Do not judge till you have heard, both sides of the story: the stepsisters' words.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…
...(actually, in Medieval France, to be exact) there lived Cinderella's stepsisters, Fredegonde the tall and Javotte the small. They wake up the morning after the legendary ball to learn that they each still have a chance to be the bride—all they have to do is make their feet fit into that tricky slipper. Alas, these two damsels under stress never quite seem to fit in anywhere. But that doesn’t stop them from wishing and hoping as they set upon a quest for grooms and grandeur of their own.
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Thoughts on The Step-Spinsters
Below are book reviews by young adult, historical fiction, and fairy tale retelling book bloggers. If you would like a review copy of The Step-Spinsters for inclusion in your blog or Bookstagram feed, please reach out in the contact section.
Caffeine and Composition
This one is quite interesting, as instead of focusing on Cinderella, like most fairytale retellings do, you get to see her step-sister’s point of view. The novel begins the morning after that fateful ball, and after the magic has worn off, you’ll see that things are not always what they seem.
I’ve always loved the tale of Cinderella so when I was offered the chance to read this retelling from the point of view of her stepsisters, I couldn’t resist. The Step-Spinsters ended being a charmingly adorable retelling that combined Cinderella’s story with a few other fairytales to create something at once recognizable and unique.
I loved how flawed every single character was, it made them feel more realistic than a typical fairytale character would. There were so many unlikely romances that melted my heart and made me cheer for them.
Meghan and Mari are back for their anniversary episode! (We don’t actually address that in the episode, but Fableulous has officially been going strong for a year!)
To celebrate, we read a fairy tale book suggested by its author: The Step-Spinsters! Given the title and description, it definitely seemed like a fit for this season!
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.
Utopia State of Mind
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This is not your “happily ever after” fairy tale but “welcome to the real world” kind of story. Apart from kindness, our Cinderella also possess in herself other humanly traits like jealousy, love based on good looks, and selfishness . A bunch of interesting characters with their own flaws will teach you a lot of things but most importantly that life is not a fairy tale and there is a price for every want of yours.
The story of the Step-Spinsters begins with the shoe fitting scene from Cinderella. Fredegonde and Javotte, our main characters, do everything to fit in the shoe. With no success. Cinderella is the one who gets to go to the castle where her Lord is waiting for her. What follows is a beautiful tale, showing that love isn’t always as in fairytales.
Rich with Books
A story inspired by Cinderella and set in mid-evil France. A twist on the classic and honestly what a good one! The author takes the tale of Cinderella in a completely new and unexpected direction, challenging our expectations and forces our minds to see past the fairytale we’ve grown up with.
Overall, if you’re a fan of either fairytale retellings, especially the story of Cinderella, and want a very different take on it, this book may be worth checking out. Some people are going to absolutely love what she did with the story and characters, others just won’t be able to get past everything being turned upside down.
Faery Tales are Real
One of the reasons “The Step-Spinsters” stands out is its humor. Ms. Papadopoulos has a lot of wit and a great sense of humor that she weaves throughout her story. Sometimes the story almost feels like satire, subtly poking fun at common fairy tale tropes. This is mainly a Cinderella retelling, but there are also nods to other fairy tales like Bluebeard. I really enjoyed finding these “Easter eggs” throughout the story. It is also set in medieval France and includes a lot of realistic historical details, which I appreciated.