Monday, 23 September 2013

Review: Charm by Sarah Pinborough

Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Hardcover
Released: July 18th, 2013
Rating: 9/10

Amazon summary:

CHARM is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Cinderella story which takes all the much-loved elements of the classic fairytale (the handsome prince, the fairy godmother, the enchanted mouse, the beautiful girl and, of course, the iconic balls) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires.


Charm is the second book in Sarah Pinborough's series of dark, sexy fairytale retellings and is the story of Cinderella. This series quickly became one of my favourites after reading the first book, Poison, in May, and Charm has further cemented that. They're five-star reads all round.

Charm has everything you know about the Cinderalla fairytale: two ugly(ish) stepsisters, a Prince, a fairy godmother and a glass slipper. What it doesn't have is a sugary sweet happy ending courtesy of Disney, which is one of the reasons I love these books so much. They're dark, twisted and a little bit naughty - not at all what you'd imagine these fairytales to be like.

To top it all off, Sarah Pinborough's writing is ridiculously good: elegant and effortless while all the time maintaining a certain sense of foreboding and unease. A certain scene in Charm involving a little toe is rather on the shocking side, but it just goes to show how truly dark this author can be. These are not fairytales as we know and love them, but wow are they a welcome change of pace!

Charm's pages are filled with delightful characters and wicked imagery that leaves an unsettling feeling in its wake. It's well-written, addictive, sharp, everything I could possibly want from a book. Beauty is published in mid-October and I am literally counting down the days. I want it and I want it now!

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