RELEASE DATE: June 3rd 2019
AUTHOR: Susan Ee
GENRE: Young–Adult, Fantasy, Retellings.
PUBLISHER: Feral Dream LLC
An orphan girl. A dark and twisted kingdom. An ongoing shadow war resulting in enslaved fairies.
This is the world of Cinder. A world where a girl like her can be sold to be human prey for a ritualistic hunt.
But on this night, even the predators might have something to fear. On this night, even a royal prince might find himself trapped by the expectations of the Dark King…and a girl like no other.
Susan Ee’s Penryn and The End Of The Days trilogy is one of my all time favorite series and when I heard that she’s releasing a new book after a very long break, I was freaking excited. Despite the unappealing cover, I was so looking forward to read it. After finishing this book, I was left with disappointment. It honestly didn’t feel like Susan’s novel and the writing also felt different. I really had high expectations for this book, but it turns out to be an okay-ish read. Not as amazing as the Penryn series. It has an interesting concept, promising plot, and a strong heroine but the execution wasn’t that great.
Cinder is an orphan who lives with her stepmother and her two evil stepsisters. In her kingdom, there is a ritualistic hunt introduced by the dark king where young girls is hunted like an animal and any hunter who catches the prey can do anything with them. The only way out of the kingdom is through the forest which only few people know and they can’t talk about it without the permission of the king himself. When Cinder’s stepmother sells her to the hunt, she had no choice but to play the game and survive the night without getting caught. Soon Cinder meets silver the flower grower who teaches her some defensive skills to survive the hunt. On the night of the coronation of a new king, the dark king arranges a wicked hunt that brings fear in everyone.
Cinder is a likable character. She’s vulnerable but has a strong will to survive. Her stepmother and step sisters are so heartless. I absolutely hated them. I don’t know how she can live with those monsters in her home even after everything she’s been through. Prince Dante is sweet, and charming, but sadly not strong enough to fight against his ruthless father. I wish he was more brave. I’m glad he at least wasn’t bully like his older brother Gallant. The romance between Cinder and Dante was totally cliched and rushed. I wish there was more interactions between them.
The plot was interesting and very unique, but the execution could’ve been better. It has a great start, but after the hunt things slowly took a downhill. The story failed to build suspense. I was really enjoying the hunting part but suddenly the plot took a slow turn, and when it came to the ending everything was rushed. The writing was okay-okay and found some editing mistakes. The entire book was told in third perspective. The world the author build sounded fascinating but it lacked details which left me overall confused. The whole story was set in a little village and a forest. The enslaved fairies aspect was refreshing but don’t expect for a lot of fae in this book.
Overall, it was a unique retelling! Although I enjoyed some part of it, I’m still highly disappointed. I shouldn’t have put high expectations on it. I can’t believe it was written by Susan Ee. I hope the next book is much better than this one.
If you like dark fairytale retellings, just give it a shot! It was a quick and easy read, and can be finished in one sitting!