Science fiction and fantasy


Sinful Cinderella

by Anita Valle

In this dark take on the Cinderella story, Anita Valle asks what would happen if goody-glass-shoes Cinders didn't want to be good at all. Being good in this world means being everyone's dogsbody and patiently waiting whilst her stepsisters and stepmother boss her about and have all the fun.

But Cinders has a secret stashed away in her attic room, next to her secret pet mice. She has a way to store white magic which is gained through her good deeds and patience, so that when the time comes she will be able to use it to get everything she wants. And what she wants is to rule and to take revenge on everyone who has wronged her.

The first step in Cinderella's mission is to get to the ball and seduce Prince Edgar so she can marry him. Her sisters, utterly dismissive of her because of her status as a servant, are rude and take her for granted whilst she is tasked with making them gowns in time for the ball she hasn't been allowed to go to. So Cinderella races against time to finish her tasks, which her stepmother keeps piling on her, and then to complete her own secret plans for making a big entrance.

Valle's Cinderella is no passive princess, and she has plans in motion at every stage. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this novella is the moral ambiguity of nearly every character, which skews towards the wicked end of the spectrum in many cases. Even Cinderella's fairy godmother is a plain-speaking, pipe-smoking woman with a shadowy past. Cinderella calls her Godnutter, and it's apt.

The story is as pleasantly symmetrical as Cinderella's white magic-enhanced features, and as it progresses it hints at other fairytales that could follow on from this story. There's a great twist to nicely round off the ending, so readers aren't left with a cliffhanger.

This is a brutal story full of horrible people and acts, but the kind of characters who have their own logical reasons for their bad behaviour and who manage to be charming and magnetic even when they're misbehaving. It left me wanting to read the sequels.

15th January 2019

5 star rating

Review ©

Source: own copy

Book Details

Year of release: 2015

Categories: Books
Female Protagonist

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