BLM Book Fairies: book review of Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

A book fairy review of another BLM Book Fairies choice, a retelling of a well known fairy tale…

A review of Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

We all know the story of Cinderella; the girl tortured by her wicked stepsisters until a fairy godmother makes all her dreams come true and she gets whisked away by Prince Charming. It’s a fairytale of hope and the young women and their parents in this reimagining by Kalynn Bayron follow the lessons in the story to the tee, so that they too may be visited by a fairy godmother the night before the annual ball. 

Because guess what? Cinderella is dead, but she was very real, and she’s a role model to the female population of Lille. But Prince Charming and Cinderella’s reign wasn’t the happily ever after we’ve been told. Decrees forced a gender divide and young women are being married off to whichever man chooses them at the ball. It’s now been 200 years since Cinderella died and the ball still serves up young women to the men of the kingdom. And if a girl is not picked after three years? She’s forfeited to the workhouses, or worse. 

It’s Sophia’s first ball but she’s determined to not fall prey to the men handpicking the prettiest young girls. After all, Sophia isn’t interested in any man that may choose her to be his wife. She’s already in love… with a girl. 

I do love a good fairytale retelling, especially once that manages to flip the original story on its head and making the reader realise that things weren’t quite the way we’ve been spoon-fed them our entire lives. Maybe the wicked sisters weren’t wicked at all. And Prince Charming’s deceiving name couldn’t have been further from his true identity. 

With the headstrong Sophia determined to not fall in the same trap as so many women before her, we go on a roller-coaster adventure, journeying through the famous tale all the women in Lille can recite by heart, but uncovering the dark secrets lingering at the edges of the Palace-Approved text. 

It’s fun, exciting, and constantly surprising. While the story is a bit too rushed to be able to truly dive into the layers of complexity beyond the tale of Cinderella as we know it today, the revelations along the way will make the reader gasp in surprise – and its satisfying conclusion will undeniably make you crave more. And who knows, we might just be that lucky. One of the other tales within this book alluded to is that of a magic mirror that can show the future and made one woman want to kill her own daughter. Sound familiar? Mirror, mirror on the wall…

About the book:

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 …

An electrifying twist on the classic fairytale that will inspire girls to break out of limiting stereotypes and follow their dreams!

Get your hands on a copy!

Our friends at Hive Books have different formats here, and most good book shops will have copies too!

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