Monday, 25 June 2018

Review of Cinderella's Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

I received Cinderella’s Necromancer by F.M. Boughan as part of the Rockstar Tour celebrating the release of book two in the series: Cinderella’s Inferno.


Author: F.M. Boughan
Pub. Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Pages: 324
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&N,  iBooksTBDGoodreads

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. 


I’m feeling quite mixed about this novel. Cliffnotes version: Ellison loses her mother, gains an evil step mother and step sisters, just as she discovers a way to summon spirits or demons to do her bidding while she meets and falls in love with the Prince. It is a dark interpretation of the Cinderella fairy tale involving necromancy and secret family legacies.

The concept of a dark fairy tale – especially as the original tales can be quite dark themselves – is very appealing to me; however, this particular interpretation was not for me.

Reading into the research behind the necromancy elements, I found it very interesting and I really appreciate the work that went into it. The manner and methods in which Ellison interacted with the spirit world was well executed. What kept me from fully engaging with the story was the narrator.
Ellison is a sixteen year old girl who is facing loss, and change, and uncontrolled emotions so it’s understandable – even interesting – that I don’t agree with all of the choices she made. However, the voice that Boughan used to speak through Ellison was quite emotionally detached.

I had difficulty connecting with Ellison, though she is the narrator and definite protagonist of the story. She constantly repeated metaphors and chose to explain the action in the scene rather than how she felt within the moment. Her personality was very scattered – playing between demure and silent, and bold and quick with no motive that was made clear to the reader. All of the secondary characters in her life (for example, her dying baby brother), were more like props than fleshed out characters with feelings and emotions.  It didn’t seem as though Ellison earned the victories she gained simply because I didn’t care about her or the world she inhabited.

I think my frustration and occasional amusement comes out in my Random Notes While Reading:
  • ·         Because we know how the story ends, this is a good way to immediately indicate why this story is different
  • ·         Damn
  • ·         A little cliché but I love the prose
  • ·         Nothing like the love of a mother and daughter
  • ·         How vain. How expositional.
  • ·         How can you be extravagant and frugal? *whispers* hypocrite
  • ·         I’m calling it: mind control
  • ·         Ha, ha, you’re attracted to him
  • ·         Well of course
  • ·         *whispers* animated feature film
  • ·         You use “curiosity” too much
  • ·         No way
  • ·         Aha!
  • ·         Definitely not a children’s book but okay…
  • ·         What?
  • ·         See, why can’t we punch them?
  • ·         I do appreciate how often she gets injured
  • ·         Who’s faulting her?
  • ·         I don’t begrudge you that. He is dashing
  • ·         Jesus
  • ·         How? Ugh
  • ·         Why was it necessary to underestimate her?
  • ·         You’re just a bad person. Own it.
  • ·         What did you think would happen?
  • ·         That did occur to me but I like that touch
  • ·      
  • ·         That…is a choice that will obviously have no negative repercussions
  • ·         It’s dark but that’s the better choice
  • ·         Nice!
  • ·         I keep forgetting I’m a bad person
  • ·         *inaudible squeak that is full of spoilers*
  • ·         What do you mean “how”?
  • ·         You are sickeningly naïve
  • ·         This certainly is a twist on the tale
  • ·         Okay thank you for explaining. I wouldn’t have gotten that
  • ·         That’s your concern?

All that said: there was so much to love, if only I had grown to love Ellison first. There’s monsters, and magic, and charming Princes, and a fairy tale remake uniquely approached.

What I hope for the next book, Cinderella’s Inferno, is a better understanding of the world, described by a more mature and lyrical Ellison.

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