“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Humorous, More Realistic Cinderella Retelling-"The Step-Spinsters" Review


“Do not judge till you have heard both sides of the story: the stepsisters’ words.”

Title: The Step-Spinsters

Series: Unspun Fairytales
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fairytale

Awards: Winner of Amazon’s Kindle Scout Contest


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…

...(actually, in Medieval France, to be exact) there lived Cinderella's stepsisters, Fredegonde the tall and Javotte the small. They wake up the morning after the legendary ball to learn that they each still have a chance to be the bride—all they have to do is make their feet fit into that tricky slipper. Alas, these two damsels under stress never quite seem to fit in anywhere. But that doesn’t stop them from wishing and hoping as they set upon a quest for grooms and grandeur of their own.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35695209-the-step-spinsters?ac=1&from_search=true

My Review

Have I mentioned before that I love fairy tale retellings?  I really, really do, especially when they are done well!  “The Step-Spinsters” by Madina Papadopoulos is a fairy tale retelling of Cinderella that is done very well!

One of the reasons “The Step-Spinsters” stands out is its humor.  Ms. Papadopoulos has a lot of wit and a great sense of humor that she weaves throughout her story.  Sometimes the story almost feels like satire, subtly poking fun at common fairy tale tropes.  This is mainly a Cinderella retelling, but there are also nods to other fairy tales like Bluebeard.  I really enjoyed finding these “Easter eggs” throughout the story.  It is also set in medieval France and includes a lot of realistic historical details, which I appreciated. 

I love the characters in this story.  The story is told from many different points of view (for example, one chapter you’ll hear from one of the step-sisters, another Cinderella, etc.).  I like reading from all of the separate points of view.  Each character is well written and has a story of his or her own.  Are the step-sisters really evil?  Did Cinderella get her happily ever after?  You will have to be the judge of that yourself.  But make sure you take the time to listen to every side of the story, for there is always another side…

Well done Ms. Papadopoulos!  “The Step-Spinsters” is a witty fairy tale retelling that I would recommend to anyone who loves fairy tales, Cinderella, or a good laugh (or all three together)!

Content:  This is a clean read with some minor content.  Some examples of the content are: a reference to the wedding night; mention of people drinking ale; a man notices a woman’s bosom.
Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars!
Genre: Fairy tale retelling; Fantasy; Young Adult; Romance
I want to thank Madina Papadopoulos for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
Madina Papadopoulos is a New Orleans–born, New York–based freelance writer and author. She studied French and Italian at Tulane University and went on to pursue her MFA in Screenwriting at UCLA. After graduating, she taught French and Italian to children in early childhood and elementary school programs. Her nonfiction freelance writing focuses on food, drink, and entertainment. Her portfolio includes lifestyle articles in Delta Sky Mag, The Village Voice, Paste Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Eater, among others.
Social Media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

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