The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jim C. Hines weaves a marvelous yarn about three princesses in a world where magic has consequences, fairies are real, and 'happily ever after' isn't the end of the story. Unlike many recent books that take classic stories and try to make them into 'Buffy the Vampire/Zombie Slayer' or a series of films that makes fairy tales all about pop culture, this book takes a fresh approach to these traditional stories without getting too far out of character.
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella know about the legends that are being told about themselves and each other. Legends that are only partially based on the truth. In due course, we learn more about what 'really' happened to each princess, all because Cinderella's step sisters decide to fight back.
Rather than add a thin patina of quaintness over a modern story with modern characters, the author creates a familiar world still a long time ago and far, far away and extrapolates what makes sense in that world. The result is a well told story that has both humor and danger and is just plain fun to read.
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