Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Stepsister's Tale by Tracy Barrett Review

"What really happened after the clock struck midnight?

Jane Montjoy is tired of being a lady. She's tired of pretending to live up to the standards of her mother's noble family-especially now that the family's wealth is gone and their stately mansion has fallen to ruin. It's hard enough that she must tend to the animals and find a way to feed her mother and her little sister each day. Jane's burden only gets worse after her mother returns from a trip to town with a new stepfather and stepsister in tow. Despite the family's struggle to prepare for the long winter ahead, Jane's stepfather remains determined to give his beautiful but spoiled child her every desire. 

When her stepfather suddenly dies, leaving nothing but debts and a bereaved daughter behind, it seems to Jane that her family is destined for eternal unhappiness. But a mysterious boy from the woods and an invitation to a royal ball are certain to change her fate...

From the handsome prince to the evil stepsister, nothing is quite as it seems in Tracy Barrett's stunning retelling of the classic Cinderella tale."

Wow. The Stepsister's Tale. This isn't exactly what I expected... but it still entertains very nicely. I really like the changes to the original fairy tale, and there is a lot of differences. It makes it incredibly interesting (and it is even more interesting to play "Compare and Contrast"). 

Let's talk about the flow. The plot is quick and is good, but the story is missing a spark. Or maybe I'm just not into it. (And I'm rarely not into fairy tales. So this is not a good thing). Or maybe it is because it is told from a third perspective. Either way, I'm like... Ehhh... I don't really like or hate this book. Well, I'm more leaning towards "bored" but it isn't too boring. So that doesn't really fit... Ahh... There is so many thoughts here. I think I need to have my head examined. Especially after having minor seizures caused by books. (Thank you, Dead of Winter and Ensnared. I'm looking right at you). 

Jane is the heroine of the story. She is the "ugly stepsister." And I assure all that she is not ugly at all. It is just that... when she is next to Ella (Isabella), she looks rather plain. Because Isabella is apparently that pretty and beautiful. But I rather like Jane. She is cynical. She has her mother's voice in her head, but at the same time, she has her own voice telling her what to do. She is willing to do what it takes to get Maude and her mother to survive, and she doesn't have a lot of patience. Plus, she is a bit conscious of what other people think of her. 

Despite all of those bad characteristics, I like her. She is very, very familiar, because we are all like Jane in some way or another. (And I just realized this: Jane Eyre). 

The differences and similarities between "Cinderella" and The Stepsister's Tale is rather interesting. For example, there is no Knight in Shining Armor. And there is no Prince Charming to sweep Jane or Isabella (Ella) or even Maude off her feet. (Whoops. Spoiler alert). Plus, Ella (Isabella) isn't all what she seems. Makes for an entertaining story.

Overall, The Stepsister's Tale manage to entertain me for a few hours, but I couldn't really find a spark in it. No life. There isn't... as fun as I thought it would be. It might take a few days for me to puzzle out my true feelings about The Stepsister's Tale, but I will say this. The Stepsister's Tale is not a bad book. But it doesn't draw me in very much.

Yes. That conclusion will do very nicely.

Rating: Three out of Five

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