Charm (A Wicked Cinderella Tale) by Sarah Pinborough

Fairy tales are an essential part of growing up, no matter where in the world you are. Every culture has their stories and children grow up hearing these tales. Even as adults, one can enjoy fairy tales whether in their original form or as in this week’s review, a new retelling.

Charm is such a tale, and is the retelling of Cinderella. It is part of a series of three books (the other two being Poison and Beauty) that take well known and well loved fairy tales and give them a darker twist. In it we are taken to a kingdom far, far away, where the lovely Cinderella lives with her father, step-mother, and step-sisters. When the Prince holds a ball to find a bride, Cinderella is whisked away to attend in an enchanted dress and shoes – gifts from her fairy godmother.

That is where the similarities end. While Cinderella does do a good deal of the chores around the house, her family do not treat her as a slave. Her father is alive and loves her very much, as does her step-mother, albeit it in her own way. Cinderella and her step-sister Rose, are very close as well. Unlike the fairy tale, Cinderella isn’t completely loving and selfless. She has moments of jealousy and anger. She has moments of lust and desire.

I absolutely loved this book and tore through it in two days. It’s a very thin book and I would have read it in one day but I have a pesky little thing called a Real Life and a job. Blech. While this is a retelling of a classic story it was very dark in tone like the original. It is different and the ending is different but with the way it’s written, it feels natural and one doesn’t mind.

Because of sexual situations and brutality and such, this is NOT a book for children. Adults only please.

Well written with a great cast of characters, readers will enjoy this book. Those who enjoy a good dark tale will especially enjoy this book. I recommend it!

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