Lexie's Reviews > The Stepsister Scheme

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
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's review
Oct 04, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: review-blog-pr, first-in-series, books-owned-read

I'm pretty sure I say this a lot, but Fairy Tales--and fairy tale reinventions--fascinate me. From the days of Happily Ever After on HBO to the wonderful, dark Vertigo title Fables--if its about a fairy tale I will give it a chance. This isn't to say I enjoyed them all (I'm not a fan of Shelly Duvall's Fairy Tale Theatre, wasn't even as a child), but I will give them a chance. I'm a late comer to The Stepsister Scheme, which came out earlier this year and until the upcoming sequel knew very little about it. I loved the cover, it had three 'classic' princesses done over and Happily Ever After existed--at a lifelong price.

I'm pleased to note that The Stepsister Scheme falls into the 'happy to have known' category. Danielle (Cinderella, and to note in Ever After 'Cinderella's' name was Danielle as well) doesn't take things laying down. She has her moments when she indulges in cliche'd princess behavior, but overall she comes across as a real person. Her reactions (such as to Talia) were believable and quite frankly she cracked me up. It was sometimes jarring when she'd go from Amazon to Princess, but by in large Hines straddles the line quite well.

Talia (aka Sleeping Beauty) is a pistol. She's cynical, tough and just shy of me thinking she's scary violent. Like the other two Princesses her backstory is comprised of the original tale and the watered down version a lot of people have learned it as. For those who've read the original tale, yes the Prince is still a right bastard for what he did to her and Talia isn't unhappy in saying so. She also decided to take a proactive stance against that happening every again and arms herself accordingly.

Snow (aka Snow White) took a little longer for me to cozen up to. Mostly because what I mistook for her being a tramp, was really her just being very confident in who she was and how she looked. By no means a lightweight in the fighting department, I think it thrilled her more to outwit the folks then anything else.

This isn't to say I loved it blindly, but its definitely been one of the better re-interpretations of the old tales (secret ninja Princesses is now my new favorite story device I think) I've read. Its definitely up there with Fables. And despite the fact it has an almost kid-like cover to it (at least to me) this is clearly an older teen to adult range book. Don't let the pretty princesses fool you folks--this isn't a Disney Princesses story at all.

Book 2, The Mermaid's Madness (with the Little Mermaid!) comes out October 6th with book 3 (Red Hood's Revenge) due out in 2010 and book 4 (Secret of the Snow Queen) due out in 2011. Titles and publish year are of course tentative and may change at any time.

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Reading Progress

02/26/2014 marked as: books-owned
02/26/2014 marked as: books-owned-read
02/01/2015 marked as: read

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