Etta

Book Review: Immortelle (ARC)

Published April 4th 2022

Author: Rebecca Massey

Cinder Ella’s heart stopped the moment she took her first life. It did not beat again until she had broken her glass slipper.

What happens at the end of the love story?   A dark path to happily ever after.

Cinder Ella Fletcher never imagined she would be a princess and she thinks all of her dreams have come true with her marriage to Prince Caden Charming.  After the wedding is over, Cinder discovers life at a royal court is no more than an elaborate pageantry of deceit and infidelity. Hoping to find some happiness in her new role, Cinder befriends a group of misfit courtiers that show her that there are ways that life can be fulfilling from within the walls of a gilded prison, if you know how to play the game. A secret affair and Prince Charming’s increasingly hostile behavior, leads Cinder to make a choice between wilting away in her royal prison or taking a stand to become the fairest of them all.

It is time for the fairytale princess to write her own happily ever after.  

While there are millions of Cinderella retellings out there, I am always curious to read a new one as I love to see the author’s take on the source material. Immortelle takes the fairy tale and gives it a darker twist. Before beginning, the cover and blurb caught my attention and made me very curious to read the actual story. This is the first novel in the Iranora Tales series which feature fairy tale retellings within the land of Iranora. I loved that the novel included a map of Iranora at the beginning as it helped me further visualize the world. Before beginning the story, it is important to note the trigger warnings, which are also listed in the novel. They are Partner abuse, sexual assault, infidelity, death, violence, and misogyny.

The story follows Cinder Elle Fletcher who has married Prince Caden Charming to have her happy ever after. It begins right after the marriage began where the reader (and Cinder) learn that this ending is not what is expected. Cinder soon learns that Caden is not the person she thought he was, and the royal court has a lot more deception than meets the eye. Cinder has to learn how to navigate this new world and it was very interesting to see her grow throughout this journey. She goes through a lot in this story, and I enjoyed how each topic was handled with care. Her journey is not perfect as she faces many obstacles along the way. There are some missteps and some steps forward, which added some nice realism to the story. As the story focuses on Cinder, it was nice that she became a character the reader wants to root for as her emotions and actions were well-written.

Overall, the story captivated me early on and kept me turning the pages until the end. The story is written is a fairy tale style with the magic and wonder yet it is a lot darker than the more famous versions. The author has an interesting style where I can see myself continuing to enjoy her works in the future as it was easy to read with some complexity to make the writing unique. I enjoyed that there were some nice twists and turns throughout with a nice epilogue that wraps-up her story in a satisfying way. The build-up fit the character and plot and it was a novel that was worth the read. I am not sure what the next novel in the series will be called, but the descriptor of a retelling where a beast takes destiny into his own hands definitely makes me want to read more.

**I want to give a special thank you to BookSprout and the author for a review copy of this entertaining and enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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