Cassie's Reviews > Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella"

Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey
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's review
Jun 09, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-fantasy, fairytale, bookwyrm_chrysalis_reviews

This retelling of Cinderella from the Once Upon a Time series is like most of the books in the series, taking a short fairytale and expanding the characters and plot, but still managing to keep the heart of the original story intact. In order to tell the tale more believably, it’s split into the tale of Cendrillion and Raul, automatically complicating the plot, but helping to lead the tale to a satisfying conclusion. Yet even though the book takes away the element of a fairy godmother’s magic, other symbols like glass slippers and pumpkins still find their way in. Even without a blatant fairy godmother, it’s evident that a more subtle magic is taking placebehind the scenes, a power driven by wishes and one’s heart’s desires, often depicted through the reaction of nature (sudden storms, odd growing seasons, and the like).

In the author’s note at the back of the book, Dokey mentions that when she began researching Cinderella, she found that the father was not dead in the earliest versions, like he typically is in modern versions. Therefore she wanted to explore his role in the tale and his share of the blame for what happens to Cinderella. In fact, in this version, there’s very little that’s evil about the step-family; they’re merely reacting to a confusing situation that none of them asked to be a part of. Certainly, one sister is a bit of a spoiled brat and the other nice but aware of the difference in station between her and Cendrillion, but neither could be called “evil” by any means. Cendrillion shares her own blame in her fate, too ashamed of the fact that her father never mentioned her to correct the mistake and claim her life as a noble daughter.

I love this series for how quick the books are to read. I read this one night when I wanted a fast read, and in three hours I was done with the book, thoroughly entertained and smiling. It’s nice to read a good book that doesn’t take forever to get to a plot, yet still has plenty of intrigue and character development to spare.

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