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The Fairytale Keeper #1

The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen

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Snow White was a pet name her mother had given her, but her mother’s dead now. Adelaide hates that name anyway. A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without Last Rites and the dead are dumped in a large pit outside of the city walls. Adelaide’s father is determined to obtain a funeral for his wife, but that requires bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. When Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, he pushes Adelaide to her breaking point, but if she seeks justice against the cruel priest, she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life.

280 pages, Paperback

First published May 24, 2012

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About the author

Andrea Cefalo

3 books152 followers
Andrea Cefalo is a bit of a roamer, growing up in New Hampshire, Maryland, and South Carolina, though the bulk of her family lives in Maine. She dreamed of a career in art restoration, but somehow ended up becoming a grade school teacher before realizing she really wanted to be a writer. She taught for three years and then decided to finish The Fairytale Keeper series and pursue her new found ambition. Andrea lives with her husband and two border collies in Greenville, South Carolina, which she calls home, at least for now.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 75 reviews
Profile Image for Holly.
1,804 reviews125 followers
May 1, 2012
I received this recently from the author. I was curious as to how this story would go. I'm drawn to the story of Snow White because hey, pale girls have to have someone to look up to who was admired for her snowy complexion. But I digress.

I started this over the weekend and it took me some time to get into, mostly because it's finals week for me. The beginning is sort of depressing and heavy because Adelaide's ("Snow White") mother just died. At the time, it made it harder for me to get into the story. I just wasn't in that frame of mind when I started. Looking back, though, it pretty perfectly sets the tone for the whole story.

Set in 1248 during a fierce fever that upsets Cologne, Adelaide has to deal with life changing events. First, her mother dies from the fever. This is a crushing blow to Adelaide, who has lived a pretty easy life. So many are dying daily that the local priests have stopped giving last rites. The only way to get these rites is to bribe a priest, which they do. Father Soren does something so offensive and unthinkable that Adelaide begins crafting her revenge. It has to be perfect. But how far is she willing to go with it? Will she give up what's left of her family? Her friends?...Her life?

The pace was really good, especially once things started falling into place. It wasn't too fast (I tend to skip sentences and lines when the pace is fast) and it wasn't slow and boring. Great. I just made a fairy tale reference without even realizing it. Anyway. As I was saying, the story only takes place over a few weeks, so things do have to move somewhat fast. Flashbacks slow down some moments, but they give so much insight into Adelaide's life that you sometimes want those instead of the real action. The fairytales she tells/are quoted did slow down the pace too, mostly because we already know these stories.

The real show-stealer in this story was Ivo. Oh my goodness. What a sweetheart. I'd keep reading this series just for him. He has his problems just like Adelaide, but the two of them together make such a great pair.

Adelaide was also a great character. Given the time period, she's incredibly brave and brazen. Some of the things she does would have been greatly frowned upon at the time (and characters do frown upon her). She's not this pansy that's going to bow down to what others want her to do, but she isn't a warrior either. She's clever. I liked that she was smart and strong-willed. There were a lot of moments when she really struggled to be strong, but she was willing to lean on others when she knew she needed it.

There were a couple of things that bothered me. First of all, there were a lot of small copy errors. Some sentences were obviously changed, but a verb was left somewhere so the sentence wasn't quite right. Adelaide once said 1247 when the rest of the book says it takes place in 1248. I didn't know if that was intentional or not. Some of these mistakes could have easily been fixed before this went to print. (I'm an English teacher-in-training, so I notice these things.) I have an uncorrected copy of the book, so I'm not counting off for this. Now that sounded like a teacher.

Also, the title/tagline is somewhat misleading. I thought this would be a retelling, but it wasn't. Not really. Snow White, instead of being a princess, is the daughter of a cobbler. The "queen" we're avenging is her mother, who really isn't a queen. And after the first third or so of the book, there weren't any fairytales mentioned again. I think there were only three or four even quoted. It seemed weird that this was called the "fairytale keeper" when they were so scarce.

On the whole, though, I really enjoyed the book and seeing Adelaide take things into her own hands. I'll be reading the sequel to see what happens.
Profile Image for Melissa.
277 reviews7 followers
February 19, 2015
I’m a big fan of people who find new ways to share old stories. With The Fairytale Keeper, Andrea Cefalo has given us a reality-based version of the classic tale of Snow White that is every bit as magical as the versions we all grew up with (and I’m not talking about Disney), even though there’s no actual magic in it.

Set in medieval Cologne, Cefalo’s story is of a young girl on the brink of womanhood, growing up at a time when reading and writing were not the norm, and the Church had the power over the life and death, not just of individuals, but of entire communities. She turns archetypical characters -Snow, her father, her (future) stepmother into three-dimensional begins, with lives and wants and personalities and in doing so, she shows us that life is complicated, and that even the best of us sometimes make poor choices.

I loved that Adelaide (Snow White is a hated nickname bestowed upon her by her storytelling mother) is a feisty, empowered (for the time) young woman. She’s a problem solver, but one whom the real world hasn’t quite touched, and it’s her mixture of innocence and knowledge that really make the character live. I also liked that she has a friend – a young man named Ivo – who she’s on the brink of romance with (he brings her jars of fireflies), but that it’s handled in an appropriate way.

Adelaide’s father, too, is complex: mourning his wife, doting on his daughter while also teaching her his trade, and trying to find a future. Similarly, Galadriel, the woman who (it’s foreshadowed) is likely to become Adelaide’s stepmother at some point in the future (she’s living with them) is an all-too-human figure: caring, but lost, and somewhat broken.

Together, this cast of characters form a family, and the other characters in the story broaden it to a whole community that seems every bit as real as any historical village from a textbook, but with more color and life.

Fairytales are woven through the novel, of course – often representing stories told to Adelaide by her mother, who, in a flashback, tells the child her story isn’t written.

And that’s really the point of this whole novel: we can learn from the stories of others, but ultimately, each of us has to also write our own story.

The book is an easy read. It sucks you in, and is paced well, with accessible language that never feels too contemporary – a trick that can be hard to pull off.

I’ve got the sequel as well, waiting to be read for review next month, and I’m eagerly awaiting another visit with Adelaide, and watching to see how her story evolves.

If you love fairytales and folklore, if you love strong women, and complex characters, if you love believable plots and rich descriptions of place and things, you will – as I do – LOVE The Fairytale Keeper.
Profile Image for Carey Mckenna Jones.
24 reviews22 followers
April 17, 2013
The Fairytale Keeper was a whole new take on Snow White. I've read many fairy tale retellings which keep the magical aspect of the story and add new twists, but this is the first novel I've read where the fairy tale was retold with a plot grounded in historical events/facts. Although the dark ages setting was not enchanting (ech, the plague), the author created a very rich world. The story as a whole was very well-written with a unique concept and romantic elements, as well as an admirably strong heroine in Adelaide.
Profile Image for Historical Fiction.
920 reviews591 followers
April 2, 2016
Andrea Cefalo's The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen isn't your average retelling. Reimagining characters from familiar folktales against the realities of life in the Middle Ages, Cefalo weaves a tantalizing tale of transgression, retribution and vengeance.

There are a couple of things I liked about this one, but the thing that stands out the most is the darker tone of the narrative. Taking her cues from the classics, Cefalo embraces the shadowy and somewhat violent themes of the original Grimm tales. Too often I see writers rehash the Disneyfied versions of these stories and found it refreshing to see something more comparable and reminiscent of Jacob and Wilhelm's body of work.

That being said, I feel Cefalo has room to grow. Like Elizabeth Bunce and Melanie Dickerson, she replaces the more whimsical elements of her source material with realistically grounded detail and while I like this idea, I don't think the historic aspects of the book read as convincingly as the adapted fables. I also felt some of the characters, Soren in particular, rather one dimensional.

A notably unique read, it will be interesting to see where Cefalo takes Adelaide's story as the series unfolds.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,146 reviews187 followers
February 18, 2015
I have recently re-discovered fairy tale stories. This genre is a great one. I have yet to really find a book that I did not like in this genre. So for now the vampires, werewolves, and zombies are gone.

This book is probably one of the most unique takes on a fairy tale. The story while as a whole focus's on Snow White. It also incorporates other fairy tales and brings them to live. As the premise of the story goes Adelaide aka Snow White's mother was s story teller. So within this book are stories of other tales like Cinderella, The six swan brothers, and more. Although, even these tales did not feel like fairy tales but real stories. I like that the author really brought to life Snow White. It did seem like she was a real person who existed at one point in time. I would agree with the author that this is historical fiction but with a twist. Now that I have found this series and author, I plan to read more books in this series. A quick read.
Profile Image for Mrs. Cubby Culbertson.
148 reviews10 followers
April 15, 2012
I read it and loved it! The rich vocabulary paints a picturesque setting. Cefalo successfully melds fairy tale and historical fiction creating a strong heroine. The imagery is vibrant. One can see, hear, feel, and smell the town of Cologne and the surrounding countryside as well as the people who dwell there. The medieval story, which incorporates well known tales, has been knit together very carefully with unexpected twists, turns and surprises. A very satisfying story yet ending with circumstances that leave one craving the next installation. And I must mention the awesome cover illustration!
Profile Image for Corrye.
34 reviews1 follower
June 11, 2012
I'll be honest, fairytales have never really been my thing. In fact I'm a little mystified with the whole fairytale trend right now in movies, television, and books. Then again I'm flabbergasted at the whole "Twilight" phenonemon too.
But I digress.
My point is that fairytale stories have never really interested me, so I was hesitant as to how engrossed I would be with Andrea Cefalo's debut novel "The Fairtale Keeper: Avenging the Queen." I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with this novel.
Cefalo writes with amazing zeal and passion. Her description of mid 13th century Cologne puts the reader write in the midst of the town. I could taste the warm bread at Hay Market and smell the rich leather at Adelaide's father's shop. I could taste the ale at the Gilded Gopher and hear the catcalls amongst the patrons. The novel puts you right in the moment. Cefalo's descriptions combined with what is obviously extensive research, makes for a rich, authentic, and vivid picture of Europe during the Middle Ages. I also particularly enjoyed Cefalo's dream sequences, especially the ones involving her mother. They were often just as terrifying as they were heartwrenching.
The plot itself starts off simply but becomes more compelling as time goes on. What begins as a quest for a decent human burial for her mother, expands into what could potentially be (based on the content of the forthcoming novels) a country wide revolution. "The Fairtale Keeper's" conclusion adds just the right amount of intrigue to keep the reader wanting more. One of my few complaints is that this novel could have been longer. But then like the old saying goes, "always leave them wanting more."
As for the characters themselves, most were fleshed out and dynamic, especially the heroine Adelaide. In a society where too many women characters come across meek and overly dependent on men for validation, (I'm looking at you Bella Swan) Adelaide is a breath of fresh air. The fact that Cefalo dares to make her main character a strong and independent woman who not only has opinions but can read (rare of 1247 Cologne for either sex) is a risk that works in "The Fairtale Keeper: Avenging the Queen." Ivo her love interest also stands out. He suffers in relative silence against the beatings imposed by his father. His love for Adelaide is authentic and genuine and one of the most believable aspects of Cefalo's first novel. Forget Bella and Edward, forget Katniss and Peeta, Adelaide and Ivo it where it's at!
And man did I hate Galadriel! What a conniving witch. Although I admit that Adelaide's father falling into bed with Galadriel so soon after his wife's death seemed a little unrealistic. I only say that because to me that means he didn't love Adelaide's mother as much as Adelaide thought he did. This suggests that Adelaide is naive, a characteristic I definitely think she does not possess.
The one character I thought was shortchanged in this novel was the Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden. As the main antagonist he was introduced a little late for my liking. I wish Cefalo had gone further into what makes him tick. I'm hoping readers get a deeper and more intricate representation of Archbishop Hochstaden in the novels to come. Based on Cefalo's writing ability I'm sure we will. It's also my sincere hope that she perhaps introduces a "good" priest among the characters. The representation of the Catholic Church isn't exactly the most positive. Believe me I know that the Catholic Church was often corrupt at various times in it's history. However, it would be nice to see a nice balance, a priest that will stand up alongside Adelaide in her fight against the corruption of Hochstaden and their ilk.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fairytale aspect of "The Fairtale Keeper: Avenging the Queen." I'm amazed at how Cefalo connects the fairytales we've come to know and love with real life experiences. Galadriel's connection to "Cinderella" and Adelaide's father's connection to "The Elves and the Shoemaker" were so seamless and natural that one could believe that's how they came about.
Although this is a self-published novel the best compliment I can give is that halfway through the book I completely forgot that it was a self-published novel. I've never been able to get past 10 pages of a Joseph Heller or a John Irving novel, two well esteemed authors, yet I flew through "The Fairtale Keeper: Avenging the Queen." It is my sincere hope that a major publishing company discovers this novel and picks it up because I think Ms. Cefalo has a bright future.
With only a few exceptions, "The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen" is an excellent debut novel. My only regret is that I have to wait a whole year for the sequel.
Profile Image for Margarita.
301 reviews233 followers
June 3, 2012
The Fairytale Keeper series is definitely one that I am going to be following. Although, I do have some mixed feelings with the first book, in the end, I truly did enjoy it.
Andrea Cefalo's writing flows quite nicely. The entire setting is quite pictures-tic and beautiful. The storytelling is easy to follow and enjoyable. And I immediately liked Adelaide, who her mother nicknamed Snow White because... "would that I had a child as white as snow, with lips as red as blood, and hair as black as the wood of the window frame."

The book truly sticks to the summary - Adelaide's mother passes away from 'the fever' and because of the high number of deaths in the area, it is difficult to have a proper burial. The most disrespectful and saddest events take place during at this moment, which then leads to Adelaide and their city seeking justice against the corrupt 'government'.
Adelaide's father, Ansel, is a shoemaker. And Galadriel, Adelaide's mother's cousin, is our Cinderella in this series. We all know what Cinderella went through before she became a princess, and in this book, her story just gets sadder. And then we have Ivo, Adelaide's childhood best friend turn boyfriend (fiance?). He is everything I expected him to be and more for Adelaide.

Now, I do have an issue with this book, and it has to do with its cover.
First, part of the title, "Avenging the Queen" - what Queen? I know that this book is part of a series, but there is no mention of any type of queen at all in this first book. It's a bit misleading; I was under the assumption that there was going to be a "wicked queen" in this story, and sadly, there was not.
And also, the caption above the title, "Many called her Snow White, but few knew her as..." -
no one called her Snow White. Adelaide mentions only her mother calling her Snow White, and how much she hated that her mother did call her that numerous times. But, she never mentions anyone else saying it and no others ever call her Snow White at any point of the story, not even her father.
Perhaps, and I really hope, these are two things that will be addressed in future books/stories to the series.
Profile Image for Jennis Andelin.
111 reviews4 followers
April 7, 2013
This book was so lacking in the plot. During the whole thing I was just waiting for a real problem or dilemma to show up and then I finally realized (when I was almost done) that I'd already encountered it. It didn't seem like a big enough deal to me and Soren wasn't enough of a villain. He disrespects one woman's funeral in the very beginning and then BOOM he's the bad guy for the whole book. He wasn't evil enough and he didn't do...anything really. You only heard about what a horrible person he was, there wasn't enough real evidence through his actions. I guess I just didn't understand the setting of the book while I was reading it because when they didn't go to church I was just like "oh whatever, serves him right" and then it becomes the main thing that happens in the book.

Oh, and Addie's father? WHAT. At first I really liked him and he and Addie had this great relationship and they seem like they're best friends and then he does awful things and he and Addie hate each other. It seemed like once you learned more about Ivo's dad Addie's dad just had to become the same kind of person. Baaaad character inconsistency. And relationship inconsistency.

I liked Ivo and Addie's relationship. Even though Ivo is a horrible name. Every time I looked at it I saw Ivy and it was so annoying.

The whole fairytale thing was weird. Addie was obviously Snow White and Galadriel (her name was awful too...I was so sure she was a boy at first and then she's just randomly a girl) was Cinderella, but I didn't see why she put those two in there. They didn't really affect the story at all and so it was kind of awkward. Plus the title "The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen." There was no Queen. It made no sense.

I didn't really dislike this book, I just had a mistaken idea of what kind of book it was. I'll probably read the next one because it is an interesting story, she just should've made the fairytale theme more present in the book or not put it in at all.
286 reviews
June 9, 2012
This is really the first book that I've read where an author takes a fairytale and paints a story of historical fiction. Cefalo has written an intriguing, vivid story about a young girl in 13th century Cologne who would be immortalized to us as Snow White. Adelaide is a strong heroine whom you can't help but like and cheer for as she stands up for her family and what she believes is right. Her supporting cast of characters is colorful and varied, from her grieving father who spends much of his time drinking to that priest you love to hate, Father Soren. And of course, you can't ignore the sweet romance developing between Adelaide and her childhood friend, Ivo.

One of my favorite aspects about this book is how Cefalo is able to weave other well-known fairytales into the storyline. You will meet Cinderella, as one of the people in Adelaide's life, and hear Adelaide tell the story of Hansel and Gretel, just to name a couple of examples. By adding these other stories, Cefalo adds a touch more magic to Adelaide's world. The story might start off just a touch slow, though the opening scenes are certainly explosive. But the pace picks up with those fairytale "asides" and the unfolding story of the corruption of the Church will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next. And while there is a satisfying conclusion to a major plot line, we are also left wanting more as the bigger picture takes shape.

If you love retellings of your favorite fairytales, be sure to pick up a copy of this first book in the Fairytale Keeper series. It's a quick, easy read -- perfect for this summer! I can't wait to see what Cefalo has in store for us next. And doesn't that gorgeous cover make you want to read this book all on its own?!
Profile Image for Precious Mae.
237 reviews44 followers
August 26, 2015
"*facepalm* It's done?"
And I keep turning the page to make sure..
Yes, it really is done and I want more.

This is quite unexpected for me. I thought that this is going to be about Snow White!! Surprisingly, nope it isn't. As the title goes, Fairytale Keeper, your journey in reading will bring you to various fairy tales that we grew up with and see for yourself how it was connected to our heroine, Adelaide.

Adelaide, Addie for short, is an adventurous girl who know where she stands and fights for it but knows when it is enough. After her mother died, everything changed for her and Cologne, the place she deeply loves and calls home. It was because her mother was disrespected in her burial by Father Soren and Addie was angry because of that. From then on, Addie seeks for revenge for what was done to her mother. A deed she believes that most probably the people of Cologne will receive, too.

I definitely like Addie and her fiesty character. She may be stubborn at times but she makes up for being sweet at times to her father and friends, most especially to Ivo. Oh, who does not love Ivo? A young man who will definitely do anything for Addie. He is such a gentleman - so sweet and so caring. *sigh*

This is my newest recommended series. I am so amazed with what Ms. Andrea painted in my imagination. I am not really a fan of historical settings but this one really caught my interest. Thumbs up!

What I like:
* Addie as Snow white
* Ansel, Addie's father, as the Shoemaker
* Galadriel, the cousing of Addie's mother, as Cinderella
* Galadriel's sister as the girl in the Six Swans
- (the fairy tales for keeps!!)

I want to thank Ms. Andrea Cefalo for sending me a copy of the book! Well appreciated!! :)

Profile Image for Savannah (Books With Bite).
1,399 reviews185 followers
August 26, 2012
I love a good historical that captures me with a fairytale. In fact, in fairytale re-tales capture me no matter what.

I loved the plot of the book. Told from a different point of view, the reader meets Snow White who's life is not what we expect. It's hard, it's messy, and you just want Snow White to come out on top after all is said and done. I liked that her life is depicted by anything that is not a fairy tale. She doesn't sing or make forest animals come to her instead she is living a hard knocked life.

There is a love interest in the book that gave the book some balance. Since Snow White's life is so hard, as the reader, I yearn for some peaceful moments for her. In those stolen moments, she's smiles and is carefree. You can tell how easily her guard is let down and how much she enjoys her time with him. He as well is very much taken with her. It's enduring and wonderful to read.

My only gripe about this book is the fairy tale all together. Other than the fact that Adelaide has fair skin, red lips, and black hair, I don't see or get the connection to Snow White. Yes, her life is tough, but it seems more of a historical romance other than a fairy tale re-tale. You know what I mean? The story is good, don't get me wrong. I just don't know what all of Adelaide life has to do with Snow White. Unless, the author is planning on writing a sequel to help make that connection much more stable, than I would love to read it to see how it will all come together.

The Fairytale Keeper is a great book! Once in the shoes of Adelaide, the world building around her is magnificent. The emotional ride or life, lost, and love is solid. The reader is engulfed in a whole new world capture by a very vivid imagination. The Fairytale Keeper is fantastic!
Profile Image for Batsiii.
95 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2015
I won this on a Goodreads First-Reads giveaway and am so happy I read it.
Firstly, the cover is gorgeous.
This was a really fast and entertaining read. There was never a boring mon=ment; there was always something happening. The author wrote an awesome tale that I consider kind of dytopian and intertwined classical fairy tales into the story.
Addie, the main character seeks vengeance against the priest, Father Soren, who abuses his power on the population. So the village make a revolution, fighting to gain the rights they never fully possessed.
At first, we see a very angry, sad and vulnerable side of the protagonist since her mother just died and they can't make a proper funeral for her. During the rest of the tale,you discover that Addie, while being brave and strong-willed, she is also sweet and innocent. Yet, she was determined to sacrifice all to fight for what she believed was right. I adored her best friend/love interest; Ivo. He's pretty awesome

The world they're living in was pretty interesting, loved the feel of historical fiction and the way they made a living. It was pretty old-fashioned lifestyle, which is cool.

I wouldn't really call the book a re-telling of fairytales. It was more bringing back fairytale characters' traits into these characters and making them relate very strongly. This actually, made me like fairytale more.
The writing was nice and fairytale like.

Can't wait for the second book.
May 21, 2012
Beneath the Moon and Stars review

This wasn't what I was expecting. I thought it was about snow white but it wasn't. It was more of a mix of fairy tales. There would be a passage from a fairytale and then the chapter would be about that passage. I think that is such a cool concept.

I really like Adeladie. I love how adventurous she was and how she wasn't embarrassed about her lifestyle. Her little romance with Ivo was so cute. I love how innocent it was. I also love how she stayed true to herself and what she believed. Even if it was someone close to her or a family member that doesn't change her opinion on their actions. I absolutely adore Ivo. I love everything about him he's adorable. I love the relationship between Ivo and Addie. They were friends but they weren't ever really just friends. There was always something more. I live how protective he was over her. I didn't like either of their families. Except Lexi him I liked.

I really love how the author did this storyline. I love historical fiction. It wasn't too fast paced but it wasn't slow either. I really love the concept and the characters. Everything was well done and I really enjoyed this. I'm really looking forward to the sequel and I highly recommend :).
Profile Image for Copperfield Review.
Author 2 books42 followers
May 7, 2012
Review by Kimberly Sonner

The Fairy Tale Keeper is a unique twist on the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Part fairy tale retelling, part historical fiction, with well-written passages about 13th century Cologne and its problems with fevers where many died. Here 15 year-old Adelaide must battle against an evil priest, but seeking justice is not so easy. The Fairy Tale Keeper is a story of corruption, devotion, and tough decisions that may impact those Adelaide loves the most. Each character in Cefalo’s story is connected to a character in the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. We see the Elves and the Shoemaker, Cinderella, and Snow White.

I enjoyed reading this story and seeing how Cefalo connected the fairy tale characters to the story she created in Cologne. I will read more from Cefalo. I recommend this book for anyone interested in 13th century life or Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
1 review1 follower
May 21, 2012
The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is not just a good read, but a brilliant read. I love Cefalo's concept of using Grimm's fairytales to create a new novel and story of Snow White. I've read a couple reviews by bloggers saying that they didn't get the queen or absence of certain Grimm references. I see those references very clearly in this story. Grimm's tales directly inspire the origin stories of the most famous fairytale characters. I had trouble putting this book down because I wanted to know how Cefalo would intertwine the next tales.
As a teacher, I look forward to incorporating this novel into my lesson plans. The students I have lent my copy to already have loved it. They are all anxious for the next novel in this series to come out as am I.
Profile Image for Jessica.
4 reviews1 follower
August 3, 2013
I discovered the author on Twitter of all places and when I could not find the nook version, she sent me the address and within minutes I was downloading and reading. I loved the spin on Cinderella, because you can't help what happens after the 'happily ever after'. I found the characters to be well developed and relatable, even if they were evil. I can't wait for the ne t book!
Profile Image for Nancy.
2 reviews1 follower
April 23, 2012
This book grabbed me quick and kept me reading. The main character Adelaide is a spitfire young girl, who is learning that life in Cologne,Germany is not fair. Have not read a book this fast since Twilight and The Hunger Games.
Profile Image for Andria.
105 reviews
May 4, 2013
Historical fiction with some fairytales thrown in. Nice, very nice.
Profile Image for Cyrielle Bandura.
21 reviews1 follower
September 17, 2017
J'ai adoré ce roman. Voilà, c'est dit. L'auteure revisite plusieurs contes et légendes, notamment celui de Blanche-Neige, mais en y mêlant les faits historiques et géographiques. Son récit est chargé de références et ne sonne jamais faux. On suit Adelaide après la mort de sa mère et tout ce qui en suit, dans sa quête de vengeance auprès de l'Eglise et plus particulièrement du prêtre de sa paroisse, le Père Soren, dans la Cologne du 12ème siècle... mais on découvre aussi son quotidien qui est loin d'être tout rose en tant que fille du cordonnier.

Adelaide est une jeune fille qui ne détonne pas dans cet univers, même si elle est une forte tête, elle est loin des clichés des romans se déroulant à l'époque victorienne qui font fi de toutes les convenances de leur siècle. Les autres personnages sont dépeints avec tout autant de justesse qu'Adelaide, même s'ils sont plus secondaires. Son meilleur ami Ivo est tout aussi complexe qu'elle, peut-être même plus encore. Son père, déchiré par la perte de sa femme, se perd dans l'alcool et dans les bras de Galadriel. Et bien d'autres encore. Chacun a sa place pour faire avancer le récit, pour aider Adelaide ou brandir des épreuves.

C'est peut-être là la seule chose que je déplorerais pour ce roman. Si Adelaide affronte bien des soucis dans la quinzaine de jours que dépeint le roman, il manque un enjeu, un obstacle de taille sur le chemin de la jeune fille. On se doute bien qu'il arrivera dans le tome suivant, mais j'aurais peut-être aimé quelque chose de plus grandiose également dans ce premier tome... Malgré tout, il a un certain charme à exposer une multitude de défis plutôt qu'un énorme challenge dès le début.

Je conseille sans hésiter ce livre aux amateurs de contes et de romans de fiction historique Je pense aussi à la maison d'édition Magic Mirror : Même si je n'ai pas encore lu de romans chez eux, s'ils devaient s'adonner à la traduction d'ouvrages anglophones, je suis prête à parier que celui-ci y aurait sa place ^^

I loved this book. Here, I said it. The writer restyles several tales and myths, especially Snow White, but adding historical and geographical facts. Her story is filled with references and never sound odd, never not ring true. We follow Adelaide after her mother's death and all which come after, in her vengeance quest against the Church and more particularly Father Soren, in 12th century Cologna... but we also discover her everyday life which is hardly a bed of roses, being a cobbler's daughter.

Adelaide is a young girl who doesn't sound odd in this world, even if she is headstrong, she is far from clichés of girls in stories taking place in the Victorian era laughing in the face of the decency of their century. The other characters are painted with the same accuracy as Adelaide, even if they are secondary. Her bestfriend Ivo is as complex as her, maybe even more. Her father, torn by the loss of her wife, drowns his sorrows and gets lost in Galadriel's arms. And so many more. Each of them has its place to make the story progress, to help Adelaide or threaten her.

There is maybe the only thing I regret in this novel : I felt like there were no real threat. I mean, Adelaide faces many things during the fortnight narrated in the novel, but I think it is lacking something big. I guess it will be on the next novel, but I would have liked to see something a bit more spectacular in this one too. Nevertheless, there is an appeal in the several challenges, and not a big one to start with.
Profile Image for Léatitia Brière.
Author 2 books15 followers
April 2, 2014
My review, from my blog :

Here is my review of The Fairytale Keeper : avenging the Queen. Book one in the Fairytale Keeper series.
Everytime I have to review a book I loved, I don't know where to start. But with The Fairytale Keeper, I think I should start with what I felt while I was reading this novel.
You know, how black and white movies make you feel, like you went back in time through decades or centuries ? Like you out of time ? Well it is exactly how I felt with The Fairytale Keeper ! It is just not about the Medieval vocabulary, or the beautiful block capitals. The characters relationship, the setting and the atmosphere made me travel. I understand this is normal, the ingredients of a great reading. But I am really impressed by how strong it is in this novel. Maybe I love it so much because I study History, I dont know. Through I don't particurly like Middle Ages, Andrea makes me love this period. Yes I can say The Fairytale Keeper succeed where my teachers failed ! I am still amazed by it even if I closed the book a few days ago !
Like I said, I really enjoy how well written this book is. At the begining, I have to admit I found it was a bit slow. What kept me reading is a) my curiosity, b) I felt so close to the main character, Adélaïde, and c) quickly I realised how compelling and original this story is. (not precisly in that order).
Now I can not tell you about this novel without saying a few words about Grimm's fairytales. I love Grimm's fairytales and am glad I could discover them again through this book. From Cinderella to less know fairytales, I find the mixt between History and Grimm's fairytales perfect. It is not too much, just enough to be relevant, fun and interesting. Characters and world's fairytales are linked in the best way.
Something else I trully enjoy is the main character. When I read a book, I often remember more the plot than the characters. Then if I think a book is really excellent, is always because I love as much the characters as I love the story in itself.
Adelaïde is brave, funny and stuborn. But not only ! She has stong values, she is smart and a bit clumsy. Of course, I felt so sad about her mother's death and how it changed her. Through the story, I saw how it made her grow up fast. Maybe we cans see it as the lost of her innocence. Her mourning is not the only thing that changes her. Because she discovers how ugly the world is, her belief in God is seriously shaken by Father Soren (one of the vilains) and what she experienced because of the illness that touches her city. Death seems to be everywhere and I felt like she was really disapointed by God.
But don't worry ! She is not alone ! She can count on her friend Ivo. Ivo is funny, good looking, really charming (closer to the prince charming than you can imagine, especially since he works in fields). He is also brave and has a heartbreaking secret. I really don't want to reveal too much but I think he is the perfect match to Adelaïde ! Her relationship with him is developping through the book and it is something believable. I will not say too much about them but you will see how important and moving they are. There are scenes I will not forget...
The other relationship important is the one of Adelaïde and her father, Hansel. He is a shoemaker and apreciated by his neighbours. Of course he is broken because of her wife's death. He and his daughter are going through a rough time. There are things that are going to get them closer but also drive them apart...
You won't be indefferent to the other characters either !
Now it is time to talk to you about what is wrong in Cologne ! Corruption seems to be everywhere ! Middle Ages is the period where devotion is a part of everyday life. Devotion is supposed to be an answer, something conforting. But it turned out to be deception, lies and atrocity.
Well I believe I told you eveything or pretty much everything that came to my mind. I am sure when you read, (because I know you will) you will find some more reasons to love this novel like I did. I look forward to read the next book. I will share about it release and my thought as soon as I know more. Don't forget, I will share my interview with Andrea this weekend. I hope you enjoyed my review. I had such a great pleasure reading and talking about The Fairytale Keeper. If you want to learn more about Andrea, check out my previous article about her.
Have a good read !
Profile Image for Erin Al-Mehairi.
Author 13 books75 followers
March 13, 2015
I happen to love fairytales, and not just the happy ending ones, but even the true-to-form original Grimm tales. Therefore, I love any retellings, awakenings, fracturing, or gentle nods to them as well. I like happy endings and not so happy endings. I love the history that creeps behind them and the Old World feel that resonates in my modern soul.

When I hear about The Fairytale Keeper series by Andrea Cefalo, and saw the goregous cover, I was sold on reading them. In hoping to love them, I immediately did so from the first few pages. As a mom who has loved to read fairytales to my kids since they were just very little in hopes to spark their imagination, I was touched by the beginning.

“I cannot write your story, Snow White. Only you can write your story.”

Adelaide’s mother tells her stories when she is young and calls her Snow White for a nickname. But her mother dies in medieval time from the plague, and though her father does financial better than most as a shoemaker, he still has to bribe a priest to give her mother a proper funeral and pyre. The situation doesn’t quite go so well and Adelaide is forever changed, not only by the death of her mother, but by the degradation of the body at the burial and the church’s politics and lack of compassion. We see Adelaide emerge from the reckless fire of her mother’s pyre as a Phoenix on a mission of revenge and retribution. She becomes a strong-willed, intelligent, and passionate protagonist that all young women can admire.

The real wonderful thing about this novel is how she portrays the relationships between Adelaide and others: with her father (the good and the bad feelings), Galadreil (who becomes her step-mother-see the tie-in…he’s a cobbler, she relates to Cinderella), her best friend Ivo, who becomes her Prince. In the relationships in the novel, we see where weaknesses are made strong, or people are torn apart, in each person with the accompaniment of another character. We see the loyalty, love, and dedication, yet also the tragic fight for Adelaide to receive this back, when all else in middle ages Cologne is suspect, corrupt, and falling to pieces.

If you are looking for a straight retelling of Snow White, that isn’t what this novel or series is about though. Instead the author is much more original as she takes pieces of various fairytales, the ones that Adelaide’s mother told her, and intertwines them into the story. Adelaide is called “little Snow White” and wants to save her late mother (her Queen, who dies and leaves her with an evil witch–just like in the fairytale) from the big bad wolf (taken from Red Riding Hood…the priest, the plague, the terrible burial), her dad is a shoemaker (an ode in a roundabout way to The Elves and the Shoemaker as well as Cinderella), Galadreil who has a similar story to her life as Cinderella (a noblewoman who appears in a dirty dress and has had a hard childhood- yet doesn’t becomes the witch or the evil step-mom), and Ivo who gives the novel a sweet romance to enjoy as he is Adelaide’s Prince Charming. You’ll enjoy a retelling of Hansel and Gretel as well.

You’ll find nuggets of fairytales distributed throughout if you tune in to your reading. It made it quite a fun addition to the dark back story of how awful the life, and the church, was in the 13th century, as well as the underlying “moral” of the story of what revenge can cost someone on a mission to for it. By the end, there is still anger and some dark places in Adelaide’s heart, but she does fine her solace too in regards to telling her own story and keeping her mom alive in her heart by keeping the fairytales alive. Andrea writes with a good mixture of the dark of Grimm’s tales and the more lighter side of Perrault’s versions.

I enjoyed Andrea’s fluid and decadent sentences, her historical detail in terms of setting-places, food, dress-her character development including how she crafted the emotions of them, and her overall plot, which was Adelaide’s journey. It was original and imaginative, descriptive, and absorbing.

I felt like I was thrust back in time not only to my younger years, but to the medieval ages. I couldn’t put the book down and truly can’t wait to dive into the next one in the series. Highly recommended for medievalists as well as fairytale connoisseurs!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which I've written.
Profile Image for Danielle.
99 reviews9 followers
June 21, 2012
The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen

I thought this book was going to be a retelling of Snow White, but the book actually had a mash up of different fairytales. Guess that's why it's called "The Fairytale Keeper." The novel starts with the death and burial of Adelaide's mother who has died due to do a rampant fever that has claimed many lives in the town of Cologne. Most do not receive their Last Rites but Adelaide's father has saved enough money to pay their parish priest, Father Soren, to provide her mother with her Last Rites. But things go horribly wrong as the corrupt Father Soren, in a fit of malicious glee, kicks over her mother’s pyre and dump the body on the cold frozen ground. Adelaide, her father, and her cousin Galadriel make their way back to town and once there, her father excuses himself so he can go back to bury the body. After two days of melancholy, Adelaide realizes that she must continue on, to survive without her mother until she figures out that Galadriel is not only present as a helping hand, but to instill herself as Adelaide's stepmother. And that the town is not happy with Father Soren and certain individuals are inciting a rebellion against Father Soren's church. Through the turmoil, Ivo, one of Adelaide's neighbors and childhood friend is constantly by her side, indulging in mischief and being a solid partner in crime. But Adelaide must figure out what to do in order to protect her father, Ivo, and get the revenge she wants against a church bloated with corruption and cares nothing for its people.

What I Liked: The best part of this novel was Ivo and Adelaide’s relationship as he always stood by her, regardless of what craziness Adelaide partook. It’s also amazing that Ivo’s personality is so lovable especially as he has a horrible father/home life where Ivo must get up at dawn to tend crops and must suffer daily abuse at the hands of his father who is drunk the majority of the time it seems. Ivo’s love for Adelaide is very sweet and caring and I could tell that he wants the best for Adelaide, especially when he refused to bed her until he had a proper profession and they were wed. And however much it hurt to learn about Adelaide’s father’s betrayal, it made the situation more real, knowing that not everyone is perfect. It was also lovely to know that Adelaide had received some justice for the treatment of her mother in the hands of Father Soren near the end of the novel.

What I Didn’t Like: The novel started kind of slow. Normally when I read a story, the plot progresses in a bell curve in that the beginning sets the scene and then the action increases, reaches a climax, and then tapers back down with a conclusion. For me, this novel progressed in a linear fashion, the action increased, then flat lined again until the end. There was definitely no conclusion to the story, more of a progression of events that led to more events. And I don’t see the point of including other fairytales in the novel because they are written more like anecdotes rather than being incorporated into the actual story plot. I’m wondering how Ms. Cefalo will pep up her next novel and how the story will progress. I’m definitely hoping that there will be more Ivo and Adelaide interactions ^_^

I received this novel as an Early Reader copy from Goodreads.com.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
123 reviews
May 19, 2012
Review posted at: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic...

Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Synopsis: Snow White was a pet name her mother had given her, but her mother’s dead now. Adelaide hates that name anyway. A rampant fever claimed Adelaide’s mother just like a thousand others in Cologne where the people die without Last Rites and the dead are dumped in a large pit outside of the city walls. Adelaide’s father is determined to obtain a funeral for his wife, but that requires bribing the parish priest, Father Soren. When Soren commits an unforgivable atrocity, he pushes Adelaide to her breaking point, but if she seeks justice against the cruel priest, she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life.

I was kindly sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. To be fair I was slightly hesitant about starting this book because I've never read a fairy tale retelling before but I was pleasantly surprised. The book centers on Adelaide aka Snow White after her mothers death. She is refused a funeral for her mother and after that they begin to see all of the flaws that the church has. And there are many. Back when this is set the church was a big part of life so you can see how this would be a problem. Throughout the book there was sections from well know fairy tales and then the chapter afterwards would have some kind of connection to that story. This aspect I found especially interesting. The writing in this book was old fashioned but it was meant to be so it suited perfectly.

The main character Adelaide, I found to be quite annoying at times but in no way as annoying as a lot of other heroines. She won't be on my top ten anytime soon. I did like some things about her though. She was brave and didn't need a guy there to hold her hand all the time. I loved her best friend Ivo. He was really sweet! I loved how Adelaide and him made such a great team and he tried to look after her. One person I didn't like was her father. He just seemed to hopeless to me.

I really did enjoy this book even though apart from her appearance I don't know what the connection to Snow White was. Maybe we will find out in later books. As a whole this book was a good, quick read that I finished in one sitting. I would recommend this book to fairytale and historical fiction lovers. I would give this book 3.5/5 Stars and look forward to the second one in the series. Thanks to the author for letting me read it before it's release.

My Favorite Quote:
Snow White is a name I do not enjoy. It is a term of endearment from my mother, but a phrase of torment used by the artisan and merchant children who mock me for my fair skin and black hair. I would never tell mother for it would hurt her to know, and while I have no love for the name, Snow White, I do have love for the way she speaks it.
Profile Image for Silver.
87 reviews
August 26, 2012
I was excited when Cefalo asked me to review this book. I am a huge fan of fairy tales from the Grimm Brothers to Anderson and I love reading retellings as well as the classics.

Adelaide, or "Snow White", sold the story for me. The mix of wit, bravery, and innocence appealed to me. I love that Addie is angry and puzzled by the cruelty of human beings, specifically the Church. Her passion for justice and the lengths she will got to protect her beliefs and loved ones makes her one of the best heroines I've read about this summer. It will be interesting to see how her character will relate to the original fairy tale later in the series.

The romance is sooo cute and is a great example of first love. I have a soft spot for childhood romances (crossing my fingers for my little bro and my neighbor) and Addie's relationship with Ivo is filled with exploration, vulnerability, and all-around sweetness. It progresses naturally from childhood friends to sweethearts. I hope their love lasts until the end of the series.

Example of their cuteness:
I roll my eyes. "So what did Ivo say?"
"Do not make me say it. It's gross," Levi sneers.
"Please," I plead with a smile.
"He says that he loves you," Levi huffs. "And that he'll never ever say no to you again."
I laugh. "Tell him that I'm going to make him write that down. Oh, and I love him too."
"You two are gross," Levi says with a sneer.

The plot is done fairly well, especially when depicting the corruptness of the Church during this medieval time period. But, I felt as though it WAS part 1. I would have liked the story to continue on. The book feels cut off and it doesn't feel as though it could stand on its own. It needs the others to feel complete. Instead of having a subplot, it feels like a missing part of a puzzle. The plot did keep me interested and the historical accuracy made the book more worthwhile. Addie's thirst for vengeance makes she seem like a warrior on a crusade against the Church. I'm really pissed at her father and "Cinderella". Addie's resentment towards them adds more depth to the story.

I wouldn't really call this book a retelling. The events and world-building of the book makes the story stray away from the charm of fairy tales and seems more historical fiction. It captures the medieval peasant village very realistically and I enjoyed the little details Cefalo wrote. Yes, it has some fairy tales incorporated, but the book's own plot is fantastic on its own. The fairy tale tidbits seem like extra fluffs. Hopefully, more magical elements will play into the story as the series progresses.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book and I'm so thankful it to be able to review it. I can't wait to read more about Addie's adventures.
Profile Image for Bonnie (A Backwards Story).
418 reviews224 followers
August 24, 2012
If you want a unique version of the fairy tales you grew up loving, look no further than THE FAIRYTALE KEEPER: AVENGING THE QUEEN by Andrea Cefalo. The first book in the planned four-book series revolves around Adelaide, whose mother nicknamed her Snow White as a child. The book opens after a deadly plague has taken Adelaide's mother's life, revealing the corruptness of a local priest in Cologne. Adelaide and her father are appalled by the way she has been treated, even as they are overcome with grief. They are taken care of by Adelaide's cousin Galadriel, who also lost cherished love ones due to plague. Galadriel is interesting because she's Cinderella...and on the path to becoming Adelaide's stepmother, which would make her the evil queen in Snow White. That along intrigued me. Earlier this year, one of the theories going around about the TV series ONCE UPON A TIME was the thought that the Evil Queen was also Belle from Beauty and the Beast, which would have been a novel idea. I like seeing the duality of pure good and pure evil in one character. I can't wait to see where Cefalo takes this idea.

It takes a long time for AVENGING THE QUEEN to get off the ground because there's so much back story leading up to the Snow White tale we all know and love. Just when it really gets going, we're left waiting for the next book. I liked the introduction of Adelaide's love interest, Ivo, and will be interested in seeing whether he becomes her True Love or not, since he's certainly no prince. I also loved the historical feel to this fantasy novel, which to me, always makes a book seem as though it could be true despite its mystical nature. I also liked the way Cefalo mixed her fairy tales together.

It's both easy and hard to see what fairy tales are being told in AVENGING THE QUEEN. Many tales that are familiar have both truth and fiction to them, leaving it up to readers to discover what's real and what's been turned into a tale. The press release states, "Cefalo doesn’t stick to just one of Grimm’s fairy tales in her FAIRYTALE KEEPER series. She supposes the most noted of these stories (Snow White, Cinderella, The Elves and the Shoemaker, etc.) come from one person, a spitfire cobbler’s apprentice and novice story teller living in thirteenth century Germany. 'I want the reader to believe that it’s possible for one person to have come up with all these tales,' say Cefalo." I can't wait to see the way Cefalo pulls THE FAIRYTALE KEEPER together, since not much was said about the mysterious story teller in the first book.
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