Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: April 11th, 2023
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy Romance, Fiction, Magic, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Young Adult
Trigger Warning: kidnapping
Wings Once Cursed and Bound—Book 1
Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks
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.
Peeraphan Rahttana closed her eyes and exhaled slowly, letting her senses expand until she was aware of every dancer waiting in the wings, of every stage tech behind the backdrops.Wings Once Cursed and Bound by Piper J. Drake
Bennet is hunting for a dangerous magical artifact called The Red Shoes. Any human who puts them on is trapped by a curse and forced to dance to their death. He traced the shoes to a community center where a group practiced a traditional Thai dance. He gets there in time to see Peeraphan, also known as Punch, slip the shoes on her feet. What Bennet wasn’t expecting was Punch to be immune to the curse. Bennett is surprised to find out that Punch is a kinnaree, a Thai bird princess. Aware of her heritage, Punch is surprised to discover a world she didn’t know existed. A world where vampires, dragons, sidhe, and werewolves live and protect (for the most part) humans from beings and artifacts that will hurt them. Punch and Bennet look for a way to release the curse while battling a rogue vampire and a human collector of magical artifacts. Will Punch be able to release the curse and remove the shoes? Will she fully accept who and what she is?
Wings Once Cursed and Bound is a fast-paced book in and around Seattle, Washington. There needed to be more exploring of the city or the islands where Bennet took Punch, and I would have loved more description of the city/islands. But that was a minor quibble because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Wings Once Cursed and Bound main storyline centers around Punch, Bennet, The Red Shoes, and the search for how to release the curse. I wanted to know if the author would let Punch remove the curse on the shoes. I admit I knew nothing about Thai (or any Eastern Asian mythology), and the kinnaree legend fascinated me. I also liked that the author included several urban legends/myths from around the world.
Several side storylines fed into the main one. Fransisco’s evil, devious plan to sell Punch to the collector was a major sub-storyline. Fransisco was a nasty dude, and I wish Bennet had ended him in that significant fight scene. But if Fransisco continues to be a problem in the series, I see why the author let him live. I liked that Punch blossomed in this storyline. And when I mean blossom, I mean she came into her powers. It was beautiful to see.
The paranormal angle of this book was excellent. I read about lesser-known supernatural entities, such as the kinnaree, karin puksa, kraisorn rajasri, tsurubebi, and the will-o’-the-wisp. I liked that the author mixed lesser-known mythical figures with the regular ones (the werewolves, fairies, sidhe, and vampires). At the end of the book, she included a section called Field Notes on the Supernatural and the Paranormal. The author incorporated all the entities and artifacts (such as Bluebeards Bloody Key, the Noose of the Phayanak, and The Red Shoes)mentioned in the book in the field guide. I hope that she includes this in the other books in the series.
There is a romance angle to Wings Once Cursed and Bound. It starts as Instalust (Bennet was very attracted to Punch but held off because he thought she was at least half human) but soon morphed into Instalove. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not, to be honest. It felt a little forced. I would have loved to see Punch and Bennet’s relationship blossom slowly instead of falling head over heels within a couple of days of meeting each other.
The end of Wings Once Cursed and Bound was interesting. I can’t get into what happened, but I will say that I liked that Punch and Bennet were able to help some of the paranormal entities they found at the mansion. They also found several supernatural artifacts. I was a little grumpy with how Fransisco’s storyline ended, but I am sure he will turn up in the upcoming books, so I wasn’t sweating it. I also liked the insights into the winged fairies, the sidhe, the brownie, the witch, and the werewolf living on the island with Bennet. I wonder if the author will feature one of them in the next book!!!
I recommend Wings Once Cursed and Bound to anyone over 21. There are language, violence, and sexual situations.
Many thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca, NetGalley, and Piper J. Drake for allowing me to read and review Wings Once Cursed and Bound. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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