Promises and Pixie Dust (The Unfabled Series) by Elle Madison and Robin D Mahle

Thank you to the gorgeously talented Elle and Robin for granting me the opportunity to read their beautiful book in exchange for an honest review.

Promises and Pixie Dust is the first Thumbelina retelling I have seen in the current MASSIVE trend of retellings.
Initially this magical tale featured within the Enchanted Kingdoms collection of retellings but Elle and Robin have now released Lina upon the world as the debut novel in “The Unfabled Series”.

Naturally, a Thumbelina story by Elle and Robin is never going to be your average retelling and, when the story opens on “Lina” drinking pints in ‘The Poisoned Apple’, it is safe to say that this novel will be just as brilliant as their other works.

At a whole 12 cm tall, Lina has never entirely fit in with the world around her. Everything she owns is adapted to fit her size and she has never met anyone similar to herself. After the death of her mother Lina is determined to find someone else of her kind and, along with her childhood friend Edrich, journeys into the Enchanted forest in search of answers.

Edrich is an unwilling companion to put it mildly and the relationship between him and Lina is very intriguing for the reader. Elle and Robin purposefully drip feed us information regarding the friends and the challenges they have faced up to this point but the undercurrent of tension between the pair make it clear that there is more than friendship and obligation at play here.

This doesn’t mean that the reader is not entirely unsympathetic to Edrich’s frustration with Lina though. She is often sickeningly chirpy and optimistic with no sense of danger. At the end of the day though, a tiny woman whose mood shows on her skin and rides a hedgehog is a winner in any story.

Promises and Pixie Dust also hints heavily at a recent backstory involving Edrich as he experiences flashbacks and guilt linked to his current line of work. I really hope Edrich gets the chance to tell his own story as I know Piper and Neira will.

I really appreciated the little changes between the Enchanted Kingdoms story and The Unfabled series version. Poor Edrich was very difficult to love in the previous version but has definitely been hit with the empathy stick in recent months! Once his circumstances are (forcibly) changed Edrich almost has a newfound respect for Lina and even before this he isn’t as condescending as his Enchanted Kingdoms counterpart was – I no longer want to punch him in the face anyway so that’s a bonus!

Elle and Robin also developed the world of the fairies a little more, providing more of an insight into their dependence on woodland creatures and even inventing a new sport! The imagery here was so beautiful that I was desperate for illustrations to accompany it.

If you are a fan of retellings, Once Upon a Time, fairies and friends to lovers storylines then this is the tale for you. Promises and Pixie Dust has a freshly manicured hedgehog, a villain with a heart and the best curse words ever imagined.

Frolicking centaurs it’s a good read!

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