By: F.M. Boughan
Published By: Month9Books
Release Date: Sept. 5, 2017
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads Summary: 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.
First Thought After Finishing: Who knew a Cinderella retelling could be so interesting?
Although I consider myself to be an old soul, I have a certain fondness for Disney princesses and fairy tales. Even though Disney usually gets it wrong, there is a certain inherent magic (if not darkness) in the tales of the Brothers Grimm. This book takes historical elements of magic and weaves them through the plot of the fairy tale we all know and love.
The Cinderella story is familiar to us all. Girl loses her family; girl gains an evil stepfamily; girl meets a handsome prince who could never love someone as lowly as her; girl stumbles into necromancy. Wait—that last part is new! Ellison fits the mold for Cinderella, only there is more to the story. When her father leaves her in the care of her new stepmother, she is determined to care for her brother above all else. Only she senses that something is amiss with her new family. When she discovers hidden passageways in her house containing a book of necromancy, she thinks to use it to help protect herself and her brother. But there are forces in play beyond what she could imagine, and danger is lurking around every corner. Could there really be a happily ever after?
Do you remember the movie Ever After, starring Drew Barrymore? I kept having flashbacks to this movie while reading. Ever After is not nearly as dark as this version of the story, but the time period and the language used are quite similar. This aspect of the setting was one of my favorite parts of this book. Many historical stories slip from the language and character occasionally, but not F. M. Boughan. I felt transported to a different place entirely while reading, and isn’t that the goal of fairy tales?
One of the best things about fairy tales is that the heroines are much stronger than we often give them credit for. Not only did Ellison have quick wits about her, but also the story mentions how she grows in physical strength from her tasks as well. Although Disney princesses might give unrealistic expectations for life, their characters can be emulated. I enjoyed watching Ellison come to terms with her new power and wrestle with the ideas of right and wrong.
Beyond this, I found the necromancy aspect quite intriguing. The author drew f rom German and French sources from the fifteenth century and incorporated them into her writing. I would love to read more books on this subject or from this time period so that I could know more about the subject. What might Ella have been able to do, if only she dared to try?
Most Memorable Aspect: The time period setting and how the characters never broke it. Also, necromancy.
You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she's been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).
Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird... among other things.
F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman.
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