The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
What would happen if an author went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for his plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie’s Angels? What’s delivered is The Stepsister Scheme—a whole new take on what happened to Cinderella and her prince after the wedding. And with Jim C. Hines penning the tale readers can bet it won’t be “and they lived happily ever after.”
My favorite aspect of this book is the A.T.T.I.T.U.D.E. The tone is playful and sarcastic, which is just fun. The three main girls in the story are princesses from fairy tales, only their stories have all been turned around and upside down. Cinderella did wear glass slippers, but the horse-drawn pumpkin was just a crazy rumor. Sleeping Beauty’s awakening did not have a happy ending and she’s bitter over it all and using the fairy-given talents to better use, fighting with unmatched grace. And Snow White learned some magic to escape her evil mother and then escaped after being convicted of the crime.
Hines takes the fairy tales and ties them in knots, unwinding them again with humor and creativity. I thoroughly enjoyed the climb down the toilet, the ride on a red-tailed hawk, the pixie bar.
Head’s up: There is quite a lot of magic… A mother who lingers in a tree after she’s died and another mother who lives in other people’s bodies after her own was killed. The magic wasn’t the focus of the story, but it is everywhere much like the weather.
My rating: Pretty Darn Good.
About the Author...
Jim C. Hines' latest book is THE SNOW QUEEN'S SHADOW, the fourth of his fantasy adventures that retell the old fairy tales with a Charlie's Angels twist. He's also the author of the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy. Jim's short fiction has appeared in more than 40 magazines and anthologies, including Realms of Fantasy, Turn the Other Chick, and Sword & Sorceress XXI. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. He's currently hard at work on LIBRIOMANCER, the first book in a new modern-day fantasy series. Online, he can be found at http://www.jimchines.com