{Review} BONDED by Michelle Davidson Argyle

O P E N I N G   H O O K:
THE TWELFTH WEEK AFTER THE MARRIAGE, Cinderella grew tired of the servants.  She ordered them to leave her room and sank into the stiff oak chair in front of her dressing table.  Her skin felt dry, paper-thin, and parched.  She needed a drink of wine or a walk through the woods, but the woods she longed for were at her old home with her stepmother and stepsisters.
(Page 13, US e-ARC edition)
Michelle Davidson Argyle has stopped by A Backwards Story twice with guest posts about BONDED! 

The first, "A Different Sort of Fairy Tale," talks about how she came up with the idea for CINDERS, the Cinderella tale in her collection that was first self-published before making its way into the BONDED collection.

The second, "A Darker Collection of Fairy Tales," gives readers a sneak peek at the three tales used for the BONDED anthology!

I've been anxious to read BONDED since first hearing about the collection, having already read the first book in the anthology, CINDERS.  I didn't know much about the fairy tale One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes, and was intrigued that it also included Sleeping Beauty, a tale I know well.  None of the tales in BONDED is one you'll be completely familiar with, since Davidson-Argyle adds her own unique spin to everything, and takes two of them outside the traditional timeline.
I reviewed CINDERS earlier this year, so I won't go into full details on that one, but I'm always impressed by the fact that it occurs after Happily Ever After.  What happens after Cinderella marries her prince?  Is she happy?  What if she isn't?  CINDERS stems from this concept, and you can find out more in my full review!

THIRDS was probably my favorite story in the collection, perhaps because I was unfamiliar with the tale.  I didn't pick up my volume of the Brothers Grimm to compare the two tales until I'd finished reading the novella.  While Davidson-Argyle still puts her unique spin on things and it reads differently from the original tale, THIRDS follows the original the most closely out of the three stories in BONDED.  There is also a lot more focus on the world the characters live in, as well as a larger focus on magical creatures such as elves and fairies and sprites, who are much more integral to the plot of all three stories than you might imagine on first glance.  While THIRDS is a darker tale that reminds me in small ways of Cinderella, it's also a story of hope and survival.

I also really enjoyed SCALES, which is a prequel to Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of a water fairy, Serina.  She and her sister are both able to control one of the four elements, and when her sister Aeline begins controlling a second element, fire, and escapes into the human world, everything spirals out of control.  Watching the pieces fall into place and seeing the way everything aligns and paves the way for the tragedy of Sleeping Beauty is breath-taking and takes on twists and dimensions I never imagined possible! 

BONDED brings together three self-contained fairy tales, where, while the characters never meet or know of one another, they all live in the same magical world, with the same rules of bonding and magic and life.  Each story is a little over a hundred pages, novella length, so they're fast to get through, but never feel too short.  I would recommend this one to any fairy tale lover!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:
I like the unique texture of the model's hair, not to mention the way her pointy ears make it obvious she's an elf.  Elves are important throughout all three BONDED tales.
The way her eyes are closed allows potential readers to take on their own interpretation.  Is she at peace? Is she daydreaming? Is she mourning and gathering herself together to bear it?  So many ways of looking at this depending on how you look at her closed eyes and tilted lips!
I also like the fact that there's a reflection in the water, which, combined with the elf ears, leads me to believe that the model is supposed to be Serina, who is the main character in SCALES.
I also like the magic dust surrounding the title and the shape of the B!  It reminds me a lot of the design work on the original CINDERS cover!
This cover would attract me in a store.  Would it attract you?
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  BONDED
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Release Date: Out Nov. 1, 2012
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Received: For Review

What happened after Cinderella married her prince? How did the evil sorceress in Sleeping Beauty turn evil in the first place? Discover these stories and a world filled with magic, forbidden love, elves, sprites, dragons, and the most powerful creatures of all— the fairies —in BONDED, a collection of three fairy tale inspired novellas.

CINDERS: A Cinderella sequel. Money can’t buy love, but magic isn’t a sure bet either. Cinderella, now officially a princess, finds royal life is not what she once dreamed. When a mysterious elf from her past stirs up long-suppressed passion, Cinderella begins to wonder if there really is love beneath the spell that captured her husband’s heart. But undoing magic can be harder than casting the initial spell, and the results are even less predictable.

THIRDS: A retelling of the Grimm’s fairy tale, One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes. Issina is surrounded by magic, yet none of it belongs to her. Despised and abused by her mother and sisters, she finds comfort when she meets the beautiful elves living in the nearby woods. The elves want to help her discover her own magic, but it’s not the kind of power she hoped for, and she learns there is more to magic than getting what you want.

SCALES: A Sleeping Beauty prequel. The sun never sets in the realm of the fairies. When the young fairy Serina looks into her sister’s eyes, she sees darkness for the first time. After her mother is murdered, Serina defies fairy law to follow her sister to the human realm. There she discovers the strength of a bond, the weight of a promise, and the darkness in her own heart.


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!