Author: Piper Drake
Narrator: Cindy Kay
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 35 minutes
For fans of Sarah J. Maas and Jennifer Armentrout comes a bold and captivating fantasy by bestselling author Piper J. Drake.
My wings unbound, I am the Thai bird princess
And no matter the cost,
I will be free.
Bennet Andrews represents a secret organization of supernatural beings dedicated to locating and acquiring mythical objects, tucking them safely away where they cannot harm the human race. When he meets Peeraphan Rahttana, it’s too late—she has already stepped into The Red Shoes, trapped by their curse to dance to her death.
But Bennet isn’t the only supernatural looking for deadly artifacts. And when the shoes don’t seem to harm Peeraphan, he realizes that he’ll have to save her from the likes of creatures she never knew existed. Bennett sweeps Peeraphan into a world of myth and power far beyond anything she ever imagined. There, she finds that magic exists in places she never dreamed—including deep within herself.
Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon
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Wings Once Cursed and Bound is the first novel in the Mythwoven series. While it is being marketed as being for fans of Jennifer Armentrout and Sarah Maas, I can see elements where the three authors are similar, but not enough to compare them. For me, it seems more about marketing to those giant fanbases compared to connecting the three authors and their styles. This novel is more urban fantasy instead of the high fantasy novels that are typically written by the other two authors. I love urban fantasy, so I do wish that this was more the focus of the marketing as there is still a huge fanbase for this genre. The story follows Peeraphan “Punch” who receives a new pair of dancing shoes that turn out to be cursed in a more contemporary Seattle. Bennet Andrews was supposed to retrieve the shoes before they reached Punch, but it was too late. Punch is a Thai mythological kinnaree born in a family of humans and the story revolves around breaking the curse.
Kinnarees seem to be well-known by the characters of the story, but, unfortunately, I, as the reader, could not tell you very much about them. While those familiar with the mythology or want to go on a deep dive into Wikipedia (or another search method) will be able to understand, I feel that is unfair to every other reader. For me, I would have preferred some information given to the reader, such as the history or general meaning. As a lot of the novels contains many passages of telling rather than showing, I expected some additional information to be given about this part of the mythology. As for the rest of the telling rather than showing, this my least favorite of writing styles as it tends to feel forced rather than a story unfolding organically. This style even occurs during some climactic scenes where the readers is shown only a portion of the events and the rest is told through exposition/dialogue. Unfortunately, this type of style just is not for me as I need a lot more showing rather than telling for me to connect with a story.
Given the older ages of the characters, this story still has some YA vibes so I can see it appealing to readers of both genres. There is an expected romance that develops between Bennett and Punch, but it is rushed considering the story takes place in about 24-hours. They had great chemistry, and I don’t mind some initial speed in the development of their relationship, but I prefer it to then slow down a bit for the characters to actually connect and deepen the relationship. Through their journey a lot of other characters and beings are introduced, so it will be interesting to see how they all fit together in the sequels. The Thai-inspired aspect of this story was unique as I have not read a lot of stories using this mythology. Overall, the writing needs a little more work, for me, in terms of tightening up the story and maybe expanding on the showing aspect; however, there is a great concept presented and it will be interesting to try the sequel(s).
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed are completely my own.**