Xing Xing is trapped in a hard subservient life with her step-mother and step-sister during Ming China. Xing Xing’s strength never wavers; she works hard and saves her step-sister from a horrible infection by finding an ancient doctor several towns away. Near the end, the Cinderella tale becomes apparent and the beautiful final chapters show a modern relationship beginning between the prince and Xing Xing.
Equal parts historical fiction and fairy tale retelling, Bound refers to bondage both physical (the practice of binding feet) and psychological. Donna Jo Napoli gives us a strong female character worthy of Cinderella fame.