Jill Furedy's Reviews > The Stepsister Scheme

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
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Aug 04, 11

Read in July, 2011

This series popped up on my Borders 'you might also like' email, and though the cover didn't look like something I would usually pick up, the description seemed amusing. The Goodreads reviewer who mentioned that scene from the Shrek movies where the princesses go on attack as a preview of the series probably did more to make me buy it than did the 'charlie's angels' blurb on the cover. That and learning it was based on the darker, earlier tellings of the fairy tales and not the cleaned up cute versions we're more familiar with.
I did enjoy the book, but after reading the others in the series, found this the least interesting of the bunch...which is fine since we are just meeting all the characters and learning about the world. I think it was also partially because this was Cinderella's story (or Danielle, or Cinderwench, etc), and she just doesn't have the same struggles and interesting backstory as Snow and Talia. She's already princess, and while she's fighting for her husband, she's got a home and a new family and while that may give her more at stake to fight for, Snow and Talia's losses give them less to lose and so they can take more risks, seek more danger, etc. The Duchess adds the most interesting twist, as the stepsisters themselves have already been the bad guys in the Cinderella story. Her plotline is the one that stands out as the memorable part of this book, other than just being introduced to everyone. Though I would also have liked to hear about how Stacia and Brokhop ended up the circumstances we find them in at the end of the book. So even though it wasn't my favorite of the series, it did keep me turning the pages and intrigued enough to buy the other three books. And as a series, I have already recommended it to numerous friends and coworkers!
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