It's not a simple little contrived misunderstand or a poor little girl situation. This is a meaty conflict that can start a war, if not a call for genocide. This dark story is not like Grimm's fairy tale. It's more than a simple cautionary tale because it creates a world where two races are hostile and no one is willing to talk to the other. The misconceptions and distrust are obstacles not easily overcome.

The tension between Charming aka Kit and Ella is so good. I like how the relationship started out with Kit chasing Ella and when some important facts come to light, it becomes Ella who starts to hunt Kit. The fighting in this book is what does it for me. I love the Ella's strength and self confidence. It reminds me of the old Mercedes Lackey books when she wrote the Valdemar: Arrows of the Queen series. This strong female lead who breaks into the male dominated world in her own way impresses me. I want to learn more. Exposing more about the Children of the Woods would be great. They seem ruthless and similar to the Children of the Woods in Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels series. There are so many pieces in this first book that reminds me of fantasy authors I adore. Even though there are familiar feelings, Ms. Lawrencovna brings it in a refreshing new way. I'm excited about this new to me author and can't wait to read more. Charming is spellbinding and recommended for fantasy lovers who enjoy fairy tales retold.

* Review copy provided via Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

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