Mythology and folktales have always fascinated me, so when I stumbled upon Wings Once Cursed and Bound by Piper J. Drake and found that it involved some Thai mythology (among other things), I was sold. The beautiful cover didn’t hurt either 😉
Peeraphan Rahttana has heard tales of the kinnaree, the Thai bird princess, since she was young - with the understanding that her family are her descendants. Despite being many generations removed, Peeraphan has some magic within her, magic that no one in her family seems to have, and it causes her to feel alone, something not exactly human in a human world.
That is, until she meets Bennet Andrews moments after she puts on The Red Shoes, cursed to force the wearer to dance to their death. When the shoes don’t seem to harm her though, Bennet realizes that he will need to protect her from other supernatural forces who are out to collect the shoes for themselves. Diving headfirst into a world the likes of which she could not have imagined, Peeraphan finds that there is more magic in the world than she ever knew.
I’m a sucker for fantasy, especially if it feels like it’s a world that I could fall into myself given the right circumstances. Peeraphan was a (mostly) regular person, living her (mostly) regular life, and then she gets swept into a supernatural world filled with vampires, werewolves, fae, and more. While a whole new high fantasy world is fun to escape to, this is the kind of low fantasy world that gives people like me hope that magic exists.
Though the world was fun to root around in, the world building fell a bit flat. The pieces that were set in Seattle were realistic, but some fantasy elements didn’t make sense to me. A flying vampire? A vampire born rather than created? A special ceremony to make it so a vampire could procreate? I don’t know, it just didn’t sit well in my brain and, even in a fantasy world, felt a little too fantastical.
That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story. The development of relationships throughout gave me the warm fuzzies. I love a good found family and, even when they’re bickering (or perhaps especially when they’re bickering), the cast of characters in this story definitely falls into the found family category.
The plot felt like it got a little lost and took a backseat to the romance storyline. While I am pro-romance, the synopsis provided lended itself more towards action and adventure and that’s what I expected. I’m not disappointed, but it felt a bit uneven and almost like a bait and switch.
Wings Once Cursed and Bound by Piper J. Drake hits shelves April 11, 2023 and you can preorder your copy now.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well!