Charm (Tales from the Kingdoms #2) Review

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Titan Books has just re-released Sarah Pinborough’s second novel in the Tales from the Kingdoms series, and this one titled Charm, revolves around the story of Cinderella and Prince Charming. Though this is an age-old tale, it is taken into this age through new looks at the characters and a vile twist on the happily ever after factor. Read our review here along with plot details!

Plot Spoilers Below!

Tales from the Kingdom #2 Charm Storyline

Sarah Pinborough has written the trilogy Tales from the Kingdoms, and this book called Charm, follows the story of Cinderella finding her true love, along with the Prince from book two, Poison. Pinborough adds new-age NSFW scenes in Charm as she did with Poison, as it becomes a re-imagined story of Cinderella with a new take on the darker tales from Grimm.

Charm begins like you would expect a Cinderella tale to, with her living with her step-mother Esme and step-sister Rose. The only twist on this is that her father is still alive, and the other step-sister is married. Cinderella takes care of her family very well, and believes her step-mother Esme is cruel, when in reality she took care of the girl since she was a baby.

Esme seeks to get back into the court life at the castle, and believes her only way is by having her daughter Rose marry the Prince, and puts a ton of pressure on the girl to do so. Meanwhile, Cinderella dreams of true love and meeting the Prince, which leads to a fairy-godmother coming by and offering her the wish of meeting the Prince at the ball, but with a price. Cinderella must find her something she’s missing that’s inside the castle.

When Cinderella meets the Prince it seems as though it is love at first sight, due to how much attention he’s giving her; but only to find out it’s because of the slippers she’s wearing. Like all Cinderella stories, she leaves the slipper behind on her way home before the magic runs out, and the Prince begins his search to find the woman who fits the slipper. This puts a lot of pressure on Rose, who tries to cut off her toe to fit, simply to please her mother Esme.

During this time, Cinderella is found to fit the shoe and they are all whisked away to the castle, where nothing is like she had thought. The Prince soon loses all interest in her and begins to dwell on the fact he chose a woman he has no feelings for. Meanwhile, the King believes Rose would have been a better pick.

Cinderella finds exactly what the fairy-godmother was looking for; and it’s Snow White in her glass chamber. The huntsman who was under the fairy-godmother’s spell helps to take Snow out of the castle, and soon Cinderella finds she’s madly in love with him and that he’s perfect for her.

Meanwhile back at the castle, Rose agrees to marry the Prince simply to please the court and citizens, while a masked figure makes his way to the castle and the Prince immediately knows who he is.

My Take

I find this to be my favorite book so far in the series, simply because it has many subtly messages. Cinderella had imagined the Prince to be her true love, only to find out he’s not for her and was only attracted to the beauty she had with the slippers. In addition, we find the Prince was keeping Snow White in her glass coffin the whole time while he also looked for a woman to marry. The darker parts like step-sister Rose trying to cut off her toe fit well with the dark aspects of Grimm’s tales, and Pinborough added her own twist of NSFW aspects.

Get your copy of Charm directly here from Titan Books!

Good

  • Very well written.
  • Subtle details relating to the previous book.
  • Great take on an old classic.

Bad

  • Would be hard to understand without the previous book.
  • Timeline isn’t clear compared to Poison.
8.9

Great

Character Development - 9
Connection to Series - 10
Book Length - 7
Connection to Original Fairy Tales - 8.5
Plot - 10
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