4 out of 5 stars.
You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach that inevitable line: “And they lived happily ever after…” Guess what? It’s not true. Life in never-never land isn’t all sweetness and light. Cinderella – whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas) – does marry Prince Armand. And (if you can ignore the pigeon incident) their wedding is a dream-come-true.
But not long after the “happily ever after,” Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia – otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty – comes to the rescue (she’s a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away.
That’s when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her very own Secret Service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy-duty flirting.
Can three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland’s most nefarious villains?
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim Hines is the first in his Princess series. He takes popular fairy tales beyond their supposedly “happily ever after” and creates a world full of intrigue, betrayal, and adventure. Goodreads is spot on in their description of it combining Disney Princesses, Charlie’s Angels, and the darker side of fairy tales.
This is another one of those books that I’d been meaning to read for a while and just hadn’t had a chance, so I was a little afraid that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. It totally did and I wasn’t disappointed.
This book finds Danielle (Cinderella), Talia (Sleeping Beauty) and Snow (Snow White) working together to find Danielle’s husband, the prince. It was packed with great action scenes, twists and turns in the plot, and great characters. This is a prime example of what an author can do when they take fairy tale characters and re-imagine them in different roles.
If you prefer fairy tales retold with only superficial detail changes, this book is not for you. But if you’re willing to stretch your imagination and re-imagine these princesses in totally different roles in their lives, you’ll enjoy this book.