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The Stepsister Scheme (Princess #1)

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  3,289 ratings  ·  508 reviews
What would happen if an author went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for his plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with "Charlie's Angels?" Hines delivers a new take on what happened to Cinderella and her prince after the wedding. Original.

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You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach
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Mass Market Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by DAW (first published December 17th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris
One of the more recent cultural phenomenon is the rise of the Disney princesses. Everywhere you look, you see young girls wearing Disney Princess gear. On Halloween, young girls dress up as Belle, Aurora, Cinderella, and Snow White. Even Mulan has been declared an honorary princess (how, I don't know. Can someone explain it to me?). Some women have expressed concerned about young girls being, well, girly, and lacking good role models. The Disney princesses, in other words, seem to be a tamer ver ...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Jun 15, 2012 Anzu The Great Destroyer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fairy tale re-tellings, anti-Disney, tough heroines, stepsisters, pigeons and rats
Indulge not overmuch in wine or beer. Pick not thy nose, scratch not thy rear, and all shall say “A lady sits here.”

A true lady’s lesson in life.

Only one of my Goodreads friends read this book. Of course this made me think that maybe it won’t be so good. Why else would people not know of The Stepsister Scheme?

Why else? I’ll tell you why else. Because of all this mainstream crap that’s flying around, that’s why!



I enjoyed this book so much. When I first read the summary I instantly fell in love
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Miriam
I first heard of Jim Hines when someone forwarded me this blog where he attempts to recreate sexy cover heroine poses: http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/stri... He seemed pretty cool so I decided to read one of his books. This one was a relatively random choice, and I don't know how it compares to his other books.

I'm sorry this wasn't published when I was in high school, because I'm sure I would have loved it then. At this point in my life this wasn't genuinely a 4-star read in terms of my enjoy
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Cait
Jan 01, 2011 Cait rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fairy tale fans who enjoy clever concepts
I really love retold fairy tales, but I also have what I think should not be a terribly picky rule: a clever concept is not a substitute for a story. A disappointingly large number of so-called "fractured fairy tales" fail this simple test, and the cover art and blurb for this book were not very promising, to the point where I would not have picked it up at all if I hadn't been rather impressed with this author's book Goblin Quest , which had a clever concept and a very good story. This book doe ...more
David
Mar 19, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Disney princesses, Princes in need of rescue, pervy gnomes
This is very light, very enjoyable fantasy. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it reminded me of Terry Pratchett and Bill Willingham and Piers Anthony (not the pervy Piers Anthony, which is to say, 90% of his output, but the guy who occasionally writes about female characters without drooling on his keyboard).

Danielle Whiteshore is the "Cinderella" of legend. She married her Prince, they got busy on their wedding night, and just when she's starting to think it really is a dream co
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Steven
This is not a goblin book like Jim's three other books, Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War. You may have been clued in by the three kick-ass women on the cover.

Remember that scene in Shrek 3? The kick ass one with Led Zeppelin in the background?

Okay, imagine that - except funnier, with more plot, and fully realized characters. And more actual fairy tale stuff. This book is what that one scene wants to be when it grows up. The women are fully realized people, the action is packed, and the
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Brownbetty
I wanted to like this book. Hines is one of a few authors whose internet presence doesn't come across as an egotistical gasbag, and you cannot imagine how this predisposes me to liking him. But this book!

First, obviously, lots of people do like this book, since it has sequels, and his editors presumably know their business, but I could not. I made it through the first two chapters only by mentally writing increasingly hysterical editorial directions to Hines, at which point I gave up. This book'
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Lina
You know how some books have certain types of covers that make you think "no way am I reading this"? Well I got to stop falling for that because I can assure you that I would have missed out on this if not for my awesome tumblr friends. It's a fun engaging story with three characters we know well from fairytales with a slightly different take on their origins. I really enjoyed how the author got into the trauma of the characters based on their experiences. I mean after almost being killed by you ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Nov 01, 2009 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Shannon (Giraffe Days) by: Nan
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
Since the night she escaped her drudgery to go to the ball where she caught the eye of Prince Armand and danced with him, leaving behind one of her glass slippers which he used to find her, Danielle has known happiness. Her new life as Princess has had its moments, and she keeps trying to befriend the palace servants, but she loves her prince and she's escaped her hellish life as servant to her stepmother and stepsisters.

Until, a few short months after the wedding, her stepsister Charlotte turns
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Jen
This book is thoroughly charming. My socks have been completely charmed off my feet, so it's good that I have blankets and a dog to keep my toes warm.

I am so, so glad that I purchased this book. It is clever, has a good plot, has fun use of magic and fighting, and had I not been feeling like death warmed over, may have made me laugh until I cried. As it was, it made me smile really big a couple of times, which is a huge reaction right now.

I had this book highly recommended by other folks who lik
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vLadimiR

I really wanted to like this book and was even initially excited when I got it. Sadly it didn't turn out well for me. I felt like I had to force myself to read because once I start, I don't want to leave a book unfinished.

For one, the story focused heavily on description. It mostly details sequences for the majority of the story which would've been okay the plot had been a bit more complex. However, the story could be summarized as: Cindrella's prince gets kidnapped, Snow White & Sleeping be
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Kevin
This is a fun book. A quick read filled with action, magic and humor.

The story starts with Cinderella, 'real' name Danielle de Glas, mere months after the classic fairy tale ends, at a time she should be busy living happily ever after. Instead Danielle's husband, Prince Armand, gets kidnapped by her stepsisters. Aided by Talia (also known as Sleeping Beauty), whose fairy blessings grant her some mean fighting skills and Snow (White of course), a sorceress using mirror magic, Danielle sets out to
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Silent_count
This book made me think a lot about girls going through puberty. It's an age when they're starting to find their way in our, grown-up world but are themselves still touched by the glimmering magic of childhood. This is a book for all of those girls... and maybe their parents too.

It's for girls who are taught that girls are weak, and who need role-models better than the Paris Hiltons and Bella Swans of our world. It's for girls who are old enough to see through the "childish" fairy tales but have
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Danika
This book was a great mix of dark and light and highly entertaining to read. The various characters were hilarious and I liked their connections with each other.

Strong Points:
-I loved the dark and light moments in the book. Some parts were unexpectedly gruesome, and others lighthearted and fun. This mix made it highly entertaining.
-I also really liked the way the plot went at the end
-Loved the concept of the princess saving her prince.
-The characters were awesome, but see weak points for a lit
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Beth Cato
Cinderella - aka Danielle - thought she found her happily-ever-after. She married her prince, toured the kingdom, and has discovered she has the funny knack to talk to animals. But when one of her stepsisters breaks into the castle and tries to assassinate her with some peculiarly powerful witchcraft, it's obvious that something is very wrong. As her stepsister escapes, she announces that they have the Prince - Armand - in their possession. Fortunately for Danielle, a woman by the name of Talia ...more
Nan
(I don't know if anyone would consider this a spoilery review, so please be warned . . .)

Danielle is the princess formerly known as Cinderwench. Predictibly, she's having a hard time settling into her new role in life, despite the fact that she genuinely loves her husband. She has a hard time establishing a relationship with her servants, as she finds it difficult to tell them what to do and to allow them to do their own work. She doesn't enjoy learning the protocol she needs to know. However, a
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Eric
Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty unite to form a kick-ass superhero team. Imagine a mash-up of the Brothers Grimm and the Powerpuff Girls. This is mostly Cinderella's story (she rescues her abducted prince), but things pick up noticeably when Snow White summons her seven little friends. The dwarves bring the pain and help the Powerpuff Princesses tear down Fairytown. Hi ho!

Anya
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines is a fresh spin on what happens after the happily ever after of various Grimm fairy tales. In a fantasy world where Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are real princesses but the stories are mostly rumors, Cinderella (whose real name is Danielle) has only been married to her prince a short while when he suddenly disappears. Add to that her stepsister trying to assassinate her and the weird servant girl who saved her, and Danielle is just having a bad ...more
Amy
I'd stumbled across Jim C. Hines when I went looking for funny/humorous fantasy books, which is harder than it seems at times. The past couple of years, everyone's been trying to be the next Tolkien, and while I can appreciate at good Epic Novel/Series, when you want "funny", Epic doesn't cut it. But Jim Hines' Goblin series came highly recommended wherever I looked. I've managed to get the first two, and happily read and giggled my way through them. When I saw The Stepsister Scheme in the book ...more
Lightreads
A fractured fairy tale about Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White going on an adventure to rescue Cinderella's husband, the prince. Cute concept, and it is nice to know that there's another option out there for young readers who want a book about ladies (and at least one queer lady!) being awesome and going on adventures. Other than that, I found this quite boring. Too much adventuring, not enough . . . anything else.

It got more interesting when I started thinking about Cinderella as a cl
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Riccarla Roman
It would be easy to write this off as fairytale princesses as Charlie's Angels. But Jim C. Hines does an amazing job of telling the story behind the story and making you believe that maybe his version is the true one.

We meet Princess Danielle Whiteshore nee de Glas (also known as Cinderella). She has the strange ability to communicate with animals. As she adjusts to being a princess, she is attacked by her stepsister, Charlotte, and saved by the Queen's servant, Talia. In short order she learns
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Mfred
Sometimes, picking a star rating for a book is the hardest task. I hover over the two, which Goodreads tells me means "it was ok", and immediately think, "The Stepsister Scheme was more than ok!". Its got to have more stars.

Then, I hover over three, "liked it" and agree-- yes, I liked this book. But does "like" really cover how I felt? Three princesses from fairy tales, post happily-ever-after, are not quite as happy or as after as the tales say. In fact, the tales hardly come close to describin
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Moira
Nevěděla jsem, co od této knihy čekat. Vlastně jsem se k ní dostala jen náhodou, rozhodně toho však nelituju! Skoro jsem váhala nad čtyřkou, ale nebuďme až moc hodní.
Nejen že kniha splňovala těch „pár“ náročných kritérií, které by podle mě ucházející fantasy příběh měl mít, ale dokázala spojit vtipnou, poutavou i vážnou stránku věci, v což jsem asi ani nedoufala.

Dostáváme se do světa, ve kterém jsou pohádky skutečností. Tohle zní zajímavě že? Jenže mohlo by mě to tak bavit, kdybych četla pohádku
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Alessandra
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines is a solidly written, amusing adventure story of three fairytale princesses and how they lived after "happily ever after."

This is one of those books that throws you into the action straight away. Princess Danielle of Lorindar, formerly known as Cinderwench (Cinderella) is magically attacked and her husband, Prince Armand, is whisked away. In the process, she discovers that two other young women in the palace, some sort of ninja bodyguards, are Princesses Sno
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Amanda
This one had been taunting me for a long time. It seems like virtually every time I went to Barnes & Noble one of the books in this series always seemed to find its way to me, and with a title and blurb like this, I just couldn't resist. While I found myself particularly drawn to The Mermaid's Madness, being the person that I am, I always have to start at the beginning of a book series and read each volume in order so I don't miss out on something.

Thus I began with The Stepsister Scheme, the
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Kim
I am a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, from the light and amusing to the dark and twisted. I especially like when the heroines of the tales lose their traditionally passive nature, so Jim C. Hines's tale of kickass princesses was right up my alley. The characters were engaging and easy to relate to, the plot was intriguing and fast-paced, and the novel seamlessly blended fairy tale elements both light and dark.

Danielle de Glas grew up a virtual slave in her stepmother's household, waiting on
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Kati
Not as light-hearted as Hines' "Goblin" series. Actually, it's a really odd mix. On the one hand, there's banter and humor, on the other hand, there's rape and murder there too. And the end-result is... well, odd. The princesses are likable, that's true. But I have to admit that by the end of the book I was starting to get really bored/annoyed with them. I can't really put my finger on what bothered me so much. Maybe it was their inability to cooperate? Or better said, the author's inability to ...more
Krystle
This is what you call a good old fashioned fantasy. I love fairy tales, so when they're incorporated into a awesome quest adventure with some kick ass females, I'm totally up for it.

I love how the author put his spin on our traditional heroines. Snow is a magic caster via the use of mirrors. Talia is a martial artist master due to her gifts of poise, grace, and what have you. Danielle is our main character here and while she doesn't have outright "ima own you" abilities like her companions, she
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Kurt
I found The Stepsister Scheme to be a real delight. This is the first book in a new series from Jim Hines and I'm looking forward to future volumes. You may be familiar with Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, but you haven't seen them kick butt like this before. The book has Jim's great sense of humor, but there are dark elements to this story as well.

We get a story where the women aren't waiting to be rescued. Quite the contrary, it's the men who better watch out this time around. Th
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Craig
The re-imagined (or re-booted or re-launched or re-take-your-choice) fairy tale has become something of its own little sub-genre in recent years, and this is the first of a series of another example. As the blurb implies, it's the Disney princesses starring in a "Charlie's Angels" adventure. It's a well-written blend of humor and action. You know going in that the good guys are going to live happily ever after, but it's fun following the light-romp ups-and-downs along their path to that end.
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Jim C. Hines' latest book is CODEX BORN, the second in his modern-day fantasy series about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. He's also the author of the PRINCESS series of fairy tale retellings as well as the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy. His short fiction has appeared in more than 40 magazines and ...more
More about Jim C. Hines...
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1) Goblin Quest (Jig the Goblin, #1) The Mermaid's Madness (Princess, #2) Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris, #2) Red Hood's Revenge (Princess, #3)

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