Lindsay Stares's Reviews > The Stepsister Scheme

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
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's review
Jan 16, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2010

This book was tons of fun! This is the best pure fantasy adventure I've read in a long time. It's also fairly unabashed girl power. I really enjoyed it.

In this world, fairy tales are true, more or less. Danielle de Glas did sneak off to the ball dressed in glass slippers she received from the tree over her mother's grave. She did not arrive there in a transformed pumpkin. Her comrades in arms are Ermillina “Call me Snow” Curtana, and Talia “ask about the fairies again and I'll kill you” Malak-el-Dahshat. One of the more interesting parts of the setting is which aspects of the stories are revealed to be true, which are false, and which are exaggeration or misinterpretation. The girls are partially legend even in that world. Danielle's story, for example, has grown in the telling in her own kingdom.

Each one has powers relating to her origin. Talia (Sleeping Beauty) has used the fairy gift of grace to become a matchless melee fighter, Snow White channels magic through her mirrors, and Danielle can speak to animals. The allusion on the cover to Charlie's Angels is not misplaced. These princesses are not to be trifled with.

They're such fun characters, as well. The 'types' are obvious on the surface, i.e. Talia is the tomboy, Snow the girly girl, Danielle the mediator/leader, but each has secrets, a good heart and motivations complicated enough to be interesting without being too angsty.

It's so nice to read something where I genuinely like all the characters.

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