Book seven of my summer reading challenge and one I’ve been looking forward to for a while.
Cinderella is Dead
It’s 200 years since Cinderella found her prince, but the fairytale is over.
Sophia knows the story though, off by heart. Because every girl has to recite it daily, from when she’s tiny until the night she’s sent to the royal ball for choosing. And every girl knows that she has only one chance. For the lives of those not chosen by a man at the ball . are forfeit.
But Sophia doesn’t want to be chosen – she’s in love with her best friend, Erin, and hates the idea of being traded like cattle. And when Sophia’s night at the ball goes horribly wrong, she must run for her life. Alone and terrified, she finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s tomb. And there she meets someone who will show her that she has the power to remake her world.
It’s no secret that I love a retelling but this was almost something a little better, a creative and original addition to the well-known Cinderella story, I can’t believe it took me this long to get to it because it was so captivating. From the start it makes you question the roles of fairytales, how they can be perceived and their lesson can be interpreted differently, which I loved, especially because the story starts with Sophia questioning everything and wanting to find a way out.
I really want to say loads about the plot because it really is great there was so much that I didn’t expect so I was constantly surprised, but I can’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil it. All I will say is that the original Cinderella story is a significant tale for everyone in the kingdom, but I loved the subtle changes depending on who they heard it from. I really enjoyed being kept on my toes with the misdirection and manipulations that are all through the story, it is very clever and well executed.
Sophia’s desire to go against the grain is what kept me engrossed in this story, you know from the start that she is going to make trouble for herself, but I loved how she grew as a character she becomes someone who wants the best for everyone and not just herself. She has a lot of inner strength and determination which is balanced out perfectly by Constance, a rebel who is fierce and strong and helps Sophia to see that she can be a catalyst for change.
Another character that I thought was brilliant was Amina, the magic that she brought to the story was fascinating and she wasn’t what I expected at all. She also added an interesting dynamic to Sophia and Constance, causing tension and confusion, it was great. I only wish there was a little more depth with some of the other side characters as they are part of the reason that Sophia feels forced to act but I just felt like the connection wasn’t quite there the way it should have been.
Cinderella is Dead has some strong themes and characters, a clever and exciting plot and a dark fairytale world that I was engrossed in, and I am definitely looking forward to my next book by Kalynn Baron.