Amy 's Reviews > The Stepsister Scheme

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
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Feb 08, 09

bookshelves: 50-books-2009, owned, fantasy
Read in February, 2009

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 distributor's magazine, I immediately ordered copies for the store and myself. When I finished reading it last night, I was thanking the stars there was a notice at the back that book 2 of the girls' adventures is coming out in October 2009.

Funny? Yep. Action? Yep. Wilting flowers of femininity? Not so much. Three princesses, all based in the fairy tales we're familiar with, but NOT the watered down versions we've gotten from animated movies. Bad Things happened. They've been shaped by these events, and while they still bear the scars, emotional or physical, it doesn't stop them from getting on with life. Oh and rescuing Cinderella's prince while they're at it.

While I say it's funny, I don't mean this is a lark of a book, a fluff-tale that's a laugh-a-minute ride. Finding out the backstories of the princesses exposes some dark sides to life: child abuse, poisonings, multiple murder attempts by parents. I had my suspicions at where Talia/Sleeping Beauty's story was going, and when she explained her background, I winced. Her damage, while to some degree being the best hidden due to all those fairy gifts, might also be the most severe. But like the others, it shapes her, not controls her. And the third princess? That would be Snow White. Watch out for those mirrors of hers.

The story moves along at a good pace, the characters are all ones I was easily able to connect with, and while there's dark moments, there's also laughter along the way. A good balanced book and I want the next one NOW! /stomps foot and goes to see if the distributor has preorders up yet
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