Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cursed Beauty (A Fairy Retelling Book 1) by Dorian Tsukioka

   We all know the Disney fairy tale version of Cinderella and her glass slippers.  What child doesn't?  But did you ever think that perhaps the story was a little bit off?  That maybe there was more to it?  Well, there is.  This novelette is another side of Cinderella that you've never seen before, but explains so much.
   Adelaide was born with a hideous birthmark scarring half of her face.  It makes her feel ugly and although people in the village where she lives have generally gotten used to it, they still whisper about it.  And she knows they do.  People won't even look her in the face when they talk to her.  Word is that she was born cursed.  Her mother died long ago of the pox, the same night that the younger Prince Julian lost his mother to it as well.  Her father had been off to the castle trying to save the queen when Adelaide's mother died right beside her.  The happenings of that night stayed with her for the next several years.  The prince had lashed out at her when his mother died.  He was mean to her and she had never forgiven him.  Now, several years later, he delivers the news of the death of her father.  While she grieves though, her stepmother, Celeste, seems cold and uncaring.  Due to her father's death, Adelaide is forced to become a servant in her own house.  During this time of readjustment, the prince tries to make amends with her by inviting her to the ball for his older brother's birthday.  There's no way Adelaide can go, for several reasons.  An old woman shows up with magic slippers saying she's her fairy godmother.  Even though she wears the slippers, there is a terrible price to pay to use them.  The price is much steeper than Adelaide is willing to pay once she has what the old woman wants.  After all, nothing is free.

   I love the retelling of this old tale.  Disney makes it into a wonderful, feel good story for kids to watch.  But let's be honest here: no one falls in love the first night they go to a ball and dance with a prince.  That's called lust.  This gives Adelaide and the prince a former history already that spans several years.  Not only that, but the poor girl has been deemed cursed by the community because of a prominent birthmark.  And then there is the fairy godmother.  Well this one seems kind of scary to me.  I also like the part Celeste plays in this.  Everything has its explanation and it is a somewhat disturbing tale.  It's short, and definitely not what you would call sweet, but it is a good retelling of it!

5 out of 5 stars!

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