Pretty Deadly by Kelsey Josund -Book Tour and review

I am so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Pretty Deadly. Kelsey Josund spins Cinderella on its head in this dark fantasy.

Enter to win a signed copy ( link below)

Publication Date: 26th October 21

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Cinna would quite literally kill for the throne.

She’s spent years forced to serve her wealthy cousins rather than attend society events alongside them, waiting for the chance to prove herself and exact revenge. When a ball is announced at the castle, promising to bring many powerful people to town, she seizes the opportunity to strike.

She bets her best friend, a small-time thief and con-man, that she can land a greater score the night of the ball than he can. They embark on parallel heists. But as their plots unfold, things begin to unravel: by the end of the night, the castle’s on lock down, a duchess is dead, a mansion has burnt to the ground, and Cinna hasn’t stolen anything. Or has she stolen something more valuable than gold and jewels?


Cinderella was one of the few fairytales I really disliked when I was growing up. I could never understand how someone as downtrodden and ill-treated could wish for a pretty dress and shiny shoes from an all-powerful fairy godmother.

But finally, here is a Cinderella I can get behind. 

Cinna, in this dark fantasy retelling of the classic story, is an orphan dependent on the charity of her cousins. Unfortunately, they treat her like an indentured servant and society has forgotten she exists. But Cinna has a deadly plan to change her life for the better even if she has to kill along the way.

Cinna is tough, cold with a moral compass firmly fixed on grey,  making her an intriguing character. I had to keep reading just to see how far she would go to achieve her goal. This Cinderella does not need anyone to help her get to the ball.

Cinna and Johann, the friend she challenges, are the main point of view characters. The plot races along with plenty of action, unexpected twists and a few gasp-out loud moments in this dark fantasy with a complex heist at the heart of the story.

The traditional elements of Cinderella are still woven into the story. We still have a mistreated young girl, ugly cousins( a nice touch), a ball, a special shoe, and a Prince . But I love how the author has twisted these familiar elements to create a modern and dark story.

A definite five stars from me and I hope this isn’t the last we hear of Cinder.

Thank you RR Tours for a copy of this book for an unbiased review.

About the Author

 am a software engineer and author living and working in Silicon Valley, California. I studied computer science at Stanford University, but I’ve always loved stories in all their forms. I approach writing fiction the same way I approach writing code: I like to know where it’s going, but I want to figure out the details as I go along. Good software is a lot like a good story, full of neat and clever solutions to tricky problems, beautiful at a granular level but also from a distance.

Originally from Seattle, I love getting outdoors and living in places that allow me to escape to the mountains on the weekends, and I care deeply about the ecosystems that humans impact and that impact us. My writing explores these issues while also following classic coming-of-age arcs in science fiction and fantasy. I’m also very interested in stories and characters that complicate the traditional and familiar, leading me to fairytale retellings from unexpected angles.

Kelsey Josund | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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