on August 23rd 2016
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
Cinderella thinks she must work alone to save her noble family from the ruin and disgrace her stepmother has brought to Lancastyr Manor. She has an ailing father, a sweet, innocent little stepsister, and dependent servants to protect from the wicked Wilhemina--and no way to call attention to their plight unless she figures out how to attend the royal ball.
But Cinderella knows nothing of the ancient pact between the House of Lancastyr and the rats who live within the walls of her ancestral home.
Nor is she aware that the sleek black rat she thinks is her pet is actually the Rat Prince...and she is not alone.
We both really enjoyed this cute Middle Grade novel. We aren’t sure if we are the right people to be reviewing this because it is definitely right for the target audience, but it may have been a little too young for us. We thought that the story itself could have easily been a YA novel — since Cinderella (Rose) was 17 and there were some mature scenes in this one, which are discussed in the spoiler section below.
We thought this was a really unique retelling of Cinderella. There have been a lot of Cinderella retellings recently, but it was really cool to see it from the rat’s point of view. That was a good twist — especially since the rats were incredibly intelligent! Being in Char’s head and point of view was the best part of the whole book. He was witty, a good ruler, and loyal. The rat politics was probably the most interesting aspect that was included from the original fairy tale. Dani fell a little in love with Char during then had the realization that she loved a rat but was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
However, we thought the pacing was a tad bit off. If you watch the video, both of us were confused as to how much time had passed over the course of the book because we couldn’t keep track of time or days because so much happened in random bursts. As well, the relationship at the end was really rushed on one side of it. We felt uncomfortable with how quickly Rose chose her Prince because it was, well, an evening. And while we understand that in the original fairy tale, it was done like this as well, it just felt rushed and not natural in this one. We would have liked there to be a bit more time to build up the relationship rather than both of them jumping into it.
Jamie felt like the godmother aspect was wasted this time around and used just for convenience of solving the problems. At the beginning the godmother seemed to take too much pleasure in the chaos/frivolity of the wish and at the end it was just like “of course she will sweep in” because our characters can’t have problems. Dani thought that the ending was really easy for Char and his choice as well. However, we both realize that because this is Middle Grade that there should be an aspect of HEA and that was definitely here.
Jamie would have liked more to do with the glass slipper since that was like The Thing of the original fairy tale and while they are mentioned, they aren’t used in a satisfying way for her, but this is a tiny thing.
Dani thought that Cinderella (Rose) didn’t do anything in this. Her chapters were her whining about how horrible her stepmother was and crying, but not really doing anything. She’s fairly passive throughout, while Char saves the day again and again. This is the biggest Thing for Dani that brought down the rating.
Overall, this was a cute and fun retelling of Cinderella. While we both had some issues, we both enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to people in the intended audience. In fact, Jamie is going to buy it for her niece for Christmas because Cinderella is her favourite.
There were some things we liked but are DEFINITELY spoilers, so we will talk about them below…View Spoiler »
We loved that the evil stepmother was more manipulative than straight up “evil.” It was interesting to see the role reversal of not letting her husband see his friends the isolation coming from the woman rather than the man. Because women can be abusive in this way as well.
Also, there was a freaking beheading! It was awesome and we were both glad that there wasn’t a viable love triangle in this because the “real” Prince was not sane.
Jamie really liked that Rose’s father was just ill rather than having a spell on him because that is a Real World Thing that could happen and wasn’t easily solved. It was nice to have some sort of problem that couldn’t easily be solved like with the rest of the issues at the end of the novel.
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What did you think? Let us know in the comments, making sure to preface any spoilery comments with “SPOILER DISCUSSION”.
- What’s your favourite Cinderella retelling?
- What do you hope your pets are saying to you?
- If you chose your name based on your favourite food, what would you be called?