Monday, November 5, 2012

Book Review: BONDED by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Title: Bonded
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing (November 1, 2012)
Format: PDF ARC
Source: Author
Genre: Fantasy, fairy tales

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.

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.

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.

Review: Bonded by Michelle Davidson Argyle is everything fairy tales should be!

In Cinders, Cinderella has her happily ever after—or not. Life as a princess isn’t everything she suspected it to be, and now she craves true love, not the magical kind. She must learn where her heart lies. In Thirds, Issina is special, but not in a good way. One sister has three eyes, her other has one, and she’s stuck in the middle with two plain and ordinary eyes. She lacks magic and is treated a little worse than the average servant in her family. But she longs to find where she belongs ... at any cost. In Scales, the fairy Serina can’t help but see the darkness residing in her sister Aeline. But when Aeline breaks fairy law and enters the human realm, Serina must find a way to save her sister, even at the cost of her own happiness and life.

The three novella fairy tales in Bonded aren’t your ordinary Disney stories with happily ever after. Each one involves humans, fairies, elves, sprites, and magic. The characters are so real and displayed with all their flaws. The battle for balance between darkness and light plays heavily in the theme as well as the power of choice. Argyle’s prose is so beautiful, almost tragic, the way it tugs on the reader’s heartstrings. These are tales to be savored instead of rushed through. Each sentence has a lush musicality to it. Although I enjoyed each story, I think my favorite is Thirds. Having not read the original Grimms’ fairy tale of “One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes,” I was able to enjoy it without the knowledge of what the story was about; it became an untainted read, so to speak. Although each story can be read on its own, I love how they blend together and pull from each other.

Michelle Davidson Argyle’s Bonded should be right there with the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. They are darkly beautiful and wonderfully well-written.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!