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Andora's Folly

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A Pandora's Box retelling

Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant's wife can save her from her folly.

99 pages, Kindle Edition

Published July 29, 2017

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About the author

Abigayle Claire

8 books223 followers
Abigayle has been a writer ever since her mother taught her how to hold a pencil. However, she devoted more time to reading words with her green eyes than penning them with her left hand. Inspired by a crazy dream at the age of sixteen, she set off on a journey to self-publish her first novel, Martin Hospitality.

Since then, Abigayle has devoted herself to sharing what she has learned through the mediums of freelance editing and her blog The Left-Handed Typist ... when period drama films are not calling more loudly. Now she is committed to providing a community where real-world stories resound and prose has purpose.

None of her successes, including winning a 2017 Readers’ Favorite Award, would be possible without the support of her Savior, large family, and online community.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for Faith.
Author 5 books225 followers
July 29, 2017
What a unique twist on the usual fairytale retelling -- a Greek myth retelling!!

I'll be perfectly honest here and go ahead and admit that I did not know what to expect of a novella claiming to be a retelling of Pandora's Box. I read that particular myth in 9th grade and found it to be amusing and entertaining, if not outright strange.

But this book, y'all. Like, ohmygoodness. *hugs book* I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish reading it, so that right there should tell you something about how amazing it is.

Like with the author's debut novel (Martin Hospitality, which released earlier this year), I was swept away my her beautiful usage of words, simple and complex. I was quickly pulled into Andora's story, intrigued by her curious and the recent, unexplained happenings in her life.

The plot totally caught me off guard, as it was not what I was expecting at all. Looking back, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but...yes. Twas amazing. I LOVED the mystery. :D

Theus and Andora were both such amazing characters. Complicated, perhaps, but lovable. I was internally screaming at them through much of the book, and desperately wanting them to have a happy ending. <3
I also reeallyyy loved Varos. I mean, c'mon y'all, he's a potter! I've never read a book that had an actual potter in it, so this made me extremely happy. Potters need more bookish spotlight. <3

Highly recommended for lovers of sweet romance, intrigue, and medieval-ish settings!

Favorite quote:

She stared at the inky darkness, searching for stars, but not one twinkled beyond the wall of clouds that reflected her attitude of the last week.

**I received an e-ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.**
Profile Image for Victoria Lynn.
Author 7 books491 followers
June 5, 2017
This book was so good! I look forward to reading it again! More in-depth review coming once it is published.
Profile Image for Hailey Rose.
Author 5 books104 followers
July 30, 2017
When I heard my dear friend and critique partner was releasing a second book so close to her debut--I gave her a pat on the back and wished her luck.

No, kidding. I'm not that mean. ;) I BEGGED to be allowed to read the book, which Abi was all too kind to oblige.

Andora's Folly is a beautiful twist of a classic fairy tale/myth. My favorite part about Abi's adaption was the Christian elements. She is a master at weaving Biblical teachings and strong morals without being preachy. Though the feel of this book is quite different from Abi's debut novel, I enjoyed it just as much. Andora was easy to connect with, and the prologue---eeekkkk!!! It was one of my favorite chapters! Instantly, I was immersed in Andora's world, captured by Abi's beautiful descriptors and engaging prose. Don't miss out on this sweet retelling!
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews826 followers
July 29, 2017
WOW! This was a wild ride! Lots of unexpected twists and turns! Honestly, I was left spluttering in the dust after a few of those twists!

The story itself was very fascinating. I have never read Pandora's Box, but this was still fantastic and completely able to be read without having read Pandora's Box. The characters - particularly Theus - were so intriguing. I found it hard to connect with their personalities and actions at first, but as the story went on, you understand more and more of they why behind their actions and words. I just loved how everything slowly unraveled, page by page. The end was epic - and completely unexpected. The little actiony scene in the town square was so awesome, and that's when you truly understand the characters.

All in all, I loved this short novella retelling of Pandora's Box. I would highly recommend it!

Recommended for ages 14+ for mild violence and sweet, clean romance. Would also make a great family read-aloud.
Profile Image for Lilian.
270 reviews11 followers
December 17, 2018
This was such a well-written book! I have to say, at first I was really apprehensive on whether I’d like it or not since I really, really disliked the old classic + mythical story Pandora’s Box. You know, the one where a girl’s curiosity gets the better of her and she opens a box, releasing… evil stuff? I just. was. not. a. fan. of that story.

However, Andora’s Folly was such a good book! I really enjoyed it. Abigayle’s gift with words blew me away- when reading the book, I found the plot, worldbuilding, and characters to all be built very soundly. The plot and characters were so much more intricate than I thought they would be, but not confusing at all. I definitely found it really hard to relate to them at first because the two main characters just weren’t lovable at all: Andora’s plain spoiled in the beginning. Theus… doesn’t have a tight rein on his temper. As the story progressed, though, I found myself rooting for Andora (though I have to say, I still don’t really like Theus xD).

Abigayle’s writing has definitely improved a lot from her debut novel (and her writing in her debut novel was absolutely lovely to being with). I found it a pleasure to read. 🙂

I did feel like the premise of the story didn’t really have anything to do with curiosity. I mean, yes, if I really try to nitpick it out I can, but if you’re expecting an accurate retelling of Pandora’s Box, you’ll be disappointed. Personally, I really liked the more creative out-of-the-box retelling that Abigayle did, and would definitely recommend it to readers who love medieval romance and a lot of creative plot twists. 4 stars.

*FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.*
Profile Image for Libby May.
Author 3 books85 followers
August 8, 2018
I'm going through major TBR declutter, and I've been wanting to read this book for a long long time (since I first read Martin's Hospitality). Thank you Abi for the book birthday sale that allowed me to read this book!

I really did enjoy it. It was so deep. At first, I really didn't understand Andora. She did seem selfish and absorbed, but I didn't know if that was shallow or deeply rooted. How she jumped into the housework as much as she hated it really made me start to admire her.
Her parents were such odd people. I never liked either of them. And I'm glad I held that opinion ever though I didn't understand what "wait and see" meant.
All in all, I do recommend this book for people ages 14 and up. There is mention of murder, a murder, lying. It was fairy clean and really well written. :D
Profile Image for Ashley Bogner.
Author 2 books69 followers
July 29, 2017
This was such an intriguing read!

Andora's Folly is a historical/fantasy retelling of the myth of "Pandora's Box". I loved though how the author didn't retell the myth by just switching out the names and setting, but built an original-feeling story around the idea of "Pandora's Box".

My favorite part of this story was the writing--the author's ability to create atmosphere via word choice was amazing! The writing had a richness to it that I appreciated. I would pick up another story by this author simply because of how impressive the writing is. The characters are all interesting, and the ending held a twist I didn't see coming. My one complaint is that I think parts felt a little rushed, and honestly, this could have been a full-length novel. But I did thoroughly enjoy it.

Overall, a fascinating story!

*Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC for review as part of the blog tour. The opinions in this review are entirely my own thoughts*
Profile Image for anika.
75 reviews6 followers
June 20, 2017
I got to read an advanced copy of this book, AND make the cover. Can't wait to share my review when it comes out! :)
Profile Image for Lisa.
210 reviews228 followers
July 15, 2017
I had the chance to beta read this book so just shouting out to Abi - thank you for the amazing opportunity! (Also I might be a bit biased because beta reading it was so. much. fun.) I am excited to review this because it was awesome .

- This was a Pandora's Box retelling, and I haven't really read Pandora's Box (thought I know what it's about, basically) so I'm not the expert in saying how it compares. However, from what I can see, I think Abi did a wonderful job with this retelling! In any case, I admire just about all retellings and even though I'm not a huge reader of Greek myths I know enough to say YES! THEY ARE FABULOUS. (As a matter of fact this book got me very interested in them and I have read one library book on Greek mythology so far and will do more.) So there. That's point one in favor of this book.

- Andora is quite different from a lot of heroines I know. She's nobility so she's kind of proud and usually acts like a lady but she's also kind of spoiled and looks down on the lower class. I don't think she even realizes that she's a snob sometimes xD But as the story goes on she has to go through so much and make adjustments and learn A LOT. In the end I was quite delighted with her. So much growth for a short book!

- Theus. I know some people didn't like him all that much, but as for me, I had no trouble with him at all! I knew he had a soft side to him, like all strong, silent, serious characters xD (I'm ridiculously fond of strong, silent, serious characters, so just for you info, I'm probably biased again xD) I mean considering the circumstances... I didn't always understand him, and yes, he was harsh sometimes, but hello, I still think he's terrific.

- Theus's two brothers were fantastic... in different ways. I liked Varos so much (and others did too; we are trying to get him into a sequel xD) Rome was just.... I can't reveal any more because of spoilers but just *gestures something wildly to show you it's huge*

- Andora's parents! Can't say I was very fond of them ever, but wow, they really were a puzzle throughout the whole story + they had ulterior motives + they had backstories and they were just a really cool mystery. I still can't wrap my head around them *stares in shock*

- This features marriage and arranged marriage and I'm like, "YES!" Because I'm all for non-cliche arranged marriages in books. I can't spoil things for you here unfortunately but this aspect includes shock and mystery and intrigue and is just amazing. It was ALL SO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT EVERYONE EXPECTED!

- In a lot of stories, things go like this: a peasant girl somehow finds herself put in a high position and in the end becomes royalty. This story was kind of a reversal to that and I. love. it. so. much.

- This book featured a married couple. And I like that because in YA it isn't common to find the main characters actually married? I know it's because it's YA, but still... it's always a little different and nice in another way when they are there :D

- And like I already said this book has a lot of puzzles and intriguing situations and plot twists and shock involved. That is a major plus in my opinion. It's just fantastic how much of it is packed into a little book like this!

- Also the cover is gorgeous. If that and the synopsis isn't enough to make you want to read the book then I don't know what will convince you.

I have no complaints. It was just a little... short. But hello, it's a novella. So this is not a good complaint. Also, some people might find it the ending kind of open, but as for me, I'm fond of open endings so that is not a problem for me!

All in all, this was a beautiful story. I hardly ever read novellas and don't really have anything to compare it to, so for a moment I wasn't entirely sure how to star it or if I would change the rating later. But who cares, I'll give it five stars because I loved it to to the core.
Profile Image for zane deann.
206 reviews3 followers
July 16, 2017

Review to come.

Update: July 16, 2017.

I was so honored to beta read for Abi (my first time ever beta reading! *squeals*) and love, love, loved her novella. Abi is an amazing writer and so fun to work with. Andora's Folly is a retelling of Pandora's Box, which I have not read, but I've heard enough about to get the general idea.

Andora was a bit of a spoiled snob at first, but I loved watching her She really got on my nerves for a little bit, though. But as soon as

I know some of the other betas didn't like Theus, but I loved him the whole way! Seriously, Although his temper got the best of him sometimes. He might have been my favorite... but Varos. I love him so much too.

Okay so MAJOR SPOILERS here, so if you haven't read it, DO NOT read the spoiler, but I must say something.

Varos was obviously wonderful, but since I'm lazy I shan't tell you why. You'll just have to jolly well buy it yourself and find out.

AND THE PLOT TWISTS, GUYS. I am usually not surprised in the least by plot twists and usually predict them all, but ABI SURPRISED ME MORE THAN ONCE. That does NOT happen often.

I also loved the married romance. It was really sweet. There were several scenes that had me saying YES PLEASE.

In summary, a sweet, clean novella that I would wholeheartedly recommend to girls 13+ (because I feel like they would connect more with the romance.). 4.5 stars. Wonderful job, Abi! And all the rest of you, read the book already. :D

July 29, 2017
OH.MY.WORD! This was a 2 AMer and well worth it! This is probably the best medieval writing I have seen. It was an easy read but the writing was so in-depth which allowed the culture and time period to come alive. The characters were enthralling and sooo attractive, yet not without mortal flaws.This retelling of Pandora's Box will have you captivated from the very start, chilled to the bone in the middle, and touched and inspired by the end. Upon my sister (the author) writing this novella, she spoke very little of its qualities and how it was rather a mess. But upon reading it, it was more of a masterpiece, whose characters and beautifully written pages found a place in my heart...and on my shelf. Thanks Abi, for writing such amazing books that I love! And you know how hard that is...
Profile Image for R.F. Gammon.
470 reviews178 followers
July 14, 2017
I was privileged enough to beta-read this epic novella for Abi, and I'll start my review off by saying she did a phenomenal job getting it together! It's truly difficult to edit anything, even if it is just a novella, and this is Abi's second project to be published. So congrats to you, first, Abigayle :)

On to the review!
Andora is a beautiful young woman with insatiable curiosity. Raised in splendor, she is spoiled by her privileged life. When a love letter is slid under her door, her life takes a drastically unromantic turn. Nothing makes sense—her arranged marriage, the gifts her parents bestow on her wedding day, or her new husband’s temperament.

As Andora begins to unravel the mysteries around her, she ignites a chain of events that have the power to sabotage her entire village forever. Only her new-found wisdom as a desperate peasant's wife can save her from her folly.

So! This was a short little book, but definitely worth the read. It's a retelling of the Greek myth Pandora's box, and does a great job smuggling that into the story without it ever being explicit. The story is retold in Europe, in probably around the fourteenth century, and revolves around a LOT of worldbuilding. I could almost smell the world at times. There was more wordbuilding in this little thing than there is in most full-length novels.

Now for the characters:
-Andora: I really didn't like her at first, but as she grew more desperate and humble, she got to be a character who I genuinely rooted for. Even when she did stupid things and made massive mistakes. I started out really not caring about her at all, but after a while... wow.
-Theus. I'll be honest with y'all and say that I really didn't like him at first, especially his attitude towards Andora. He had very dramatic mood swings and could be somewhat aggressive towards her from time to time (never in a physical way, though, more like an irritated yelling kind of way). But as you got to know more of his backstory and discover who he actually is, he got better. A lot better.
-Varos, Theus's older brother, was honestly my favorite character. He was a sweet guy with a heart of gold, and he was kind of stuck in the middle the whole time, but he was so patient about it all. I mean, I would have blown up at Theus and Andora long before he even started considering it XD
-The other characters were all really well-done (creepy, nerve-wracking, sweet, lovely, etc...) but talking more about them would be spoilery, so I won't go into that.

The plot moves quickly, and while some of the mysteries are easier to decipher than others, they are still incredibly well-done. Andora's personal story arc is a lot of the main plot, what drives it forward and keeps it going and develops all the rest of the characters, but most of the characters have similar arcs as they go from selfish jerks to wonderfully developed people.

I definitely recommend this book, and very much enjoyed it! Thank you so much to Abi for letting me beta-read it!
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 40 books398 followers
January 16, 2020
Age Appropriate For: 13 and up for violence and romance
Best for Ages: 15 and up

Read on Kindle Unlimited.

I remember we had this big book that I would spend hours looking at and reading as a kid. It had all sorts of historical information and stories in it. I can still remember the illustrations and the story of Pandora’s box. Really, what fascinated me most as a kid is how closely, in essence, the story was to the story of Adam and Eve. I was excited to read this retelling.

Abigayle Claire brought a lot of originality to this story. This isn’t a story explaining how evil entered the world, this is about two families and a girl that gets caught in the intrigue and mystery she never really wanted. And two gifts she’s told never to use.

This wasn’t a very long story, but it was full of a lot of emotion. I felt Andora’s emotions keenly. Abigayle Claire is a gifted writer, she pulled me right in. I had to keep flipping pages to find out if she would have a happy ending.

This story took several unexpected turns that will leave readers like me very happy.

I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy retellings of classic stories, those who enjoy novellas, and those who enjoy solid writing.
Profile Image for Merie Shen.
325 reviews77 followers
March 22, 2019
I’m a sucker for any sort of retelling, and from a very young age I’ve always been quite fascinated with Greek mythology. I remember being in second or third grade when I read my first Pandora retellings– and dare I say, the last, because I wasnot enamored with that series. Even so, the premise of Andora’s Folly still fascinated me enough to give this book a go.
So… let me start off by saying… that gee whiz, Abigayle Claire is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G writer. Seriously, I’m in awe of her beautiful prose and unique style. This is enough to convince me that I need to read Martin Hospitality, for the writing alone.
But of course, that’s not the only great thing about this book. The story was very cleverly crafted to fit the original plotline of the myth; even the characters and names were dome after this fashion. Bravo, Abi! Anyway, I definitely liked this version of the tale better. It made a lot more sense.
The characters were not exactly the strongest point of the book, in my opinion. Andora herself was the perfect representation of Pandora: naïve and more curious than is good for her. I definitely liked Varos, but I was much more reluctant with Theus. Still, the author wrote the characters very well and relatable.
I rate this 4.5 stars. It was a good story, a good retelling, and a good moral, and all in all it was certainly worth the read.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Stellae Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.*
Profile Image for Grace Anne.
36 reviews35 followers
July 31, 2017
In my opinion, Abi's new novella is even stronger than her debut novel. Andora's Folly tells the tale of a wealthy young woman who is forced into the strangest arranged marriage of all time. As she struggles to adjust to her new life, she also has to unravel the strange nuances and questions that this situation has to offer.

Going into this novella, I was already intrigued by the premise. I was familiar with the story of Pandora's Box, so I was curious to see where Abi would take it. The story starts off with a really interesting prologue, which, (pro-tip) you definitely need to read, not just skim, haha. Speaking as someone who has a bad habit of not paying a ton of attention to prologues, trust me- this is a good one.

Abi keeps a beautiful balance of developing the characters and moving the plot along. You're left constantly wanting to know more about the characters and understand them better, while at the same time trying to keep up with the plot and wondering what is going to happen next. The mystery and intrigue draws you in and keeps you interested throughout the book. As in classic Abi style, there's also a killer romance that will leave you fangirling for days. It's just an overall fantastic book!
Profile Image for Mikayla.
901 reviews
October 27, 2020
I went into Andora's Folly very intrigued. I'm really not into fairy tale re-tellings, so the fact that someone had retold a Greek myth sounded great.
When I hit about the 30-40% mark, I thought I wasn't going to like this book. I mean, there was a couple of cliches; a selfish princess forced to do something against her will, thrown into a world shes not used to. Having to work instead of having people work for her.
But let me tell you, this author broke the cliches. Everything I thought would happen did not, and so much happened I did not expect. Everything had a purpose behind it, showing how well thought out this book was.
I ended up loving Andora, which I didn't really expect to do.
I read this book all in one sitting because it was so intriguing! The ending was perfect. I love novellas, and this one felt just about the perfect length.
I don't love Greek mythology, so I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this. Also, the message was beautiful.
If you are looking for a sweet, fairly quick read with a great message of consequences and love at its best, this book is for you!

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Maggie.
28 reviews2 followers
February 18, 2018
This was a really good book. I loved the characters! I felt so sorry for Andora when she was forced into a marriage. But she did good to keep her and her husband (that she didn't really know), together.

I love Abigaye's writing style. I can't wait to read more of her books. Would definitely recommend this book.

Thanks so much for the great retelling of Pandora's box, Abigayle!
Profile Image for Madi Guy.
15 reviews4 followers
August 16, 2017
Do you like medieval castles, beautiful damsels, mysteries, humor, and strong male characters? If so, you’ll love this story. Andora's Folly is such a sweet, enjoyable story. Miss Claire creates a realistic setting with her language, dialogue, and descriptions.

Andora's Folly is a retelling of Pandora's Box, but you can only tell with the subtle hints given throughout the story - my favorite kind of retelling! The story starts with Andora, the young (somewhat spoiled) noble who longs to satisfy her curiosity of what's in the forest. Once she is forced to marry Theus, a peasant who publicly humiliated her only days before their wedding, her life changes. She is thrust into a world she doesn't know and learns of secrets hidden in her family's past.

Abigayle Claire gives her readers a mysterious page-turner with GREAT plot twists. A fantastic, quick read for any girl (or guy)!
Profile Image for Allyson.
Author 6 books96 followers
September 1, 2018
Wow, this retelling of the Greek myth "Pandora's Box" was amazing, and I've never really been into Greek mythology! Abigayle Claire is truly gifted at storytelling, and a mastermind at getting all the special details to fall into place (according to the author's note). Her take on the myth was unique, and had me rooting for certain characters, and momentarily wanting to slap others *cough* Theus *cough*. The plot twists took me by surprise and the drama that arose from the "Pandora's Box" moment had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. The final result was an awesome ending that in part stays true to the original myth. I'm excited to read more by this author!
Profile Image for Hanne.
591 reviews42 followers
August 1, 2017
The only exposure I’ve had with Pandora’s Box is in first or second grade, when I did the unit on Ancient Greeks and did Greek Mythology. (was that just me?) Not only haven’t I read the story in literally ten years, I remember HATING the story.

As a result, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to get from Andora’s Folly, which is a Pandora’s Box retelling. Basically, it is a Greek mythology retelling set in a fantasy world, which I thought was super unique!

The “retelling” feel wasn’t very obvious: it was the kind where you finished the book and went “ohhhhh it WAS A RETELLING!!!”which is always the kind of retelling I like! 🙂

This was a novella, which meant that it was on the short side: 100 pages or so, but the characters were all very well developed and the storyline was complete, which can’t be said for many other novellas.

The storyline overall kept twisting, and had me on my toes the whole time. The romance stuff (what fairytale isn’t complete without a sweet romance?) was super sweet, but also completely clean at the same time.

Overall, it’s a short, sweet, but well written book! Definitely go check it out if:
A) you like fantasy tales
B) you like Greek Mythology
C) you like novellas that are well developed

This review was originally found at: https://rockandminerals4him.wordpress...

A huge thank you to Abigayle Claire for providing me with a free ebook copy of this book for my review! I was not required to leave a positive review.
Profile Image for Becca.
437 reviews19 followers
April 10, 2019
I've always loved retellings: fairytale retellings, Bible story retellings, and myth retellings. Something about old stories with new twists is incredibly refreshing and intriguing. This novella is a retelling of Pandora's Box.

Any fans of sweet medieval romance will love this book. Abigayle's writing style especially reminds me of Melanie Dickerson's. While that's definitely a negative for me, I realize that many people love her books. So if you're a fan of Melanie Dickerson's fairytale romance series, be sure to read this!

You won't know everything about the plot at first (hint: you aren't supposed to). Don't worry; all will be revealed at the end. It really is a dramatic plot, and for me the twists were unexpected. I thought things would go very differently.

The setting is a bit confusing to me. At first I expected fantasy, but I couldn't find any fantasy elements. Then I decided that it's probably historical fiction, medieval to be specific. There's still the possibility that it's non-magical fantasy... I wish that were more clear.

The characters are quite unique, but I couldn't sympathize with any of them at first -- except Varos, of course. He's amazing as soon as he appears. Andora is a selfish, spoiled teenager, and Theus is so ridiculously uncommunicative I still can't decide what to make of him. However, Andora goes through some great character development. By the end I actually like her: she's much more mature because of all she's gone through.

Now may I have the story of Varos and the unnamed red-headed girl? Please?

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Stellae Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.*
Profile Image for Morgan Giesbrecht.
Author 1 book48 followers
July 31, 2022
A lovely story! I wasn’t really familiar with the origins of Pandora’s Box beforehand, but this retelling was certainly intriguing. The romance was light and sweet and characters (mostly) endearing. I wish it had been a little longer because I wanted to read more about Andora, Theus, and Varos, but it’s wonderful as is!
Profile Image for Angie Thompson.
Author 27 books1,075 followers
August 3, 2018
Whoa... I'll admit I only know the barest outline of Pandora's Box (the part that pretty much everyone knows), so I had no idea how this story was going to play out. This story has quite the creative twists going on!

I really liked Andora's character, even if she was a bit spoiled and vain at times. Her kindness to the "common people" could come off a bit condescending, but I felt like she really was trying to give happiness in the best way she knew how. And she actually managed to make me laugh out loud with the almost-threadbare cliche of an inexperienced woman trying housework for the first time. Theus was a little harder to like at first, especially when he seemed so cold to Andora, but I loved Varos from the beginning. <3

The plot got a little heavier than I was expecting , but almost everything seemed to be wrapped up pretty well. There is a bit of kissing/caressing between a married couple, but nothing overly descriptive. We see a young woman's nervousness in her bedroom the night of her wedding, but aside from a thought about needing her husband to keep her warm, there's nothing that even hints at intimacy. People are threatened, and violent deaths are described, but not graphically. There's talk of men being jealous of other men's wives and false charges of infidelity.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Emily Mundell.
Author 3 books21 followers
July 30, 2017
I had the privilege of beta-reading this fine novella and I'm super excited that now the WHOLE WORLD gets to read it!

Things I loved:

The Premise: A medieval Pandora's Box retelling, how cool is that? Apparently there have not been any attempts at a Pandora's Box retelling, so that alone is super cool. Also, Abi is awesome and just pulled it off really really well.

The Main Character: Andora was originally spoiled, vain, and selfish but her CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT WAS SPOT ON. I mean, wow, what a cool arc. I have not seen that kind of change pulled off in a character before other than Sansa Stark (ASoIaF). So kudos to Abi for that.

Varos: A secondary character that just made every single scene he was in. He is definitely the best and I enjoyed him so much - LOVE HIM WITH ME!

The Mystery: Abi did a phenomenal job keeping me guessing at what was going on, things that didn't seem to make sense weren't weird or out of place, simply evidence that I didn't have the entire picture yet. The pacing was great as well, everything was revealed at the right moments, just enough to keep you guessing til the end.

The one and only thing I didn't like about this story was the character of Theus, Andora's arranged husband. I did not at all appreciate how he treated her when he was the one who agreed to marry her, but I can't say anymore than that - I don't want to spoil anything!

Anyways, go and get your copy of Andora's Folly! You will not be disappointed by this sweet, short story.
Profile Image for S.G. Willoughby.
Author 10 books103 followers
October 25, 2017
I really liked the writing style and characters of this book! Each were strong characters, and most were well rounded. I also had not read a Greek mythology retelling quite like this before, and it was beautifully done! The author had clearly done her research and wove in many things masterfully. (Don't worry, though, isn't too hard to follow if you aren't familiar with Greek mythology ;) ). I may have had a slightly too feverish brain, though, to fully appreciate it. (I had a cold when I read it). I'll just have to reread it sometime :) :)
Profile Image for Bridget Marshall.
60 reviews11 followers
July 30, 2017
An older brother, a man in the woods, a letter. After a storybook style prologue that leaves a foundation for mystery and intrigue, these are a few of the dots that I quickly began to connect in my mind. However, an early twist of events sent the story spinning off in a different direction then I was first anticipating. (Though now that I go back and read the synopsis that should have been obvious, but never mind that.)

Now you will allow me to skip ahead and talk about a few of the characters. After all, it is the characters that matter the most to me in any story.

First, of course, there is Andora. Starting off, I don’t like her at all. There isn’t anything for me to like about her.... except maybe that I like her parents even less (more on that in a moment). She’s spoiled, shallow, and carries self righteous thoughts about being “kind” and “charitable” to those below her social status. Quite annoying. But when she faces difficult changes for the first time in her soft life she begins to grow up a bit, which was a relief. Then I saw true character qualities show up.... The kind that I don’t believe Andora was even aware of, which makes them all the more sincere and appreciable.

Then there’s Theus. I won’t say much about him (you’ll just have to read the book! ....yeah I know, that was cheesy), but he’s the sort of character that is so dislikeable yet so likeable at the same time. I personally really liked him for that very reason.

And Varos, Theus’ younger brother. He may have been my favorite character. What’s there to dislike about him?

Finally, I can’t go without saying something about Andora’s parents, Zeph and Lady Vena. They’re sort of my pet peeve of this story. They are as sweet as well as sticky like honey to their daughter in a most unfair way. “But my dear, your father and I love you and only want what’s best for you. You’ve had a much too easy and unrealistic life up until now. It will be good for you to learn how to work. You must trust us in this decision we have made for your future. If you don’t like it -- tough.” [Not a direct quote from the book, my paraphrasing.] SHE’S YOUR DAUGHTER! You raised her! If you wanted her to learn how to work and be something more than a spoiled brat, then you should have taught her so earlier in life instead of now in this traumatic fashion! It’s not HER fault that she had the upbringing that she did! HOW COULD YOU BE SO CRUEL?
Even though Andora’s parents don’t command much screen time, in a way I felt like they were some of the more interesting characters. Though they weren’t, really.... They just were the ones that managed to make me mad, so I spent time imagining what they’re like and trying to figure out what their motives were (which I was convinced were entirely evil), and therefore made up what wasn’t in the book. (Hey, I’ve got a big imagination, what can I say?)

Anyway, leaving our Lord and Lady behind (now is where we take a collective sigh of relief). There are a few more characters I could mention (including the villain, muahaha), but I’ll leave those for you to discover when you go read the book for yourself. (That hint wasn’t quite so bad, was it?)

So why my lower rating? Let me put it this way -- even though there wasn’t anything that I actually disliked (except maybe the parents, but you know, they aren’t worthy of even getting a star knocked off in their honor), Andora’s Folly just wasn’t one of those books that I loved.... the type that leaves me pondering over it for the next few days, that my siblings get plagued by hearing about every last detail, that I mentally set aside as a possible reread for the future. So while I enjoyed reading Andora’s Folly (and getting mad at two certain kniving characters), it just wasn’t “my” kind of a book. I suppose it comes down to a matter of personal taste.

My reason for knocking the second star off is equally personal. You see, I don’t like Greek mythology. Just a plain fact. Going into Andora’s Folly I knew it was a retelling, but as I was not at all familiar with Pandora’s Box I didn’t think much of it. But when I read the author’s note at the end of the book and the parallels between the original and the retelling were being drawn, it completely soured my whole view on the story to think of all the characters as Greek gods and goddesses. Bleh. But again, personal taste.

BUT this book is a well written and enjoyable read that overall was well worth my time. So go ahead and grab yourself a copy of Andora’s Folly, because it just might be “your” kind of a book (pure marketing for you, folks). Just please don’t be too disappointed when you find out how little Zeph and Lady Vena are actually in the story..... I may or may not have talked them up a just bit in this review.
Profile Image for Janine.
319 reviews54 followers
December 17, 2019
From the start, Andora’s Folly had my attention and I found it hard to pull away from this novella, which mixes the Pandora’s Box tale from Greek Mythology with Abigayle Claire’s Christian faith to create an original story and setting with a tale about love, jealousy, revenge and hope.

Andora starts out as a spoiled eighteen year old girl living in the upper class of her pre-industrial society and is aching to be married off. However, when she finds out she’s being arranged to be married to a peasant named Theus in a matter of days, and struggles with her new life. The plot of the story was well done, being a tale of hardship, along with a sense of mystery hidden in the background, and I enjoyed reading through how it unfolded, and I couldn’t put it down without knowing what was truly going on. And it’s not the typical view of arranged marriages that is thought of, and that’s all I can say without spoiling it.

The characters were fleshed out and had development and growth that felt natural and satisfying as the story progressed. I loved reading through Andora’s struggles as she adjusts from a life of riches to the wife of a peasant and how she deals with each trial she is given in a short amount of time. It took me a little bit of time to get to know Theus, but as the story continued, he opened up and I came to like him as well.

I loved the prose; it has a bit of a classical style with a rich complexity and at the same time it’s clear and vivid and easy to read. I finished it in a few hours. The setting is clear and I could picture myself in this story. The themes were communicated well and didn’t feel preachy, it felt like a natural progression of the storyline.

Highly recommended for those looking for a shorter read with great characters and a good message.
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