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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wicked humour and very clever,
Just as she did with Poison, Sarah Pinborough does the trick here, this time with the story of Cinderella. What I really enjoy is the debunking of the traditional fairytale of the wistful poor girl, a fairy godmother, glass slippers and Prince Charming.
Once again we are treated to wicked humour, caustic observations and very human and flawed people, rather than Disney caricatures. This is not Panto!
Like Poison this is erotic and daring, again making the statement: Be careful what you wish for.
There are clearly consequences for every choice and action. I enjoyed how Pinborough has interwoven plot strands and characters into this adventure; it's all very subtle and of course, very clever.
Inventive, with lots of surprises, unexpected developments and a modern take on an old theme, this will please fans of Poison. I will certainly never think of Cinderella in the same way again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charm,
Charm is the second book in Sarah Pinborough's series of dark, sexy fairy 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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly different fairytale for grown-ups,
I was tempted to give this review the title "Sarah Pinborough does it again" or something similar. The trouble with that is, if you'd read her previous books you'd think "of course, she always does!" So. To gush a bit less, in "Charm", Pinborough repeats - and probably surpasses - what she did in Poison. She takes a fairy story - in this case, Cinderella - which we all know too well, which has passed beyond familiarity and into cliché, and makes it new again.
The characters are real. Their situations and actions make sense. There are no villains to boo or hiss at. The "wicked" stepmother isn't, she is stressed, full of regrets for how her turned out, trying to do the best for her daughters (but also using them to fulfil her dreams). Those sisters aren't ugly, just (perhaps) a bit plan. The Fairy Godmother has her own agenda. The Prince is a bit wet. Cinders herself has a distinctly selfish side. It's all really, really believable, extremely readable, funny in places and also sad. Above all it feels true (even when a Mouse becomes a Man). I'm not sure I know of another author who would move in a blink from the position of the independent Press in a fairytale kingdom (precarious) to a mouse bargaining for freedom with the witch who cursed him (creepy) to the fairytale heroine taking time out in a relaxing bath for a bit of pleasure with herself (sensual). If there is one I doubt they'd manage it all anything like as well.
I think, though, that it would be lazy, and missing the point, to call this book "more of the same". To me, it is actually a step up from "Poison" - as a (sort of) sequel to the earlier book, the characters (or at least, some of them) have a history from the earlier book to live down, and there is a prospect of redemption here, though nothing is certain or easy, and there's definitley no assurance of a "happy ever after".
I know that a third book - Beauty - is due later this year (presumably a treatment of "Sleeping Beauty?") , and I'm desperate to see how Pinborough rounds off this series (well, if she does - there are lots more fairy stories that could be given this treatment, of course).
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming,
4.0 out of 5 stars Bugged,
This bugged me as no where did it say these books have an order book one poison book two charm book three beauty I read them out of order, still good books just wish I knew about the order
4.0 out of 5 stars A good ending,
Charm picks up the pace again from where it was dropped a little in Beauty.
I related more to this story than the other two, and the pace was quicker and kept me reading. The tying up of all the threads from the previous books was well done and left me feeling satisfied with the outcomes.
I really would recommend the series to anyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift,
My eldest stepdaughter loves to collect series of books with matching covers therefore this was part of a set, great
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah does it again,
After reading Poison, the first in this fairy tale trilogy I was excited to read Charm as soon as possible. I was not disappointed. Cinders, the ugly sisters and the prince all get radical make-overs in this sexed up version of Cinderella.
This is the grown up version, the one you really want to read. Cinders has mood swings, the prince is vain and there is definitely more to the sisters than meets the eye. I don't want to give anything away, but there's definitely a bit of Cinderella in all of us.
Go and buy this now... I'm off to read Beauty.
5.0 out of 5 stars SinfullySexy,
I enjoyed this more than the first.
Charm focuses on Cinderella. She lives with her father, step-mother and step-sister. In this retelling Cinderella still has to do most of the housework but her family does love her and she loves her sister Rose. Her other step sister is married to an Earl.
The king decides to host a ball over 2 days for the prince so he can choose a wife. Every noble born girl is invited. Cinderella isn't noble born and is so jealous and upset when Rose goes. She makes a wish to be able to go and a very familiar woman appears. She grants the wish but with a catch!! All Cinderella wants is to marry the prince and live in the castle no matter the cost. She goes to the ball and with a little help from some enchanted slippers gets her wish.
I loved Charm! There were so many twists and a few familiar faces in it that I flew through the book. I was riveted from the get go. I loved that we got to see a certain mouse in this and we got to see the evil queen from Poison. For me the way both books were intertwined was what added so much more to Charm.
I connected more with this than Poison because I felt there was so much more in this story. I loved Rose. She made the book!! She really loves Cinderella and is so brave and good and kind. Even when her own mother pushes her so hard, she wasn't mean. She forgives Cinderella for what she did and does all she can to help her. I wanted to see more of her and I'm hoping we will because of that ending!!!
The step-mother I liked as well. She really loves Cinderellas father and just wants a better life for them.
I liked Cinderella towards the end but for most of the story she came across not so much as a spoilt brat but more of a self centered, "Whoa is me" kind of a person. She definitely wasn't like the fairytale character!!
For me the best thing about Charm was the secondary characters. They added so much more to the story. I loved Buttons, he was like the Robin Hood of that time.
Sarah Pinborough took a well known fairytale and added a lot more Charm to it. She created a world all of her own which you cant help but love.
Charm is sinfully sexy, dark and a must read. It can be read as a standalone but I strongly recommend reading Poison first so you can get the full glory of the book. I cant wait for Beauty and hope to see some of the characters I have come to love.
5.0 out of 5 stars Truley wicked,
I read a lot of fairy tale re-tellings and this one is up there. The characters are realistic and act that way, and the little twists and additions the author adds are superb and really flesh out the plot. A very good read, but make sure you read poison first because the plot is overarching. Can't wait for the final book, beauty, to come out! X
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