The topic of this month is We Love Short Shorts! (category romance, short stories, novella etc.)
|Read in Kindle|
My Rating: 4 stars
In January the topic is a short story, novellas, category romances and the like. So I looked for something in my kindle, and there it was, ‘Ember’, written by Bettie Sharpe.
It was in my TBR pile because I saw a good review, as simple as that.
It’s a funny thing what happens with books. Same book, same reader, but different experiences depending on the moment to take that story. For instance, now I’m re-reading novels by Sandra Brown that I enjoyed a lot in the past. Now I can hardly tolerate some of them. The book has not changed, it’s me.
When I bought this book, I read a couple of pages and I didn’t like it. So I stopped reading. I don’t usually DNF books, I just let them rest for days, or weeks, or months, or years. That’s what I did with this book.
It was the only short story on my kindle so I decided to give it a try –again. And my experience was just the opposite. I liked it a lot.
It’s a retelling of the Cinderella story but with a twist. She’s not a lovely doormat for her stepmother but a witch, and far from physical perfection. The stepmother and stepsisters are whores that wanted to take advantage of her father but, as Ember recognizes they can be useful for her father as well, they achieve a certain understanding.
And then he dies, and they have to go back to whoring. Who can help them better than Ember? She’s a witch with administrative experience. And if these ladies have a wizard at home, it’s obvious that they do not need a pimp. A win-win situation.
The Prince Charming is more charmed than charming. It’s a charm or a curse, but everybody likes him. All the men respect him, all the women desire him. So therefore there was no real feeling for him in anyone. Even Ember is prone to feel attracted to him. Her mother, who was a witch, protected her –up to a certain point. But the prince identifies her as the only person who can really see him, not the image created by the charm/curse.
I really liked this retelling of the Cinderella story with a wicked twist... Even moments like that of the Ball or the Lost slippers are told in a little different way. It’s witty and I really enjoyed it.
It was not a perfect reading, though. There’s a mystery that you suspect, but it takes a little bit too long to be discovered. It’s going to be revealed but she runs away. She comes back, it’s going to be revealed again –and again she runs away. It looked like a way to prolong the story.
Apart from that I had a little problem with place names. The magical place in which this story is set is a fairyland kingdom surrounded by others. In this place, they use –at least for the names of the places- a disconcerting mix of Spanish and Italian words and Grammar. There’s another country, the place where the whores came from, that tends to use French wording. This mixing of different languages is a little bit uncomfortable for me, as it looks more like grammatical mistakes than fantasy spelling.
Anyway, it was a great reading and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
I can’t believe it yet.
I don’t like first person narrative.
I dislike paranormals but -
This –this fantasy made me really happy.