Full disclosure – I was received a copy of this book from Amazon as part of the Kindle Scout program but have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
Happily Ever After?
The Step Spinsters is the debut novel from writer Madina Papadopoulos and is a fresh re imagination of the classic fairy tale. Set in medieval France the story begins the morning after the ball and the rush to find the owner of the glass slipper. After having made the fit, Cinderella is whisked off to the castle to begin her new life as the betrothed of Count Galant. When she arrives, and sees her intended in the light of day, she realizes that the Count may not be all that he had seemed last night at the masquerade, but as this arrangement will get her far away from her family she is willing to give it a shot. Settling into the lifestyle of a future Duchess, Cinderella is frustrated to learn that the Count has invited her step mother and her step sisters to live at the castle in the days leading up to the nuptials. With Javotte and Fredegonde on the scene, no single titled lord is safe as they both jockey to one up their sibling and secure a mate to save their home.
For someone who grew up dreaming of nights in shining armor, jousting tournaments and majestic medieval castles I really enjoyed this retelling of Cinderella. Papadopoulos manages to add a human element to characters that are well known thanks to (or not) the classic Disney characters and movies. Fredegonde and Javotte, while not exactly “ugly” do have their personal flaws that are stumbling blocks to their future happiness and overall the dynamic between Cindy and her sisters more resembles a typical blended family than the cruel family of past stories. It’s a tall order to take a well known beloved story and transform it into something new and fun, but Papadopoulos had delivered. I will be interested to see if she tackles any other fairy tale characters in her upcoming books or branches out into other topics. Whatever her future endeavors are, I am looking forward to reading her future offerings.