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The Stepsister Scheme (Princess #1)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  3,747 ratings  ·  541 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

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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 lov
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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
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 do ...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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Ashley
Jim C. Hines is honestly one of my favorite authors, even though he's never written a book that I've lost my mind* over. What he writes is solid, fun fantasy with a strong feminist backbone. He also seems to have a thing for championing the underdog, and writing stories that subvert traditional story-types. The Princess series, of which I've read all but the last book at the time of writing this review, is particularly notable as all the main characters are ladies, and a significant part of the ...more
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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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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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
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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Elwen
Somehow I thought this is a funny retelling with our well-known fairy tale characters, but it is by no means! Even if there are some scenes to giggle, it is more an action packed twist on their happily ever after. Snow white, Cinderella and Sleeping beauty are based on the original (bloody) Grimm fairy tales but differs in some interesting ways. The story itself lacks a bit sometimes, but the magic system and the thrilling finale balance this out very well.

It is #1 of a series, but can be read
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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!

Krissy
For some reason I just couldn't really get into it even though it was a good story. I think I just wasn't in the mood to read this type of book. I just picked a bad time to read it I guess.
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
Berls (Fantasy is More Fun)
3.5 stars
I had such a hard time getting into The Stepsisters Scheme! In the end, I enjoyed the book and I do think I'll eventually continue it, but I'll have to make sure I'm in the right mood.

Getting into that mood might be difficult, since one of my biggest complaints about The Stepsisters Scheme was my inability to place it in a genre. Not that every book needs to fit into a tidy pile - but when it comes to age level (middle grade, young adult, or adult) I like to know where I stand. In the
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Anila
After reading quite a few of Jim Hines' blog posts and quite enjoying his humor and approach to the world, I figured it was long past time to give his actual books a shot. This seems to be the usual starting point, and after reading it I can see why: it's a fun, light romp of a retelling, nothing too complicated but very enjoyable all in all. The characters don't develop, persay, but the reader's perception and understanding of them does - Hines does a good job of slowly fleshing out their backg ...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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Jim C. Hines' latest book is UNBOUND, the third 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, the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in BLOOD OF HEROES. His short fiction has appeare ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Princess (4 books)
  • The Mermaid's Madness (Princess, #2)
  • Red Hood's Revenge (Princess, #3)
  • The Snow Queen's Shadow (Princess, #4)
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1) Goblin Quest (Jig the Goblin, #1) Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris, #2) The Mermaid's Madness (Princess, #2) Red Hood's Revenge (Princess, #3)

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