Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review: Cinderella, Necromancer

Release Date: September 5, 2017
Author: F. M. Boughan
Publisher: Month9Books
Length: 324 pages
Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Cinderella, Necromancer is Chime meets Anna Dressed in Blood and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He's happy and doesn't quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters. When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father's mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom. Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters' every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother's grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival. But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison's power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.



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 house. Her father showed no interest in marrying again, but one day he brings home a new bride, much to Ella's dismay and aggravation. After he father leaves on a business trip Ella soon learns just how cruel and manipulative her new stepmother and stepsisters can be, and just how far they'll go to get what they want. It isn't too long before Ella discovers her houses secret passageways and a mysterious book of magic tucked within. A book that could lead to her freedom, or her undoing. I really loved the character of Ellison, well for the most part. There are times in this book where, even faced with nearly undeniable proof about what is happening, she doesn't quite comprehend it, which can be frustrating, but doesn't really detract from my enjoyment of her character or the story.

Romance: I wasn't quite sure what I'd think of the romance in this book, particularly when in the original Cinderella tale there isn't much more than insta-love between Cinderella and her prince, but like most retellings of Cinderella nowadays there's more than love at first sight between Ella and Prince William. In fact, they have a fun and witty rapport the fuels the annoyed but endearing quality to their romance. They are as open and honest as they can be with each other while still keeping their own secrets and while I wouldn't call this romance in any way "swoon-worthy" it's still a light and solidly defined romance that I couldn't help but root for.

World Building: It's really hard to write about the world building in this book, because most of the time Ella's in her house, the church graveyard, or the Palace, on top of that this story seems to be at least in some part historical fiction, but I'm not completely sure where this story takes place. That being said, the author's writing still breathes life into these pages and it's almost impossible not to understand how everything in this story looks and feels. The descriptions are rich and beautiful and the world comes to life on the page. This book is dark and captivating with moments that truly sent chills down my spine as Ella practices her necromancy and brings forth horrifying spirits to do her bidding. The way the author mixes aspects and elements from a real 15th-century grimoire into this novel is incredible and only serves to more fully bring this book to life... pardon the pun.

Predictability: The foreshadowing in this book is pretty strong. There are many twists in this book that I either predicted or at the very least guessed at. That being said this story isn't without it's captivating and intense twists that I wasn't able to predict. There's far more to this story than a simple Cinderella retelling and it's those aspects that hold a great many twists and turns as this story unfolds.

Ending: This story has one of those false beginnings that tells a bit about the ending without a lot of detail and a lot of vague intrigue, and I couldn't wait to get to that part of the book, but I would say the ending begins a little before that scene and while there were a couple of climaxes toward the end, I was far more entraced with the first one, the one that led up to that false beginning and it was so fantastic, the imagery in my head during that part was just indescribable. Then there's the true final climax which was awesome but in a very different way. There wasn't a huge cooldown in this book, in fact, this book ends almost right after the final climax which was a tad disappointing as I had hoped for a much more neatly tied up ending, but honestly after the amazingness of this book, I didn't mind too much.


If you couldn't tell, I LOVED this book. It's haunting and spellbinding and if you're looking for a dark and atmospheric novel to read around Halloween time, pick this up! I urge you!


1 comment:

  1. This is the first I'm hearing of this book (I probably live under a rock) and now I'm REALLY intrigued.