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Romance and other things

Fairytales at its best

The Stepsister Scheme (PRINCESS NOVELS) - Jim C. Hines

I am really not sure why I did not read anything by Jim Hines till very recently. I heard that he is good and I really should have believed that earlier than I did.


This is the first book of the four book series (completed at this point). I love fairy tales retellings and would have tried it even if the story took more of the original events and played with it, but really it is not a retelling. What it is IMO is a kick ass fantasy adventure with in depth exploration of what "real" fairy tales events did to three girls - Talia (Sleeping Beauty), Snow White (I cannot memorize her real name yet I am sorry), and Danielle (Cinderella).


The story starts in the kingdom of Larindar where newly married Danielle is attacked by one of her stepsisters when she manages to get herself in the palace and Talia helps to save her from the attack.


Then we and Danielle learn that Armand (prince her husband) was kidnapped and Talia and Snow White for few years had been working for his mother Queen Beatrice and they essentially are going to try and find him (he could have been taken to the Fairytown) and Danielle after all of that is going with them.


The story is dark, definitely with Brothers Grimm's undercurrents and not Disney tales - and I think some of the original events the author made even darker. I mean if you think of it, of course the effects of your mommy dearest sending a killer after you to cut your heart out and when it failed poisoning you and then killing the guy who refused to kill you would traumatize anybody.


Of course the way Talia's sleep played out would make her hate fairies forever.


Do not get me wrong, these women are not monsters, they are flawed but I thought overall they were likeable human beings, but they definitely carry some darkness in them - it made them much more interesting for me.


And I guess Charly Angels comparison kind of makes sense too  considering what they do throughout the story.


There is all kind of interesting magic taking place.