Jessica Dowell's Reviews > Midnight's Curse: A Cinderella Retelling

Midnight's Curse by Tricia Mingerink
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it was amazing

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Hands down, this is the most creative retelling of the Cinderella story I have EVER read. If you are familiar with the Grimm version of the tale (or, really any version other than Perrault’s or Disney’s) you know that this story can take some dark turns. While this retelling takes a slightly dark twist, it was not in the way I would have expected. And, unlike a lot of versions, it serves a purpose other than darkness for the sake of darkness. There is a redemptive ending, and it’s perfectly clean, so you don’t have to worry about your teenager reading it.

Quick disclaimer: SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ BOOK 1! You DO need to read Dagger’s Sleep for this story to really make sense to you. Part of the creativity is the way the author wove the Cinderella story into the continuing story of High King Alex and his loyal servant Daemyn.

OH. MY. GOODNESS! The character journeys in this book! Particularly with our two main male characters.

Both of them struggle with their identity. Daemyn, because he has had so many identities, and lived so many lives. Now he only has one life left to live and to say, “it’s complicated” is an understatement. Is he a subservient valet or advisor to the high king? A loner or potential husband material? How do all his previous lives fit in with who he is now? Who does he WANT to be and who does The Highest King want him to be? He spends a lot of the book wrestling with these questions, but what I love about Daemyn is the way he puts his personal crisis aside in order to take care of others. Whether they deserve it or not.

Alex, bless his heart, has a lot to adjust to, and very few people rooting for him. While Daemyn has been changed by the hundred years, Alex is the same person he was when he fell asleep. He’s trying to be better, and he recognizes his arrogant tendencies, but old habits die hard. He is so out of his element that he falls back into his old ways frequently, almost as a defense mechanism. He is supposed to unite the kingdoms, but very few of them want him to. Even among his allies he has a lot of skepticism to overcome. It’s no wonder he’s frustrated and lonely. I went back and forth between wanting to hug him and strangle him.

Elara’s character was not what I was expecting and kind of put me off at first. I eventually grew to appreciate her character journey and why the author chose to make her character different than the traditional Cinderella. Her “rags-to-riches” story turns out to be more of an internal transformation, rather than a physical one. I enjoyed watching her heart change throughout the course of the story.

I loved Terrence. He was such a sweet character.

The story carries clear themes of the true meaning of contentment, loyalty, responsibility, forgiveness, and humility. The author did a very good job of showing the continuing struggle of making the right choice. Even after lessons have been learned, characters struggle with the same temptations that caused them to fall in the first place. Forgiveness is shown as a very deliberate choice, made even when a character doesn’t feel ready to forgive. It’s very true to life, and I appreciate the honesty of that depiction.

Beautifully and creatively written, honest in its depiction of the human struggle, I give this book five stars without hesitation. May this book challenge you to find contentment in your own life and the gifts you have been given. I am very much looking forward to the next installment and where it will take our lovely characters.
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Reading Progress

May 17, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
May 17, 2019 – Shelved
July 23, 2019 – Started Reading
July 23, 2019 – Finished Reading

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