***I received this for free via Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.***
In this debut fantasy novel, it is 200 years after Cinderella’s fairy tale and the town continues to uphold the tradition of attending the ball to meet a suitor under the tyrannical king. Sophia is sick of this tradition and wants nothing more than to run off with her best friend Erin and forget these traditions.
This was a very solid fantasy story. Although it might be based on the Cinderella story, it stands on its own. The world was laid out so well and you really felt for the woman in this society. This is a patriarchal society where when have curfews and no rights. They are treated as lesser and the husband has full control. The author takes time to really build this up for us and also the lore that surrounds the Cinderella fairy tale in general. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book and couldn’t wait to learn more.
“When the leader of this kingdom treats women as property, it sets an awful precedent. People think it’s okay to do the same.
Sophia was a great character who wasn’t just the typical fantasy bad ass, she actually felt pain and consequences for her actions. She expressed fear and hesitation for the things that were happening to and around her. I really enjoyed how she was self assured but that she also was realistic.
The last 15-20% felt like the author was trying to put too much in at the end. There was no buildup to the magic that was used and this is something that I often see in debut fantasies. While it helped move the story alone, there didn’t seem to be enough foreshadowing to what was happening and therefore it seemed like it came out of left field. This didn’t completely turn me off but it did pull me out of the story a bit.
Overall, this is an excellent debut fantasy by an author who I will definitely read again. I definitely recommend this book because I really want more fairy tale remixes and not just regular retellings.
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